The Kratom Tree
Kratom is a tropical tree (Mitragyna speciosa) that is native to Southeast Asia.
Mitragyna speciosa (commonly known as kratom) is a tropical evergreen tree in the coffee family native to Southeast Asia. It is indigenous to Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Papua New Guinea and has historically been used for chewing, smoking, and tea. Kratom has opioid properties and some stimulant-like effects.
An evergreen tree that can grow to a height of 25 m (82 ft). with a trunk up to 0.9 m (3 ft) in diameter. The trunk is generally straight, and the outer bark is smooth and grey. The leaves, ovate-acuminate in shape and opposite in growth pattern, are dark green, glossy on their upper surfaces, and can grow to over 14–20 cm (5.5–7.9 in) long and 7–12 cm (2.8–4.7 in) wide. They have 12 to 17 pairs of veins.
Kratom leaves have been traditionally used for many centuries as a form of natural medicine in Southeast Asia. It has been a staple in their culture, where they would consume it directly from the tree, either fresh or in a dried form, or ground into a powder and used in medicinal drinks.
More about the history of kratom
In cultures where the plant grows, kratom has been used in traditional medicine. The leaves are chewed to relieve musculoskeletal pain and increase energy, appetite, and sexual desire in ways similar to khat and coca. The leaves, or extracts from them, are used to heal wounds and as a local anesthetic. Extracts and leaves have been used to treat coughs, diarrhea, and intestinal infections. They are also used as intestinal deworming agents in Thailand.
Kratom is often used by workers in laborious or monotonous professions to stave off exhaustion, and as a mood-enhancer and painkiller. In Thailand, kratom was “used as a snack to receive guests and was part of the ritual worship of ancestors and gods”. The herb is bitter and is generally combined with a sweetener.
The biggest producers, of kratom are Thailand and Indonesia. Southeast Asia is generally where red, green, and white kratom are grown. Despite the tree being a single species, there are several techniques applied, which produce foliage with veins of various colors. That is the reason behind multiple kratom color designations existing in the world.
More about kratom color designations.
Kratom powder can be easily mixed with water, coffee, or tea, but some individuals may find the taste difficult to swallow. To overcome this, they can combine Kratom powder with flavorings like orange juice or other fruit extracts to make it more palatable. Moreover, some folks may become accustomed to the taste and can consume it on its own. For others, they mix kratom with yogurt, porridge, or applesauce to mask the taste. More recently, kratom has gained considerable popularity in the United States, and people throughout the country are now aware of the benefits of its wise and knowledgeable use.
Typically kratom is available in five forms:
- Loose Powder – Generally advised to those who are investigating the varieties of kratom to determine the effects and benefits they may receive from kratom. Dosing is simple, making it a great way to see how your body reacts to the active components.
- Encapsulated Powder – Capsules are easily consumed and are pre-weighed anywhere from 500 milligrams to one gram. Offers convenience without the flavor or measuring.
- Extracts – These distillations are concentrated and considerably more substantial than typical kratom powder. Extract use is advised for individuals already familiar with kratom, it is not for those just getting started with the plant.
- Crushed Leaf – The crushed leaf form of kratom resembles tea leaves in terms of texture. It is an excellent option for creating drinks with Kratom infusions because it is not as finely powdered as powder.
- Stem & Vein – This form has a slightly different variety of alkaloids compared to the typical dry leaf form. It is frequently chosen by those who want to vary their kratom intake. Additionally, stem-and-vein kratom takes longer for the body to absorb, allowing the active alkaloids to stay in the body for up to twice as long as they would with powdered kratom leaf.