Mitragyna speciosa, or Kratom, is a tropical tree closely related to coffee. The plant in prevalent in Southeast Asia, in places like Thailand and Malaysia. Kratom has been a part of natural medicine in these areas since at least the nineteenth century, and possibly for much longer. This plant has been used for treating pain and inflammation, and as a substitute for opium and for helping deal with opioid withdrawal symptoms.

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The Katrom trees have to be treated with respect as they only start to grow the effective leaves at about ten years of age. The trees support the natural ecosystem of the areas they grown, in particular lending natural support to riverbanks with their roots. The leaves of Kratom are dried and ground and used in a variety of ways. Traditionally, leaves are chewed or used in tea. The powdered leaves can also be made into a paste.


Kratom can be used as a sedative at higher doses, relaxing mind and body, helping users forget emotional distress and reducing pain and discomfort. At lower doses, kratom actually becomes a stimulant. It makes users more active, gives them a desire to get out an about and be more active, and increases sociability. There’s even some anecdotal evidence that kratom can be used as an aphrodisiac or sexual aid.


Kratom may make you urinate more frequently or feel slightly nauseous. Some users report a light headache. There is also a risk of dependency if using kratom as a substitute for other opioids, so always consult a medical professional before taking this step.

Do not use kratom with any drugs that are called MAOI or SSRI (usually antidepressants).


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