Kratom or Mitragyna speciosa is an Asian wonder herb. It is specifically native to Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. It belongs to the coffee family, and for a long time, it has been used for its medicinal properties by people from its native. But lately, this herb is starting to take the West by storm. Many people are using it to manage pain while others are using it to help them overcome addiction.
Although it is only in recent years that westerners have started seeing the benefit of this plant, people from East Asian countries have long explored it. Farmers chew or make tea from its leaves to help boost their energy while working and others traditionally have been using Kratom to cure diabetes and other chronic diseases. Here, therefore, is an elaborative list of what Kratom does when one takes it.
How Does Kratom Work?
It is said that this plant has over 25 compounds with the active ones being the mitragynine and the 7-hydroxymitragynine. Although these alkaloids work together, Mitragynine is the most active one, and it acts as a partial opioid receptor, while the 7 –hydroxymitragynine is less active but more potent than morphine.
When one takes Kratom, in whatever form, the alkaloids target the opioid receptors in the brain. They act on those receptors to produce pain relief and euphoric effects. The interaction between the active compounds and the receptors in the body, causes Kratom to produce either sedating or stimulating effect depending on the dosage one takes.
Your body responds to these alkaloids by secreting stomach acid and preventing the contraction of the small intestines.
Uses of Kratom
1. It Relieves Pain
- Although there are no studies that have been carried out, most people say that they are using Kratom to manage pain. The herb can do that because it contains alkaloids which gives it the same pain-relieving effects as morphine. In fact, instead of using morphine which could be addictive, more and more people prefer using Kratom.
- The alkaloids act on opioid receptors in the nervous system hence promoting the release of enkephalins and endorphins which are useful in numbing your body’s pain receptors. So for people suffering from conditions like, arthritis, chronic backaches and joint pains to name, but a few could benefit significantly from using this herb.
2. Helps Combat Mental Disorders
- Anxiety and depression are considered as some form of mental disorder. Kratom can help people suffering from these to get and feel better. In 2016, there was an online survey in the U.S. in which more than 65% of Kratom users claim to be using it for mental conditions.
- Both in high and low dosage, this herb can help suppress anxiety. When its alkaloids interact with opioid receptors in your brain, it facilitates the releases of endorphins and serotonin which help in enhancing your overall mood. In turn, your mind will be calmed, and anxious thoughts will be alleviated. It is especially useful in easing tension caused by social anxiety.
3. Kratom Boosts Energy
- Traditionally Kratom has been used to boost energy for people who are feeling a little bit under the weather. If you or your loved one is feeling weak, try using Kratom and see how active and energized you will be made.
- But if you are planning, to use Kratom for energy, understand that there are strains that are better for that than others. For instance, Maeng Da Kratom, Thai and White vein strains are the best strains for increasing your energy levels.
4. Promotes Weight Loss
- If you have been struggling to lose weight, you should consider including Kratom in your diet and part of your daily routine. Especially if your weight is caused by emotional eating or sugar addiction, Kratom gives you the calming effects and enhances your mood.
- So you will not need to turn to binge eating whenever you are stressed. Kratom also controls the satiety center in the hypothalamus thus helping you to reduce your appetite and shed off some pounds.
5. Reduces Inflammation
- This herb contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help sooth swellings in your body. If you regularly suffer from swelling and redness, you should use Kratom to curb that.
- The active compound which is the mitragynine is known to help reduce inflammation which makes it preferable to people who have rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
What are the Effects of Kratom
Kratom is quite a unique herb in that, in low to moderate dosage, its effects are stimulating. But when taken in high dosage, it causes sedating effects. The active alkaloids have both the stimulant and sedative properties that make it possible to do so. The impact that will be more predominant will depend on the dosage and the individual’s reaction to this herb.
Many people, however, say that the effects of Kratom are very similar to those of opiates, which is not surprising because this herb contains alkaloids that act as opiate receptor antagonists. But even though the effects may be the same, Kratom appears to be less addictive as compared to other opiate drugs.
How Long Should Kratom Effects Take?
After 5-6 hours the effects of Kratom should have already subsided. When you take Kratom on an empty stomach, you will begin to feel its effects 30-40 minutes after ingestion. Also note that when you take Kratom capsules, the onset of effects may be delayed because it requires more time for them to be dissolved in the stomach.
Any Side Effects of Kratom?
Like any other drug, you expect it to have adverse effects and Kratom is not different. But the side effects vary according to the dosage taken. Short-term side effects include nausea, vomiting, itching, diarrhea or constipation, drowsiness and loss of appetite. Other serious side effects may include seizures, palpitations, liver damage and tremors among others.
Also if you are used to taking kratom on an empty stomach, it is advisable that you never drive while you are under its influence, because it causes one to fall asleep. And pregnant women are also advised to not take Kratom unless prescribed by the doctor.
Kratom has many health benefits that may be useful to some if not all of us. But we advise that if it is your first time trying out this herb, consult with your doctor first. And also remember that quality is everything when it comes to Kratom so ensure that you buy from a credible vendor. And be watchful of the dosage you take because, in as much as it has medicinal properties, a high dosage is not recommended.