Many people feel unsatisfied with conventional medicine. Some studies show that as much as 69% of people in the US would use alternative therapies. A more recent study in Australia pushed this figure up to 79%. Some of the key factors behind this consideration included perceived control, spirituality, education, and health status.
Whatever the reason behind such a decision, there are many options to choose from. One of the more popular choices out of Southeast Asia is Kratom. Also known as mitragyna speciosa, it is a traditional herb that has been prized for generations for its medicinal benefits. According to the American Kratom Association (AKA), as many as 10-16 million people make use of this supplement regularly. Let’s delve into what Kratom is and the therapeutic benefits it offers.
What Is Kratom?
Kratom is a herbal supplement made from the leaves of an evergreen tree of the same name. Its key compounds are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. These are alkaloids that have an effect on brain opiate receptors and can alter mood. The leaves of the tree are harvested and ground up either fresh or dry into powder form.
The powder is then made into tablets or capsules that can be easily swallowed. Or sold loose to be added to food and drink, or made into a tea. It can also be added to gums and extracts, or smoked. The leaves can also be chewed whole.
The supplement has traditionally been used to treat a variety of ailments including pain, anxiety, cough, diarrhea, and high blood pressure. It has also been used to help reduce the symptoms of opiate withdrawal. It has an opiate and somewhat euphoric effect that may boost the level of feel-good hormones in the body. It is however not addictive, hence its use in treating drug addiction.
What Science Is Telling Us About Kratom
A 2015 Thailand study found that many Asians have been successfully using Kratom to treat opioid addiction for decades. A more recent US self-reporting study found that people were consuming Kratom for pain relief, depression, and to treat opioid withdrawal. Of those that reported using it for opioid withdrawal, 35% confirmed not having taken prescription opioids or heroin for more than a year. They found that it reduced withdrawal symptoms and decreased their craving for drugs. Some of the common symptoms of opioid withdrawal in the initial stages may include:
- Excessive sweating
- Muscle aches
- Abdominal cramping
- Lacrimation and blurry vision
- Rapid heartbeat
A review of over 50 years of international studies by researchers from the University of British Columbia and the University of Rochester Medical Center found that Kratom did appear to have therapeutic benefits and was not dangerous as some media portrayed it. They noted theat Kratom had strong potential in relieving the symptoms of opioid dependence.
They found Kratom to be milder, less addictive, and less dangerous than prescription and illicit opioids. They also considered it unlikely to cause a fatal overdose. Of the estimated 500,000 deaths caused by drug use worldwide, about 70% are attributed to opioids. Of the opioid deaths, over 30% are believed to be a result of an overdose.
Where to Find High-Quality Kratom
One of the key concerns for consumers has to be where to buy quality Kratom. The supplement has yet to earn FDA approval and is not highly regulated. Some disreputable vendors can make it harder to find a reliable source of Kratom. A good place to start is by looking at the certifications earned by the vendor.
You will want to ensure they are GMP approved. GMP standards for Good Manufacturing Practices and is given by the AKA. It verifies that the vendor adheres to a strict and high standard of safety throughout the production process to final packing.
Vendors like PurKratom are among the very few vendors who have earned this certification and undertake rigorous checks to ensure the best hygiene practices and no contamination. Another area to consider is transparency. From leaf harvesting to packaging, it is important to ensure you are dealing with an organic and natural product without additives. Third-party testing, a good working relationship with growers, and effective customer service help to ascertain this. Kratom is typically bought through online vendors. Ensure the vendor offers ample product information so you understand its purpose, benefits, and dosing.
Advantages That Kratom Offers
Enhances Level of Energy
Kratom may help boost metabolism that results in heightened energy levels. Amongst the metabolic processes it enhances is blood circulation. This ensures faster delivery of nutrients and oxygen around the body and quicker metabolism of food to harness energy. This benefit can be a boon to those that need an extra boost when pursuing more strenuous activities like exercise. It offers a healthy and natural way to gain more energy to get you through the day.
Kratom Can Boosts Mood
The supplement has been found to help alleviate feelings of anxiety and stabilize mood. Its compounds bind to brain receptors that regulate mood. It helps bring about a more positive mindset that is often the experience when taking opioids like heroin and codeine. Those that take Kratom feel more relaxed and upbeat. It also may boost the production of neurotransmitters that can enhance memory and focus.
It May Helps Better Sleep
Kratom has a sedating effect, especially at higher doses. Certain strains are particularly helpful in regulating the sleep cycle and providing relief from insomnia. They may help to calm the mind and body which promotes a conducive environment for peaceful sleep. This characteristic makes it ideal for those suffering insomnia and restlessness that is common in opioid withdrawal.
Kratom May Minimizes Anxiety
Kratom has a strong anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effect. It can make people feel more relaxed and triggers receptors in the brain that stabilize mood. It is helpful to those that suffer mild depression and anxiety as negative feelings are suppressed. As a natural sedative, it also ensures a person can get better rest which is another relief for those with anxiety. Its pain-relieving properties also may contribute towards resolving anxiety and depression that stem from inflammation.
Kratom is a natural and healthy herbal supplement that offers multiple therapeutic benefits. It comes in several strains, each of which is used to treat a different range of ailments. When buying Kratom, ensure you choose a reputable vendor that is GMP-certified, transparent, and offers natural and organic products. Be careful of dosing as the effect can vary depending on the strain and the condition you want to treat.