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100 facts about Kratom


Known as Kratom, its botanical name is Mitragyna speciosa.


It was given its botanical name Mitragyna speciosa, by Pieter Korthals a botanist who worked for the East India Company in 1839.


Kratom is from the same plant family as the coffee plant, rubiacecia and like coffeeKratom is also a stimulant.


Its leaves are mini pharmacy full of plant pharmaceuticals and chemicals beneficial to human health.


Kratom is indigenous to Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea.

Ahmad and Aziz 2012


Its an evergreen tree that can grow to a height of around 25 m or 80 feet tall. The leaves are dark green and glossy and oval in shape with 12 to 17 pairs of veins.


There are three strains of Kratom – white, red and green vein kratom. They differ in their pharmacological effects. Red vein, for example, is solely a product of Thailand. According to internet drug forums, red vein kratom is known to be more sedative, whereas green and white kratom are the more stimulating strains.


It was used by male manual labourers to enhance physical endurance and as a means to overcome stress.

Ahmad and Aziz, 2012


Historically, kratom was used as a treatment for malaria, cough, hypertension, diarrhoea, depression, pain killer and fever reduction.

Griffin et al 2016


There is also an early record of kratom being used in Thailand and Malaysia as an affordable opium substitute.

Tanguay, 2011


as a herbal medicine Kratom has the following actions;

Analgesic(pain), antipyretic (fever), antitussive (prevent cough), antidiarrheal,euphoric, anti-depressant, and anxiolytic (reduces anxiety)

Ling-Yi Feng et al 2017


Kratom can be ingested in many forms, including smoking or chewing the leaves;

brewing the leaves into a tea;

powdered leaves in capsule or pill form;

or an extract can be made into a liquid dose.

Additives, such as sugar or honey, are often added to kratom to reduce its bitter taste.

Griffin et al 2016



Kratom is not a drug, an opiate or a synthetic substance. It is a naturally occurring plant medicine.

American Kratom Association


The key psychoactive compounds in Kratom are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynin. But there are more than 40 compounds in kratom leaves.

Shellard 1974


The mitragynine contents in kratom vary with location and season. When kratom tree is grown in Southeast Asia, the amounts of mitragynine tend to be higher, but in elsewhere they tend to be low or non-existent.

Ward et al. 2011



The pharmacology of kratom is still being developed and so what we know is still the subject of on going research and debate.

Warner et al 2016


Kratom has been described as exerting both stimulant (at low doses), sedative (at high doses).

Babu et al., 2008


Whole leaves of kratom are stimulating while mitragynine is a depressant, suggesting the pharmacological importance of secondary alkaloids.

Shellard, 1989


The effects of the main alkaloids, i.e., mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine have mainly been explained by interactions with the opioid, serotonin and dopamine receptors.

Boyer et al 2008


7-hydroxymitragynine found is Kratom has been shown to be 13 times stronger than morphine in animal studies.

Matsumoto et al 2004)

Health benefits


Kratom is recognised as a remedy for opioid withdrawal

The predominant alkaloid of kratom, mitragynine, binds with the mu- and kappa-opioid receptors, but has additional receptor affinities that might augment its effectiveness at mitigating opioid withdrawal.

Boyer et al 2008


At least two studies have demonstrated that mitragynine exerts an antidepressant effect. So Kratom could be used to treat depression.

Kumarnsit et al., 2007

Idayu et al. 2011


Kratom has traditionally been used to improve libido and sexual performance.

Cinosi et al 2015


Research suggests that Kratom reduces food and water intake leading to a suppression of body weight gain and to weight loss.

Kumarnsit et al., 2006)


Kratom has also been used to self-manage alcohol withdrawal symptoms according to a German study.

Havemann-Reinecke, 2011


Users on the website report the following effects:

euphoria, a sense of wellbeing, relaxation, enhanced sociability, more energy, analgesia and sensory enhancement

Swogger et al., 2015


Kratom is used as a traditional medicine in Thailand and Malaysia in cases of chronic musculoskeletal pain, coughs, diabetes and hypertension.

Pantano et al 2016


Kratom as a stimulant, increases physical energy is increased, the mind is more focused and one feels more motivated to get things done.

Swogger et al., 2015


According to another study Kratom has an anti-inflammatory effect.

Shaik Mossadeq et al., 2009

Warnings and precautions


You should never drive, operate heavy machinery, use power tool or climb ladderswhile under the influence of kratom.

C Ulbricht et al. J Diet Suppl 10 (2), 152-170. 6 2013


Kratom products are sold in a wide variety of forms and as a result kratom products can vary in their mitragynine concentration.


According to one research paper Kratom should be used cautiously with patients who have thyroid disorders, liver disorders, gastrointestinal disorders or neurologic disorders.

C Ulbricht et al. J Diet Suppl 10 (2), 152-170. 6 2013


More recently, kratom has gained popularity among young people for its euphoric effects giving a ‘legal’ high and as an alternative to other sedative and stimulant type drugs and caution should be excised when using stimulates.

Warner et al., 2016


Combinations of kratom with other substances are also being sold via the internet promising a more powerful high.

One such concoction is ‘krypton’ which combines powdered Kratom leaves with O-Desmethyltramadol.

Nine cases of death in less than a year linked to the overdose of this combination in Sweden.

Kronstrand et al. 2011


Avoid during pregnancy or lactation, and with children, due to a lack of available evidence.

C Ulbricht et al. J Diet Suppl 10 (2), 152-170. 6 2013


Kratom’s stimulating and analgesic effects means that it can be beneficial for sports performance enhancement.

Kratom has been detected in professional sports. In 2015, for the first time, mitragynine was detected in four official doping control samples originating from strength sports.

Guddat et al 2016



Kratom can interact with;

alcohol, pain killers (analgesics), benzodiazepines, caffeine, cocaine, diuretics, gastrointestinal agents, hepatotoxins, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI’s) – anti depressants, neurological agents, opioids, sedatives, stimulants and thyroids hormones.

Ulbricht et al 2013