Pieter Willem is a botanist from the 19th century who worked for the east India Company. On one of his expeditions he was able to give us one of the first descriptions of Kratom. He describes the plant’s use in Malaysia as a replacement for Opium, since most of the population could not afford Opium.
At the time, people had consumed Kratom by drinking the roots, smoking the plant, or chewing the leaves. There are also other ways to take kratom. Brought to the university of Edinburgh to be evaluated in 1921, there were various uses for the plant, most important it’s chemicals. Some of the discoveries that were found included psychoactive, poutice and ointments, and treatment for diarrhea and fever.
By 1940, they were able to find three more alkaloids that existed in the plant. In 1943 Thailand decided to make the possession and sale of Kratom illegal, forcing all Kratom trees to be cut down. They did this in order to maintain their most popular industry in tax generation, Opium. The tree can now be bought in places all over the world, has built a more reputable name as a health alternative, and has been withstanding attempts at prohibition for several yers.
Kratom Plant Description
Scientifically known as mitragynaspeciosa, Kratom usually grows 12 feet and 15 feet wide. The tree is mainly green, but it’s leaves and the amount of each component within it can vary based on its environment. The tree’s leaves vary from dark green to red, and can grow over 7 inches.
Leaves feature an oval-like shape and the flowers are yellow and round in shape. Calyx tubes in the plant species is short and shaped similar to a cup with lobes surrounding it. Five-millimeter long corolla tubes and three-millimeter lobes are also some aspects of the plant.
Ingredients of Kratom
There have been 40 compounds discovered in Kratom, which include alkaloids, mitragynine, mitraphylline, seven hydroxymitragynine, and mitragyninepseudoindoxyl. Raubasine and yohimbe such as corynantheidine are also inside of Kratom. There is one element of alkaloid that serves as a calcium channel blocker, and is responsible for NMDA reduction.
It are these alkaloids that help people get off of kratom through a “stepping-down” effect. By using kratom, people are gradually able to reduce the amount of opiates they use until they are free of them.
The leaves and their effects can vary, and this is due to the location of the tree. When the tree is grown outside of its native region of South East Asia, it’s chemical compounds are less concentrated or absent. This is due to the factors in the various environments. The product found on the market is said to be about 1-6% hydroxymirtrogynine and 1% mitragynine. The chemical composition of the tryptamine nucleus may display molecules seen in the serotonin and adrenergic components. In some studies, the mitragynine and phenolic methyl is seen strong, but most pharmacokinetics in the plant species hasn’t been studied such as half-life, protein binding components and other elements.