For hundreds of years, Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa) has been used as a natural remedy for numerous health issues. However, many users in the US may not be aware of this because Kratom products just recently made their way into the country, but mainly as a recreational substance.
Since there is a huge shortage of information regarding the Mitragyna Speciosa plant, it’s hard to tell truth from lie. To help demystify the uncertainties and set the record straight, here is a closer look into the history of Mitragyna Speciosa.
The origins of Mitragyna Speciosa
First discovered during the early 19th century in the South East Asia region, Kratom is a tropical evergreen tree whose height, shape, and other natural features resemble those of the coffee tree because they come from the same Rubiaceae family of plants. It can grow up to 80 feet in height and produces shiny green leaves and buds. Parts of the region where the plant can mostly be found include areas like Myanmar, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia.
Discovery of Kratom
Kratom has been in existence for eons. However, not much literature is available about Kratom prior to the Dutch arriving in Malaysia. The first recognizable mention of Kratom was by Pieter Korthals who used to work for East India Company. Korthals was motivated to study this plant further after noting that a lot of locals chewed the herb.
Other mentions of Kratom in Western literature is seen when it was fronted as a low-cost alternative for opium. Opium was hugely popular in Thailand and Malaysia in the 19th century and the government even taxed it to get revenue. This made opium to be priced out of ordinary workers, who resorted to Kratom as a substitute. Many people chewed it all day to relieve themselves from the pain of hard labor. Others also brewed Kratom in teas to help them relax.
Historical uses of Mitragyna Speciosa
Considering that there’s a sharp increase in fatalities and the number of people who abuse Kratom products now, it may appear as if Kratom has more bad than good to offer. However, past civilizations have used this product safely with few to no incidences of death or addiction.
So what exactly was this plant originally used for by South East Asia natives? Well, the Mitragyna Speciosa plant is believed to have been used to:
- Help treat and relieve chronic coughs
- Help heal wounds faster
- Alleviate diarrhea
- Boosts energy
- Enhance your mood
- Improve appetite
- Improve and eliminate infections and irregularities within the intestines
- Help manage and treat depression
- Enhances sexual desire
- Worked as an excellent pain killer especially for musculoskeletal pain and so on.
From the above list, it is clear that Kratom was traditionally used for its medicinal purposes. However, farmers also chewed the plants’ leaves for recreational purposes. Just like coffee, Kratom was believed to stimulate the body and minimize fatigue or exhaustion. This explains why laborers who engaged in intense physical tasks in the past (and even now) liked to take Kratom.
It was also used as local anesthesia when the traditional doctors wanted to perform minor procedures on injured patients. Interestingly, in Thailand, Kratom was also offered to guests and visitors in the form of a snack. This was a ritual practiced as part of paying homage to their gods and ancestors. Owing to how bitter Kratom is, it was often taken together with other natural sweeteners.
What Kratom is used for now
Looking back at how people used Kratom in the past compared to now, nothing much has changed much. The only difference is that some of the claimed benefits are currently being supported by scientific studies and researches. For instance, experts have suggested that Kratom has adequate levels of mitragynine, a crucial active alkaloid that works to activate opioid receptors in the brain. It is these alkaloids that are believed to help relieve pain and treat opioid withdrawal symptoms. Other important alkaloids include Ajmalicine and Paynantheine, which are believed to be effective for improving the supply of oxygen to the brain, increasing blood flow, and relaxing muscles.
Since Kratom’s entry into the American market, however, the plant has come under sharp criticism from relevant authorities due to its opioid-like characteristics. The DEA and FDA have shown interest in regulating and even tried to illegalize the plant. But researchers have on several occasions differed with these authorities, insisting that it should not be a classified drug.
It is quite evident that Kratom is no ordinary plant. Having been used for traditional and medicinal purposes, this product has a lot to offer. While there are a significant number of benefits in store for all Kratom customers, the dangers and side effects of the herb cannot be ignored. It is, therefore, advisable to source your Kratom products from credible vendors like the Golden Monk, just to be sure that you are getting authentic products and that you only take the recommended dosage.