Kratom is a tropical plant which has been used traditionally in different parts of Africa and Asia. Teas brewed from Kratom leaves have been used by people in this area for hundreds of years to manage pain, wean off of opioid and stave off exhaustion.
In different places across the world, Kratom is consumed for its stimulant effects and as a substitute for an opioid in form of tea, chewable, or capsules. Most people take kratom as a substitute for coffee because it is a natural stimulant.
In this article, we will discuss what kratom is, its uses and benefits as well as the controversy surrounding it. Let’s get right to that, shall we?
What is Kratom?
Kratom leaves have been used traditionally as a medicine but they are also being used as a recreational drug nowadays. They can be brewed in tea, chewed, used in cooking, crushed, in pills, and smoked. In small doses, it serves as a stimulant while in high doses, it makes the users drowsy.
There are numerous health benefits of Kratom leaves such as pain relief, diabetes prevention, boost metabolism, and improved sexual energy to name a few. The history of kratom is interesting as it has been banned in Thailand even though is indigenous – it has also been banned in countries such as Malaysia, Australia, and Myanmar.
Due to the controversial nature of kratom, it is recommended to use it in countries where the distribution, possession, and use of it is legal.
Benefits of Kratom
There are numerous benefits of kratom leaves to human health and they are highlighted below:
- It Helps to Reduce Pain – Kratom leaves have analgesic properties which help in quickly relieving pain in the body. When the leaves are ingested, dopamine and serotonin are released into the body – which helps to further reduce the pain. The pain receptors in the body are dulled as a result of the alkaloids in the plant.
- It Boosts the Immune System – According to studies carried on Kratom leaves, the alkaloids found in the leaves have a major effect on the strength of the immune system.
The extracts of kratom leaves have antimicrobial properties which serve as a natural antioxidant source.
- It serves as an Energy Booster – In the past, kratom leaves were used by laborers in different countries as a source of energy. The properties of kratom leaves make it possible for it to increase the energy levels of those that take it. It also serves as a natural solution for people suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
- It serves as a Sexual Pick-me-up -- Kratom serves as a natural fertility booster and aphrodisiac.
- It reduces Anxiety – In different parts of the world, kratom leaves are used as an anxiolytic for people who suffer from anxiety, depression, chronic stress, and other anxiety-related illnesses.
- Diabetes Management -- Kratom leaves help to regulate the amount of insulin and glucose in the blood which in turn prevents the issues faced by diabetic patients. Research has shown that apart from diabetes management, kratom leaves help prevent the development of diabetes.
Side Effects of Kratom
As with any type of drugs, there are risks involved. The common side effects of regular intake of kratom include constipation and nausea, but the others are highlighted below.
- Withdrawal Symptoms such as weight loss, insomnia, anorexia, muscle pain, diarrhea, and fever
- Drug Dependency
- Dry Mouth
To Wrap It Up
Despite the beneficial nature of kratom leaves, there is a lot of controversy surrounding it. In over 15 countries including Malaysia and Thailand where it naturally grows, the use and distribution of Kratom leaves have been banned and controlled. To avoid the side effects of Kratom, users should ensure they only make use of it when the need arises and not regularly.