Things to consider
Kratom is a tropical tree native to South Asia. Kratom leaves or extracts from its leaves have been used in alternative medicine for chronic pain and other conditions.
Many people also use Kratom to treat symptoms of depression or anxiety.
Although some evidence suggests that certain strains of kratom can help relieve these symptoms, further research is needed.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved kratom for the treatment of depression or anxiety.
Kratom is considered a food supplement, so it is not regulated by the FDA.
If you are thinking of using kratom to treat symptoms of depression or anxiety, be careful.
Read on to find out more about the supposed benefits and potential risks.
How does it work for depression and anxiety?
Technically Kratom is not an opioid, but its effects are similar to opioids such as morphine or codeine.
Kratom’s active ingredient is called mitraginine. Mitaginin binds to opioid receptors in the brain, relieving pain.
This action may be behind the antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects reported by some kratom users.
Currently, there is very little research on the effects of kratom on mood.
A 2017 review confirmed that among some users, kratom improves mood and relieves anxiety.
The researchers also pointed out that kratom can have sedative effects. The researchers have not yet examined whether side effects such as sedation can interfere with its supposed benefits.
Other alleged benefits
Besides depression and anxiety, kratom is said to treat the following conditions:
- muscular pains
- high pressure
- opioid dependence and removal
- post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
According to a 2017 review, other studies report that kratom also has anti-inflammatory, immunity enhancing and appetite suppressant effects.
What is kratom exactly?
Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a tree found in parts of Southeast Asia, including Thailand and Malaysia.
Kratom’s active ingredient, mitragyna speciosa, is found in its leaves.
In lower doses, mitraginin has energetic effects. At higher doses, it has sedative effects.
In parts of Southeast Asia, people have used kratom for centuries. Other names for kratom include:
- kakum / kakuam
Kratom is illegal in many countries around the world, including Australia, Thailand and Denmark.
Although it is legal in the United States, there have been efforts to restrict access and regulate the substance.
How is it used and is it safe to ingest?
Kratom can be ingested in many ways, including:
In some cases, kratom leaves are eaten fresh or dried, or boiled and consumed as tea.
The method of ingestion can influence the effects of kratom. However, there is currently no research to identify which method is preferable in the treatment of depression and anxiety.
Are there different types or deformations?
Different types of kratom are called strains. Most strains of kratom are named after their places of origin.
As with marijuana strains, different strains of kratom have slightly different effects.
Currently, there is no research on the effects of different kratom strains. The following descriptions are based on anecdotal reports only.
It is also important to note that the effects of a specific strain may vary from one supplier to another.
Maeng da refers to several different types of supposedly strong and lasting kratom.
Maeng da originated in Thailand, but Maeng strains from Indonesia and Malaysia are also available. Maeng da can be green, red or white.
It is said to act as a stimulant, increasing energy and at the same time inducing feelings of well-being and reducing pain. Some people report feeling chatty after taking Maeng da.
Indo kratom comes from Indonesia. It can be green, red or white.
Indo kratom is considered less stimulating than other strains, although some types may have mild energetic effects.
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