What Are Kratom Leaves?

What Are Kratom Leaves?

Kratom is a tropical tree native to Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea, where the leaves have been used for medicinal purposes due to its morphine-like effects. The majority of the health benefits of kratom are derived from the unique chemical compounds and nutrients found within the leaves of the plant, including a wide range of alkaloids and other organic substances that affect many organs of the human body. Mitragynine, the primary active alkaloid in kratom, is associated with being responsible for its opioid-like effects.

The plant’s leaves are widely chewed in countries where the tree grows naturally, and some high estimates suggest that up to 70% of the male population of Thailand [3] would chew anywhere from 10-60 leaves each day. It is sold as leaves, powder, extract, capsule, pellet, or gum, and it can be smoked, chewed or consumed as a tea.

The scientific name of this evergreen tree is Mitragyna speciosa, and it has had a very interesting history, including being banned in Thailand (despite being indigenous there), as it was a natural substitute [1] for opium, thereby affecting the economy of the country.

Kratom, which is readily available for purchase on the internet, has come under the international spotlight in recent years for its medicinal use as well its abuse as a recreational drug. And it has been banned in countries [2] including Australia, Malaysia, and Myanmar. In the US and European countries, kratom is increasingly [11]being used by individuals for the self-management of pain or withdrawal from opioid drugs such as heroin and prescription pain relievers. However, use of kratom is recommended if you live in a country or region where the possession, use, and distribution of kratom is legal.