This includes Kratom — a Southeast Asian plant used as a stimulant, pain reliever, and sedative (depending on strain and dose).
As with any new substance, the population has met Kratom with mixed reviews.
Anecdotal evidence mainly claims it’s a positive life-changer, while the FDA has tried to make it a schedule I drug.
To help you sort through the chaos of Internet fables and facts, here’s what you need to know to answer your question, “is Kratom healthy?”
What Is Kratom?
The tropical tree mitragyna speciosa grows in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea.
Its leaves contain alkaloids and other properties which affect people in a few different ways, depending on the strain and dose.
While it’s a psychostimulant, it’s not hallucinogenic or mind-altering.
It’s become more popular in Western cultures due to its list of benefits. While research is still pending on many of these, we’d like to propose 5 incredible reasons why it may help you.
1. It Boosts Energy
The Kratom tree is a part of the same family that coffee is in (rubiaceae).
So, it makes sense that many strains of Kratom give you energy.
It speeds up metabolic processes, which in turn increases your blood flow and hormone levels. When these bodily functions become enhanced, so does energy, sexual stimulation, and mental focus.
Strain such as Maeng Da, Green Indo, and Green Vein Kali increase your energy and productivity.
2. It Relaxes You
Even though Kratom is a psychostimulant, it relaxes the body and causes people to feel at ease.
It’s an anxiolytic substance, meaning it reduces chronic stress, depression, anxiety, and mood swings.
Some strains, such as Red Vein Kali, also have sedative qualities. This means Kratom can help with insomnia if you take sedative strains before bed, with the right dosage.
Stress and anxiety lead to insomnia, as well as gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory disorders, and heart disease.
Thus, Kratom provides an alternative healing option for many people suffering from stress, anxiety, and insomnia.
3. It Improves Your Immune System
Increased blood flow results in higher oxygenation of cells, which is a really good thing for your immune system and all other body systems.
Kratom’s use in Southeast Asia includes being an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant.
Researchers think Kratom may also be a promising anticancer plant.
4. You Can Consume It In Different Ways
You can take Kratom as a tea, mix it into food, or swallow it in a capsule.
You can take the powder straight with water, but you should put the water in your mouth first to prevent it from sticking to your throat.
This may not seem like a health benefit of Kratom, but having multiple modes of ingestion is important for people who have difficulty swallowing pills or can’t stomach the bitter plant. Basically, it makes the medicine available to more people who need it.
5. It Relieves Pain
We saved the biggest benefit and the most common reason it’s used for last.
Kratom is a natural pain reliever. The two alkaloids mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine (7-HMG) bind to mu-opioid receptors.
Thus, it creates a similar effect as opioids: it dulls the pain receptors and increases serotonin and dopamine levels.
Roughly 20% of the country’s population suffers from chronic pain and a staggering number of Americans die annually from an opioid overdose.
Many people use Kratom to manage their pain without prescriptions. This is beneficial to them personally, as they don’t have to deal with some of the horrible side effects of pharmaceuticals.
It’s also good news to America, as the opioid epidemic continues to increase the number of lives taken by pain pills every year.
Strains such as Bali, Maeng Da, and Red Vein Thai offer the most pain relief for users.
In addition to reducing pain, Kratom offers people suffering from opioid addiction a way out. Kratom works with similar opioid receptors, making it easier to manage withdrawal symptoms, without the negative side effects normally present.
Due to this benefit alone, funding of further research should occur to help reverse the detrimental effect of opioids on the health of the nation.
Is Kratom Healthy? Here’s When It Might Not Be
Anything in excess can harm you (even water, for instance).
Complications may arise when people take excessive amounts of Kratom for prolonged periods of time.
On the same note, complications may arise if people take Kratom and have other underlying health issues or prescription medications in their system.
For instance, a person with hypertension shouldn’t regularly take Kratom, as it increases your blood pressure when you use it. Neither should people who take MAOIs.
More research will come out in the next few years, as places like the University of Florida receive millions of dollars to investigate the properties of Kratom.
In the meantime, if you’re interested in taking Kratom, start with a small amount and slowly work towards the amount that feels right for you. If you take prescription medication, talk to your health care provider before taking Kratom.
You can find different strains for your needs online at places like Kratom Connection.
Now that you can answer your question of, “is Kratom healthy”, you can try it for yourself and see if it enhances your health.
Keep taking your education into your own hands. It grows your knowledge and understanding and can boost your quality of life. Our blog can help you do that, so keep reading.