What is Kratom
Kratom is a very unique herb that offers the body an excellent way to deal with pain from both physical ailments, as well as mental issues, and has often been used to alleviate the stresses caused from detoxification of opiates. Although Kratom is not an opiate it tends to affect similar brain receptors, which in the end, enables it to have similar effects of Kratom without the intense withdrawal symptoms of opiates. Kratom can still be addictive but several reports from users describe the withdrawal symptoms to be approximately half as bad and lasting around half as long.
Kratom, Krathom, Ketum, Cratom, Kakuam, Ithang and Thom is a leafy tree native to Southeast Asia (Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, and elsewhere). Its latin botanical name is Mitragyna speciosa. Kratom trees grow wild in Southeast Asia, and in Thailand, strangely the consumption of the leaf was made illegal. I’ve been lucky enough to visit the countries where kratom grows; my best tree description would be height between 3 & 40 meters depending on the age of the tree and birds eye view would show a circumference spread of over 15 feet. Now the leaves and beautiful, they are a glossy dark green color, very thick and hardy. The biggest leaf I found was around 8 inches in length and 4.5 inches wide. All evergreen trees shed their leaves throughout the year and the shed leaves are replaced with new ones. This ensures a regular supply for those who use the leaves as described in this site. If you plan on growing Kratom plants you should water and feed them regularly, they enjoy rich, fertile soil and plenty of sunlight. There are two areas in the US where Kratom plants can be grown outside all year round. These place are zone 10 climates and small pockets in Southern California and Southern Florida enjoy this luxury. If you not in climate zone 10, you can still grow plants, and they survive very well indoors all year round. I think they are beautiful to look at – so healthy.
If you interested in Kratom traditional use, and most people are – locals would chew the fresh leaves. Western kratom use and fancy super stains of kratom extracts have become more elaborate. Kratom World has section on Kratom uses here. The leaves or powder can be made into tea (which is very bitter tasting), they can be ingested (normally as extracts or powdered leaf) or smoked (resin). A very hard resin extract which is readily available is made by boiling very large amounts of fresh leaves for several hours. The final extract is a dark brown, almost black tar like substance. At room temperature the tar is non tacky but can be molded by hand into balls and washed down with some juice. This is not only traditional but a popular method for western society.
We’ve seen Bali kratom, Thai kratom and Indo kratom amongst a few, but there are two types of kratom leaf – Green (or white) Vein and Red vein. The strongest of the two is the green vein however strength is not always the deciding factor. Some enjoy a more energetic kratom high while some enjoy a more sedative feeling. Thai users actually prefer a mixture of both. They would then enjoy the red-veined alone and then the white-veined alone, then they would have a mixture of both the red-vein and the white-vein.
A very strange choice to make, but one we’ve heard mothers say is – “I’d rather my daughter date a kratom user than a pot smoker”. This is because pot smokers are lazy and kratom users tend to be hard workers. Personally I’d rather my daughter stay away from both.
Kratom use dates back as far as documented history, hence its start can’t be determined. We guess it dates back to when man first roamed this area of the world where kratom grows. There isn’t a single plant, tree or cactus that man hasn’t eaten to see A, does it taste nice, B, does it have any medicinal value, C is it psychoactive or D can it be smoked. Kratom is used as an opium substitute massively moderating opium addiction. It seems that opium addicts can use Kratom to overcome cold-turkey and once the opium addiction is past, many continue to use Kratom, however, many stop using kratom over time and are free from any addiction.
In Malaysia Kratom or ketum (as its known locally) is sold in towns and villages in small booths. They produce a kratom tea named Air Ketum (Kratom Water). This kratom tea preparation starts by boiling fresh leaves for a minimum of two hours and then rapidly cooled by placing the pot into cold water. This rapid cooling gives the Air Ketum a visually appealing chill haze and prevents the hot liquid from melting the plastic cups and burning the hands of the customers who buy kratom tea. According to reports, children as young as 13 buy Air Ketum on their lunch breaks and before school. A typical busy stall will sell some 200 to 300 drinks per day (that’s 20 kilos of fresh leaf boiled per day) – amazing!
To protect the future of this amazing leaf, we ask that you use it responsibly. The last thing we need is the US or European Government banning it. We also encourage growing as many kratom plants as possible; especially if you are located in Florida or California. Your plants can be planted in the ground and sure enough will grow into Kratom trees.