What is Kratom?

Do you prefer to use natural solutions to improve your health? If so, kratom is an effective herbal supplement. Today, thousands of people worldwide are turning to kratom as a natural alternative to conventional medicine. Depending on certain characteristics, kratom can relieve many physical and mental ailments. These characteristics include a variety of formulations and strains.

An image of red veined kratom leaves in white background, but what is kratom?
What Is Kratom? (Image Source: Wikimedia)

What Is Kratom and What Are the Benefits?

The term “kratom” has a double meaning. Not only is it the name for kratom supplements, but also the name of the plant these products are derived from. The kratom tree, known botanically as Mitragyna speciosa, is native to Southeast Asia. Whether for stimulating or sedating effects, inhabitants of this region have utilized kratom leaves medicinally for centuries. Today, kratom products provide numerous benefits, from a morning pick-me up to a relaxing nightcap. This herbal supplement also provides emotional support and helps prevent certain diseases. So, what is kratom good for specifically?

WTH is Kratom? – Rob Kowalski

Due to its versatility in effectiveness, kratom has proven beneficial for the following ailments and conditions:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Chronic pain
  • Insomnia
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Low cognitive function
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Respiratory problems
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Opiate and alcohol withdrawal
  • Chemotherapy side effects
  • Low immunity

What Are the Positive Effects of Kratom?

Depending on dosage, form and type, kratom can produce varying positive effects. In general, however, it acts as a stimulant in smaller doses and a sedative in larger doses.

Therefore, kratom offers the following effects in lower doses:

  • Higher energy
  • Increased focus
  • Better alertness
  • Increased sex drive
  • More sociability
Bare feet of a man and a woman coming out of the bed sheets.
Kratom Has Been Reported to Improve Sex Drive (Image Source: Pexels)

In higher doses, kratom can provide the following positive effects:

  • Pain relief
  • Shorter sleep latency
  • Better sleep quality
  • Mood enhancement
  • Cough suppression
  • Relief from diarrhea
  • Prevention and maintenance of certain diseases
  • Antioxidant properties

What Are Antioxidant Properties?

Put simply, an antioxidant inhibits oxidation processes in your body. Many foods contain micronutrients that act as important antioxidants. Although your cells need oxygen to metabolize essential nutrients, there is also a dark side to oxidation that comes in the form of free radicals.

A stressed looking woman.
Excessive Oxidation From Free Radicals Can Cause Oxidative Stress (Image Source: Pexels)

Excessive oxidation from free radicals can cause oxidative stress. This condition is responsible for the aging process, poor immunity and certain types of diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer. Therefore, antioxidants are vital for your overall health, and kratom is an ideal antioxidant.

Kratom’s Antioxidant Properties

Scientific research supports both kratom’s antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. These are partially due to an active alkaloid known as mitragynine. Types of kratom that have the highest levels of this alkaloid include Bali, Borneo and Indo strains. In addition, kratom is rich in a flavonoid known as epicatechin. This compound has been linked to reduced glucose levels in those with diabetes, better heart health and anti-cancer effects.

How Does Kratom Affect the Brain?

Those with particularly inquiring minds often wonder, “How does kratom affect the brain?” Kratom affects the brain in two primary ways: sedation or stimulation. The active alkaloids responsible for these effects are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. With higher doses of kratom, these compounds bind to opioid receptors in the brain and produce sedation, euphoria and pain relief. In lower doses, they interact with different brain receptors to provide increased energy, focus, alertness and sociability.

Architect focused on work.
Kratom Helps With Focus and Alertness (Image Source: Pexels)

Kratom Formulations

In general, the benefits and effects of kratom herb remain the same. However, specific effects will be found more readily in certain kratom formulations and strains. To clarify, the term “formulation” refers to the method of ingestion. Forms of kratom include:

  • Crushed leaf
  • Powder 
  • Capsules
  • Tablets
  • Liquid

Different forms of kratom lend themselves to different methods of consumption. In addition, they come with different potencies and dosage guidelines. For instance, users can brew kratom powder into a tea or ingest it using the “toss and wash” method (spooning it into your mouth and washing it down with a beverage). Using a scale, it’s easy to measure out any conceivable dose of kratom powder. This form is good for beginners to test out their tolerance and sensitivity before jumping to a more potent, pre-dosed form.

In order to avoid kratom’s bitter taste and pungent odor, many users prefer either kratom capsules or kratom tablets. Both of these forms offer the benefit of convenient, pre-labeled dosing, as well as portability when you need your kratom on the go.

Finally, kratom in liquid extract form offers the most potency. For users who have built up a tolerance to lower doses of kratom or who need a powerful form to relieve more severe symptoms, a tincture or alkaloid suspension generally fits the bill.

Kratom Strains

The term “strain” refers to types of kratom that come from different varieties of the kratom tree and the geographic origin of these varieties. Different varieties of Mitragynine speciosa have different colored veins in their leaves. They also come from different locations. These are both represented in a kratom strain’s name. For instance, you will run across strains with names like Green Malay (Malaysia) or Red Thai (Thailand).

The various strains of kratom will extend its specificity in resolving various symptoms. For instance, users report that Yellow Vietnam kratom offers the unique combination of increased energy and pain relief. In contrast, White Vietnam kratom is known for relatively strong stimulant effects.

Is Kratom Bad for Your Heart?

For those wondering, “Is kratom bad for your heart?,” kratom is not bad for your heart in and of itself. However, increase your heart rate when taken in larger doses or while using certain other substances. Therefore, it’s advised that you consult with your physician before using kratom products if you are currently taking prescription medications. It’s also important to note that it’s not wise to use kratom along with mind altering substances like alcohol or illicit drugs.

What Is Kratom in a Nutshell?

Kratom leaves.
What Are The Positive Effects of Kratom? (Image Source: Wikimedia)

A common question from those new to kratom is “What is kratom and what are the benefits? ,” or more specifically, “What are the positive effects of kratom?.” The bottom line is that kratom is an herbal supplement that provides a diverse array of benefits. Depending on the form, strain and dosage, kratom can provide you with anything from hours of increased energy and focus to an invigorating good night’s sleep.