Mitragyna speciosa (better known as kratom and to a lesser extent as anton, korth, krot, ketum and kratum) is a tree from the madder family (Rubaceae) originating in Thailand, Northern Malaysia, Borneo, New Guinea and Vietnam. This tropical tree grows in the marshy areas of Asia and often grows to be about 4 meters high. Very occasionally it reaches lengths of 16 meters. The Mitragyna tree has an erect stem and forked branches that grow upward. The beautiful large oval leaves are very wide and become 10-15 cm long. If you look at the leaves with a magnifying glass, you will immediately notice diamond shaped drawings on the leaves that are truly characteristic of the kratom tree. The flowers are dark yellow and hang in clusters to the branch. The seeds are winged and are sitting together with thousands on a sphere. The seeds germinate only briefly; about 3 months.
The leaves can be chewed and have about the same effect as chewing coca leaves. When the leaves are gently boiled, all the alkloids extract from the leaves and more than 30 psychoactive substances are released. The interplay between these alkaloids provide the delicious kratom effects. The kratom effect is not a real high but more a tranquilizer which gives an unparalleled peace of mind. Kratom is one of the most beneficial psychoactive herbs available at this time. It should really be referred to as a medicinal herb who has not yet given up all its secrets.
Uses of kratom
In the 19th century, kratom was used as a replacement for heroin and as a curative for opium addiction. There are numerous indole alkaloids present in the plant. The primary constituent is mitragynine, which is easily tolerated by the body and shows barely any toxicity, even in high doses.
Very little is known about the history of traditional uses of Kratom. Some researchers have claimed that in the 19th century the mentally ill were treated with kratom, but there is little evidence. Because Kratom is commonly found throughout a large part of Asia, it is assumed that the natives have been using kratom for a long time. It is probable that working class men chewed the leaves for energy, much like people in Peru chew coca leaves.
Kratom is definitely not a dangerous drug; it's easy to controle and easy to dose. It is surprising that kratom is banned in countries like Thailand, where it grows in the wild and where it originates. One might find it hard to understand that in these countries Kratom is classified as a heavy drug (much like heroin and cocaine), while heavier drugs like salvia, ayahuasca, and mushrooms are no problem at all. Thailand first tried to ban kratom as early as in 1940, but without success because it's still widely used today. Over the course of time, the penalties have become increasingly higher in Thailand. If you get busted with 200 grams of kratom you can get the death penalty, allthough it's rarely performed. A few years in prison is nothing new though.