In recent years, you may have begun to hear a lot of talk about kratom and its purported health benefits. Yet, you are not alone if you are still unsure what kratom does, why people are using it, or what it even is. Kratom, also known as Mitragyna Speciosa, is a tree in the coffee family that is native to Southeast Asia that grows primarily in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. While people in Southeast Asia have been using Kratom for over 150 years, this plant is now beginning to gain popularity in the west as well. Traditionally, people would chew on kratom leaves for their stimulant effects, or they would brew the leaves into a tea as a way to relax, relieve pain, and treat diarrhea. In the United States, kratom is available for purchase in capsule, gum, extract, and powder form. While research into the health benefits of kratom is still relatively new, and more work needs to be done to understand the benefits of its use both recreationally and medicinally, here is a look at just of few of the benefits that people have reported when using kratom.
One of the most common uses of kratom is as an alternative to pain medication. Recent surveys have shown that not only is treatment of chronic pain the most common reason people use this product, but that kratom has also been shown effective at treating chronic pain. While all three strains of kratom are used for pain relief, the red vein strain has been touted for having the best analgesic properties.
Kratom provides pain relief by attaching to opioid receptors in the body. In particular, there is a compound in kratom called 7-hydroxymitragynine that is believed to be up to 13 times more potent than morphine. While kratom targets opioid receptors similarly to opioid medications such as morphine, it is considered an atypical opioid as it selectively inactivates specific signals. It is believed that this is why many people experience fewer side effects with kratom than they do with traditional pain medication while also being significantly less likely to become dependent on the substance, making kratom a great natural pain reliever.
Another common reason people report for using kratom is its ability to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and to provide an overall mood elevation. Various studies have highlighted kratom's potential as a mood enhancer, as research has found that it causes users to experience euphoria and a more optimistic outlook on life. This is due to the fact that, when you consume kratom leaves, mitragynine binds to opioid receptors in the brain that are responsible for mood regulation. As a result, people who use kratom have reported being less depressed and more upbeat. Kratom also has sedative effects that can help those suffering from depression as well. Many people have then begun to turn to kratom as an alternative, natural treatment for anxiety and depression.
Aids in Addiction Recovery
One benefit of kratom that scientists are continuing to learn more about is its potential to aid in addiction recovery. We have already mentioned that kratom can act as a powerful alternative to opioid pain medications, often with fewer side effects. Additionally, kratom has been shown to have a lower dependence potential, and fewer withdrawal symptoms, than addictive opioid painkillers. Not only does this make kratom a great natural alternative for people suffering from chronic pain who want to avoid opioids, but it can also help those who are addicted to opioids on their road to recovery.
Kratom can provide the pain relief these individuals are looking for with fewer side effects, and it has even been shown to treat conditions associated with opioid withdrawal such as nausea, vomiting, sleeplessness, and mood swings. Kratom can then be vital in helping opioid addicts recover by supporting them through the withdrawal period, and since kratom doesn't induce long-term dependency, users can stop taking kratom at any time once it is no longer needed.
A lesser-known benefit of kratom is its potential to help in the prevention and treatment of diabetes. Whether you are considered at risk for diabetes, or you currently have diabetes and are trying to control your weight, kratom could help you to better manage your eating habits and stay healthy by controlling your appetite. This is due to the fact that kratom interacts with dietary receptors located in the hypothalamus, which is the part of the brain responsible for hunger and cravings. Kratom can then help users to control their appetite and avoid trigger foods. It is also believed that kratom leaves contain alkaloids that may be able to help modulate the levels of blood insulin and glucose in the body. This could be critical in helping to prevent the dangerous peaks and drops in blood sugar associated with diabetes, and it could also help prevent diabetes in those who are considered to be at risk.
The Possible Side-Effects
Of course, while using kratom could provide a variety of benefits, as with any supplement, there is always a risk that users will experience side effects to some degree. Fortunately, these side effects are generally rare, and usually mild, but it is important to know what to look out for in case you have a potentially negative reaction to kratom. The most common side effects kratom users have reported include:
- Dry Mouth
- Frequent Urination
- Liver Damage
- And Weight Loss
Side effects seem to be most common in people who take high doses of kratom, as well as in those who take kratom while also using other psychoactive drugs and/or alcohol. Kratom also has the potential to interfere with certain prescription medications, potentially lessening their effect or causing a reaction. As with any supplement or medication, it is then important that you talk to your doctor before you start using kratom in order to ensure that it is safe for you to do so based on your current health and any medications that you may be taking.
However, when taken properly under the guidance of a medical professional, kratom is generally considered to have mild side effects that are generally outweighed by the profound benefits this supplement can provide users with. Feel free to contact us to learn more about kratom and the health benefits that it can provide.