fbpx

9 Benefits of Kratom: A Natural Alternative to Opioids and Mood Enhancers

Opioid addiction is a serious problem in the United States. In fact, opioid use is the #1 cause of death for US citizens below 50 years of age.1)Link, Rachael. “Why Did the FDA Ban Kratom?” Dr. Axe, May 18, 2020. https://draxe.com/nutrition/kratom/. In 2018, over 168 million opioid prescriptions were filled. That’s enough opioids to medicate half of our population.2) “U.S. Opioid Prescribing Rate Maps.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, March 5, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/maps/rxrate-maps.html.

Opioids carry the risk of addiction, even when taken as prescribed. This is especially dangerous for people with chronic pain, as tolerance to opioids builds up over time, requiring larger and larger doses.

You May Also Enjoy: Overcoming Opioid Addiction Naturally” (Ask Me Anything! Podcast Replay)

However, this doesn’t need to be the end of the story. A plant exists that can be used as an alternative to opioids. It can even help to break people free from opioid addiction. One of its compounds, mitragynine, was found to be more effective at reducing withdrawal symptoms than the commercial pharmaceutical methadone.3)Link, Rachael. “Why Did the FDA Ban Kratom?” Dr. Axe, May 18, 2020. https://draxe.com/nutrition/kratom/.

The plant is called kratom, and many people say that it saved their lives. But government agencies want to make it illegal. Why? Let’s look at the benefits and risks associated with kratom to find out what’s real and what’s hype.

Kratom—The Basics

Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a tropical tree native to Africa and Southeast Asia. It’s a relative of the coffee plant and has been used as a medicinal plant for hundreds (likely thousands) of years.

Traditionally, the leaves have been chewed, smoked, and used in teas for pain relief and to boost energy. Kratom contains a variety of alkaloid compounds, from which it derives its medicinal properties.

The Kratom Rainbow

Kratom comes in a variety of strains. Different strains are distinguished by the vein color of the leaves. Some varieties have stronger stimulating effects, while others are more relaxing. To maximize the benefits of kratom, choose a strain that matches your desired effects.

  • Red—Red kratom is easily the most sedative strain. It is most often used to relieve physical and mental stress and as a mood booster. It is also used for pain and to aid with sleep.
  • YellowThis is a calming strain, like red, but it’s more balanced. Yellow strains are appropriate for general use.
  • GoldGold kratom is generally used to boost alertness, mood, and energy. It tends to produce a stronger euphoric effect than other strains.
  • GreenThis strain is on the stimulating side, but is more balanced than white strains. It is most often used for mental focus, to relieve anxiety/depression, and for a balanced energy boost.
  • WhiteThis is the most stimulating strain. It is most often used to enhance motivation, energy, mental focus, and sexual performance. White strains also tend to produce a more euphoric effect.

9 Benefits of Kratom

Kratom has a number of different beneficial effects. As stated earlier, it helps to break opioid addiction. It reduces the chemical need for opioids by reducing withdrawal symptoms. It also reduces the physical need for opioids by reducing pain and promoting a general feeling of ease and comfort.4)“Government Falsifies Warning About This Popular Opioid Alternative.” Mercola.com. Accessed August 28, 2020. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/12/05/government-falsifies-warning-on-kratom.aspx.

You May Also Enjoy:

“Are CBD Oil and Hemp Oil the Same Thing?”

“Dandelions: 31+ Uses for the King of Weeds”

“10 Benefits of Growing Lavender at Home”

Not only does kratom help people to get off of opioids, but it can also help many people avoid them altogether. Also, kratom doesn’t depress respiratory function, as occurs with opioid use.5)“Government Falsifies Warning About This Popular Opioid Alternative.” Mercola.com. Accessed August 28, 2020. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/12/05/government-falsifies-warning-on-kratom.aspx.

Kratom isn’t just for physical pain. It’s also used for emotional pain. Kratom has anti-anxiety and mood-lifting properties, making it a great support herb for people in high-stress situations, or those dealing with emotional issues. It tends to produce a mild feeling of euphoria. While it can be abused to achieve a “high,” the feeling is less intense than with opioids.6)Link, Rachael. “Why Did the FDA Ban Kratom?” Dr. Axe, May 18, 2020. https://draxe.com/nutrition/kratom/. Normal use produces a feeling more akin to what you feel when you’re having a wonderful day.

Stimulating strains of kratom offer a boost to cognition and concentration, as well as an energy boost. This is similar to the boost you get from drinking coffee, but comes without the unpleasant jittery feeling and increased heart rate that coffee-drinking can cause.7)Link, Rachael. “Why Did the FDA Ban Kratom?” Dr. Axe, May 18, 2020. jQuery('#footnote_plugin_tooltip_925865_1_7').tooltip({ tip: '#footnote_plugin_tooltip_text_925865_1_7', tipClass: 'footnote_tooltip', effect: 'fade', predelay: 0, fadeInSpeed: 200, delay: 400, fadeOutSpeed: 200, position: 'top right', relative: true, offset: [5, 5], });" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">https://draxe.com/nutrition/kratom[/note]

Anecdotally, kratom is also said to have some less-celebrated, but still significant, properties:8)Link, Rachael. “Why Did the FDA Ban Kratom?” Dr. Axe, May 18, 2020. https://draxe.com/nutrition/kratom/.

  • Anti-leukemia
  • Anti-malaria
  • Blood-sugar lowering
  • Anti-inflammation

How to Use Kratom

Dosing for kratom is highly individual. Most people find 2–4 pills (around 2–4 grams) per 160 pounds (72.57 kg) of body weight to be effective. But you should start with a small amount (1 pill, or 1 gram) and gradually increase your dosage to see what works for you.

Kratom’s effects can also be dose-dependent. Smaller doses tend to have a more stimulating, energizing effect, while larger doses tend to be more sedating, though this varies by strain.

 

Uomo vitruviano / CC BY-SA

How Dangerous Is Kratom?

The federal government wants to make kratom a schedule 1 controlled substance. Some states have already done this. To qualify for this category, a substance must have no known medical use and have a high potential for abuse. Schedule 1 substances include drugs such as heroin, ecstasy, and bath salts. But does kratom deserve to be on this list?

Claim: “Kratom has no known medical uses.”
Verdict: False

But it’s not just me saying that. Pharmaceutical companies have patents coming out for new kratom-based drugs. Would they really spend the money on this research and development if kratom had no medicinal uses?

Claim: “Kratom has a high potential for abuse.”
Verdict: False

Kratom can be abused to achieve a high, but this is not how it is commonly used. A kratom high is also not as intense as the high experienced with most other drugs, making it a less popular choice for abuse. Kratom can be addictive, but it’s more on the level of coffee addiction.9)“Why The FDA Is Going After Kratom.” Mercola.com. Accessed August 28, 2020. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2018/02/20/kratom.aspx.

This is not to say that kratom is without any risk or that you can pop kratom pills like candy. Most trouble comes from very high doses taken over long periods of time. Still, you should respect the plant and do your own research to make the best decision for you.

You May Also Enjoy:

“Gardening When You Have a Bad Back”

“How to Garden When You’ve Got Back or Knee Problems”

“Grow Your Own Simple Backyard Pharmacy … Just Like Grandma’s!”

The most common side effects of kratom include sweating, dizziness, nausea, and dysphoria. Long-term and high-dose kratom use has been associated with hyperpigmentation of the cheeks, tremors, anorexia, and weight loss.10)Link, Rachael. “Why Did the FDA Ban Kratom?” Dr. Axe, May 18, 2020. https://draxe.com/nutrition/kratom/. Long-term kratom abuse is also sometimes associated with psychosis, though this is disputed. The claim could be true, but it’s very reminiscent of “reefer madness” propaganda.

Some of those side effects are scarier than others, though none of them sound pleasant … except the weight loss. But compare that with the listed side effects of Aleve, a popular over-the-counter pain reliever:

Blood clots, heart attack, stroke—all of which can be fatal. Intestinal bleeding, ulcers, and fatal intestinal perforation.

And all of those are from taking it as intended. It kind of puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?

You May Also Enjoy:

“How to Make Your Own Tinctures, Salves, and Essential Oils”

“Calendula: Lymph Mover, Detoxifier, Cancer Fighter, and Skin Beautifier”

“5 Reasons Why CBD Is Such a Big Deal

Kratom has some potential for addiction, but not as much as opioids. Kratom has some potential for abuse, but not as much as opioids. Kratom has some risk involved in taking it, but not as much as opioids. Are you seeing a pattern?

So why would the government push to make kratom illegal? This is just a guess, but perhaps it’s because a plant isn’t patentable. The pharmaceutical industry makes money from opioids and from the drugs that end opioid addiction. Kratom stops that cash flow at both ends. Pharmaceutical companies can’t reclaim that money unless they make kratom illegal for you and me. And if they transform kratom into a patented drug, they have a brand-new source of revenue.

But that’s just one theory.

Other Concerns

Kratom alkaloids can cross the placenta. Babies have been born with kratom-withdrawal symptoms. Until research shows us otherwise, kratom should be avoided during pregnancy.

Mixing kratom with other drugs may carry risks. This is more of a reasonable precaution than a confirmed danger. Plants and drugs do interact and can produce dangerous side effects. We have no reason to believe that kratom will be different. Many people have used kratom while gradually weaning off of opioids. However, this is not a guarantee of safety. Consult a medical professional (preferably one that has experience with kratom) before mixing kratom with pharmaceuticals.

Lastly, you should choose a reliable kratom supplier. As kratom becomes more popular, unscrupulous retailers will see the opportunity to make money with a less expensive, inferior product. Choose a supplier that uses third-party testing to ensure you are getting high-quality kratom without any additives or impurities mixed in.

Kratom can be a lifesaver to some and an aid to many others. Like anything else, it has the potential for misuse and should be used wisely. But its risk-to-reward ratio looks a lot better than the opioids it’s replacing!

What Do You Think?

If you have any kratom experiences, testimonials, or concerns, let us know in the comments. And if you’d like to contact your representatives in government to tell them not to outlaw kratom, then that’s great, too!

__________________

Psst! Our Lawyer Wants You to Read This Big, Bad Medical Disclaimer –> The contents of this article, made available via The Grow Network (TGN), are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice; the content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information provided by TGN. Reliance on any information provided by this article is solely at your own risk. And, of course, never eat a wild plant without first checking with a local expert.

(Visited 1,325 times, 1 visits today)

References

References
1, 3, 6, 8, 10 Link, Rachael. “Why Did the FDA Ban Kratom?” Dr. Axe, May 18, 2020. https://draxe.com/nutrition/kratom/.
2 “U.S. Opioid Prescribing Rate Maps.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, March 5, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/maps/rxrate-maps.html.
4, 5 “Government Falsifies Warning About This Popular Opioid Alternative.” Mercola.com. Accessed August 28, 2020. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/12/05/government-falsifies-warning-on-kratom.aspx.
7 Link, Rachael. “Why Did the FDA Ban Kratom?” Dr. Axe, May 18, 2020. 9 “Why The FDA Is Going After Kratom.” Mercola.com. Accessed August 28, 2020. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2018/02/20/kratom.aspx.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Categorised in:

This post was written by The Grow Network

COMMENTS(3)

  • mbellibivar says:

    where can i order kratom from?

    1. Linzi says:

      Hi Mbellibivar! We are currently evaluating the possibility of sourcing and offering this herb under our own brand. But in the meantime, we have partnered with a local brand to bring our community the opportunity of purchasing some of the best Kratom currently available. This is a limited-time offer, so if you’d like to order, I’d reccomend that you take advantage of this now – https://thegrownetwork.com/kratom-group-buy-offer

  • Emily Sandstrom says:

    I sent this article to a medical person who has serious medical problems. Here is her response:
    I am educated about/ with kratom. It has quite a few undesirable side effects. I believe it would be helpful for heroin withdrawals though. Unless the person gets the awful skin itch it causes. Also. Tolorance happens very fast. That is why I say it could be helpful for heroin withdrawal since that can be over in a week. People who get addicted to heroin have to fight the psychological desire to WANT to feel like anything but themselves!!! Benzodiazpines are very different. Since they cause severe injury to the central nervous system that(in as little as 9 days) takes years to heal. Once a person is tolorant to it. They do NOT get any feeling of calm ( or what ever people may think it does. Since it does NOTHING!) Until the person who became psylogically ( body functions) dependent. So if they stop taking it as in cold turkey? It can be fatal. People WILL become seriously ill. Severe seizures, heart attack, stroke. I have had PERSONAL experience with that. I have lived it. So I speak “from doing” not by reading. Which is in this circumstance I wish I did NOT get the education. I DO. When requested, talks in public awareness. To doctors!!! I am asked to speak at medical forums. Which I am happy to, in order to, prevent others from having to suffer, due to ignorance ( or indifference?) on the part of the stinking medical field.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.