The kratom plant packs a punch. However, it may not be the best option for everyone.
Kratom is an evergreen tree that thrives in Southeast Asia, and its leaves have compounds that produce psychotropic effects. This tropical tree is not illegal yet, but it has caused quite a stir in the United States. In fact, several states have banned it.
The kratom leaves provide a feeling similar to a stimulant and an opioid, depending on the quantity you take. What’s not to love, right?
Natural treatments are becoming more common, especially in dealing with anxiety. It’s easy to confuse natural and healthy, though.
Let’s find out if too much of a good thing can have downsides.
- Mood enhancement
- Pain relief
- Peace; tranquility
- Increased energy
There are three strains of kratom determined by the color of the veins in the leaves. The stems and veins are only for strain identification and not for ingestion.
Much like the primary colors, hundreds of different variations come from these three types of strains.
Red is the most abundant. In small doses, it acts as a stimulant, but its primary purpose is to promote calm and relaxation.
White promotes an enhanced mood and a balanced energy boost.
Green has a mix of both effects. It provides a mild energy boost and relieves social anxiety.
What are the doses, and how do I take it?
Doses range from one gram or less to fifteen grams.
Smaller amounts act as a stimulant and provide energy plus a mood boost. Larger quantities relieve pain and can be helpful as a sedative.
- Small 1-5 grams
- Moderate 5-10 grams
- High 10-15 grams
Kratom is available to try in many forms, one of which is chewing on raw leaves. There are better alternatives, in my opinion, but I won’t stop you if you prefer to mimic a giraffe.
Keep in mind that there are copious ways to try kratom. Just make sure you do thorough research before experimenting!
Best ways to ingest kratom:
- Pills or capsules
This is the easy method to enjoy kratom benefits because it simplifies dosage questions.
- Hot tea
This method is only for the powdered form of kratom, and it’s recommended to add honey or sweetener to cut the bitterness.
- Mix it with food
Most articles do not suggest kratom on an empty stomach, which makes this a time-saving option. It has a strong flavor so mix it well with ice cream, smoothies, etc.
A spoonful of powder. Take a spoonful of the recommended amount of kratom powder and wash it down with a beverage. The other two choices sound much more appealing than this one.
Overall, kratom appears to combat social anxiety, high stress, and muscle pain. Like most good things, too much of it can end in a bad situation. Let’s look at some other facts.
How can it hurt me?
Kratom has been embedded in cultures throughout Southeast Asia since the nineteenth century, but it does not have rave reviews in the United States.
Most online stores that sell kratom warn that we should never take it with other drugs or alcohol. With any medicinal substance, it is always essential to use it responsibly.
User error or not, the side effects should be a huge consideration in your research on kratom. Consulting a medical professional is something you do with prescription medications, so the same thing should apply to natural remedies. It all influences your brain, right?
- Loss of appetite
- Dry mouth
- Liver damage
- Difficulty breathing
- Coma and death (in rare cases)
Yes, that is a scary list.
Kratom also has adverse effects on infants in women who are pregnant. Other studies have shown that people in thirty-eight different states became ill with salmonella. I don’t know about you, but those things don’t sound fun to me.
Is kratom addictive?
Can you start your day without coffee?
Fun fact, the kratom tree is a relative of the coffee plant. That being said, many substances can become addictive if we do not use them in moderation.
Studies done in the United States by the FDA and other federal agencies tested to see if kratom would be a suitable substitute for opioids and other various prescription medications. It was not as promising as they had hoped.
People who had been using kratom for six months or more and then stopped started having similar cravings and withdrawal symptoms as opioid use.
Withdrawal symptoms include:
- Muscle aches
- Jerky movements
- Unstable emotions
Studies have shown that when kratom is mixed with other drugs, medications, or alcohol can cause severe headaches, loss of communication, and confusion. So once again, DON’T MIX IT because it could negatively affect your brain chemistry, and you’re just counteracting the benefits you’d otherwise experience.
What should you take away from this article?
1. I can’t stress this enough — consult a trusted medical professional before trying any new medicinal substance!
2. Just because something is natural and plant-based does not mean that it is healthy for you.
3. Many things can become harmful if not used in moderation.
4. Do your own research and ask questions that pertain to you.
5. Eating a spoonful of powder is gross, no matter what it is.
This year has caused anxiety and mental health issues to rise at astronomical levels, making products like kratom look almost magical. Always remember magic comes at a price, and I don’t mean just money.
In this stressful year, the silver lining is that millions of people and companies are showing up in droves to create better solutions and more options for mental health. Or just suggesting creative ways to relax for five minutes! Kratom, at reasonable, controlled doses can be a useful short-term aid for people suffering from anxiety and stress, although ong-term use has not been well-studied.