Kratom (mitragyna speciosa, kratom, kratom, krathom, ithang, kakuam, thom, ketum, biak) is a rare tree from the Madder family (coffee relative), common in Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea.
Mitragyna speciosa reaches 50 feet in height; branch spread is over 15 feet. The trunk is straight and branching. The leaves are dark green, glossy, smooth; simple, large (3-20 cm by 2-12 cm), are located crosswise and have stipules. Stipules – lanceolate and pronounced. The lamina is leathery, elliptical, obovate, slightly hairy on the bottom, with unexpressed tertiary veins, with a sharp tip and a round base with several pronounced secondary veins. The scape is narrow. There are 2 types of kratom, according to the color of the leaf veins (red or green / white). A study among Kratom Thais found that most preferred a mixture of both varieties; after the mixture, a variety with red veins is usually consumed, then with green ones. Australian researchers report that red and green veins appear at different times on different plants, cloned from the same maternal.
Kratom is evergreen rather than deciduous, and the leaves are constantly shed and refreshed, but there is a quasi-seasonal leaf fall due to the environment. During the dry season, the leaves fall faster, and during the rainy season – grow faster. Grown outside the natural habitat Kratom drops leaves when the temperature drops to 4 degrees Celsius.
In the biochemical sense, kratom, is similar to plants: corynanthe, cinchona and uncaria. Kratom leaves contain more than 25 alkaloids. The content of alkaloids depends on the area and on the season. In each place of growth there is a quantitative change in the content of alkaloids depending on the time of year. The main alkaloids are: mitraginine, 7-hydroxy-nitraginine (7-OHM), epicatechin (a powerful antioxidant found in dark chocolate and closely related to EGCG, which gives green tea its beneficial properties), raubasine (best known from rauwolfia serpentina), corinthaeidin, and corinthaeidin, and for cinnanteidin; Specogenin, Mitraversin, Ricofillin, Specocyliatin, Stipulatin.
Mitraginine is the dominant alkaloid of the plant. He was first singled out in 1907 by D. Hooper. This process was repeated in 1921 by I. Field, who gave this name to the alkaloid. For the first time, its structure was completely defined in 1964 by D. Zacharias, R. Rosenstein and I. Jeffrey. Structurally, this alkaloid is similar to the yokhimbe alkaloids and wokangin. Its relationship with other psychedelic substances based on tryptamine, such as LSD or psilocybin, is less pronounced. Chemically, mitraginine is called 9-methoxy-corinantheidine. Its molecular formula is C23H30N2O4, and its molecular weight is 398.5. Base mitraginine looks like a white non-crystalline powder, melting at 102-106 degrees, and boiling at 230-240 degrees. It dissolves in alcohol, chloroform and acetic acid. Hydrochloride salt dissolves at 243 degrees.
Mitraginine is carried out through the delta and mu-opioid receptors. At low dosages, mitragynine exhibits a link to alpha-adrenergic receptors, in the manner of yohimbine, as well as a link to the delta-opioid receptors. As the dose increases, the link to the delta receptors increases; This is followed by a mu receptor crossover. The opioid effects of mitraginine are comparable to codeine in strength. Mitraginin suppresses cough and anesthetizes. Unlike codeine, mitraginine suppresses coughing without causing vomiting and difficulty breathing.
Classic kratom consumers are peasants, laborers and farmers who use kratom to somehow brighten up the disgusting reality and more easily cope with heavy physical work and exhausting work in the field. In Bangkok, the drivers of an amazing tuk-tuk vehicle (a mixture of moped and Oka car) use Kratom as a means of allowing them to always feel fresh and filled with vitality. Women are much less likely to use kratom than men, perhaps due to the fact that kratom is associated primarily with hard, heavy loads, while women tend to do household chores. The average age of a kratom consumer is usually greater than the age of a consumer of other substances. Highly dependent people usually chew Kratom 3-10 times a day.
Traditional use in Thailand goes back in time, and its beginning can not be determined. The first reference to Kratom in Western literature was Lo, who wrote in 1836 that Malaysians used the plant as a substitute for opium, if the latter was unavailable or too expensive.In some parts of Thailand, it is believed that parents will give out their daughters for those who use kratom, rather than for those who use marijuana.
There is an opinion that those who use kratom are hardworking, and those who use marijuana are lazy. This view is supported by many people who report that they have begun to use the plant because of the desire to work more efficiently; They claim that Kratom creates a steady desire to work.
Although some people (primarily in Thailand) have become addicted to kratom, the plant does not form addiction if it is used wisely: addiction is possible only if kratom is used in doses high enough for mu-receptor crossover.
In 1895, E.M. Holmes identified kratom as mitragyna speciosa, and reiterated its use as a substitute for opium. In 1907, L. Vrey described methods of application such as smoking, chewing, and tea. Hoping that the active chemical component can be discovered and investigated for medical use, Vray sent the leaves of a kratom and a related plant, mitragyna parvifolia, to the University of Edinburgh; it was from these samples that Field identified mitraginine (and mitraversin from m. parvifolia).
In 1930 I.Kh. Burkill wrote that kratom was also used as a poultice for wounds and as a cure for fever.
Kratom has a high potential for use in medicine as a safer and cheaper alternative to methadone: it has the ability to alleviate the withdrawal syndrome from morphine-like opiates, since it itself contains opioid agonists. There are more recent findings indicating that mitragynine has been used in New Zealand to cure methadone addiction. According to this information, the patient smoked kratom every time he felt withdrawal symptoms; the treatment period was 6 weeks. The patient reported vivid hypnagogic dreams.In 1999, Pennapa Sapcheron, director of the National Institute of Thai Traditional Medicine in Bangkok, said that Kratom can be used both to treat addiction to opiates and to treat patients suffering from depression, but stressed the need for further research. Chemists at Chulalongkorn University have identified mitragynin, which researchers can get to study.
Developing a study plan for ibogaine, the American activist of the Healing, not War movement, Dana Beale, suggested using mitraginine as an active placebo for comparison during the study. Acting Deputy Director of NIDA, Charles Grudzinkas rejected this proposal, arguing that even less is known about mitraginine than about ibogaine.
In addition to being used as a psychoactive plant, Kratom is used by Malaysian healers for deworming, improving blood circulation, improving tone, suppressing cough and diabetes symptoms. It is also used for such ailments as an enlarged spleen; It has an anesthetic effect and promotes wound healing: fresh leaves of M. Speciosa are crushed and applied to wounds. It is used as a remedy for diarrhea, fever.
In pure form:
In Thailand, usually fresh leaves are chewed (removing the central vein). To avoid constipation, add salt to the leaves. Dry leaves can also be chewed, but since they are too hard, they are crushed into powder and chewed. Eating leaves is usually accompanied by washing them down with something hot — for example, water or coffee.
You can also make an extract if you boil the leaves in water, evaporate the liquid and collect the remaining pasty residue. Such a thing can be stored for a long time, for later use. Small balls of this paste can be swallowed, or brewed as tea. Some people add regular tea, honey and sugar.Tea:
To make tea, pour the leaves with water and boil over low heat for 15 minutes, then drain, pour with fresh water and repeat it 2-3 times. Pour all of the tea together and boil until the volume is reduced. Some people like to combine kratom tea with regular black tea or other herbal teas. You can add sugar or honey to sweeten it.
The uniqueness of this plant is that not a large dose usually works as a stimulant (but not always), but large doses as a relaxant. And this is understandable, because active alkaloids (primarily mitragine) also have a stimulating and soothing effect.
The article titled “How Ketum Is Abused”, which was published in a Malay newspaper in 2005, mentions several unusual uses: “Leaves can also be mixed with dried coconut, ginger, onions, nutmeg and lime, wrapped in daun kaduk ( wild pepper leaves) and chew like daun sirih (betel nut). ” Also, some of them smoke, but the effect of smoking is noticeably weaker.
Effects of stimulant (5-10 gr):
Lots of physical energy, and sometimes sexual. Increased ability to do monotonous physical work. A person becomes more talkative, sociable, and more friendly. At the level of stimulation, the mind is more attentive.
Soothing, sedative, analgesic effect (10-15 g):
The first effects begin 10 minutes after taking the tea; the effect manifests itself in pleasant waves running through the body, especially in the limbs. After 30 – 45 minutes, the effect is greatly enhanced. Euphoria comes and the body feels great. Pain disappears, or loses its meaning. Some itching or sweating is experienced. Nausea is possible. The effect lasts about 2 hours at full strength; then pleasant post effects for another 2 hours. In addition, kratom may cause an inability to focus the vision.
Kratom excites opioid delta and mu receptors, but also gives effects uncharacteristic for opiates: it changes vision, makes colors brighter, causes unobtrusive hallucinations, euphoria, a feeling of unity with nature. The plant encourages the body and mind to work and learn; gives a feeling of complete well-being.
Kratom cannot be combined with stimulants (yohimbine, cocaine, amphetamine, caffeine in high doses) because of the danger of over-stimulation and an increase in blood pressure. Can not be combined with depressants (alcohol in large quantities, benzodiazepines, opiates) because of the possibility of breathing problems.
Kratom can be combined with ordinary black tea, with tea from red poppy flowers (papaver rhoeas), which itself has a slight narcotic effect, and with tea from blue lotus (nymphaea caerulea). Can be combined with a small amount of alcohol, smoking tobacco or cannabis.
Health problems are unlikely if you do not use kratom every day. In Thailand, there are people who use it every day and it has become a habit. They have noticed weight loss, dark pigmentation of the face (especially on the cheeks, which makes a person resemble a patient with hepatitis) and physical problems if they quickly stop taking it. Physical problems are pain in the muscles (breaking), irritability, they may scream, snot from the nose flow, diarrhea, and cramps. 30% of people who are constantly taking Kratom experience a decrease in sexual desire, they need to take a mixture of Kratom and alcohol in order to experience sexual arousal.