Many people use kratom to boost energy and focus or to relieve pain, anxiety and depression. It’s also used to treat withdrawal symptoms from prescription or illicit drugs. However, more clinical research is needed to confirm kratom benefits.
The tropical plant Mitragyna speciosa, which is related to coffee trees, has long been a popular stimulant and mood booster in Asian countries like Thailand and Malaysia. People chew leaves or brew the dried leaves into tea to experience its invigorating effects. It’s also sold in capsule, powder and extract form. Today, it is available in health food stores and online.
It can cause serious and dangerous side effects if taken in high doses or with other substances. Its alkaloids interact with brain opiate receptors to induce pain relief and altered state of mind. These effects can last for hours or even days and vary by person. Typical side effects include increased work capacity, alertness and sociability, but some report tremors and loss of coordination. It may also cause constipation, sedation and weight loss in some.
Kratom is not regulated by the FDA, so it’s important to know where your product came from and if it was contaminated with other drugs or chemicals. Also, kratom may show up on drug tests because it remains in the body for up to two weeks. However, it is a safe alternative to opioids when used responsibly. Using a reputable vendor that offers a money-back guarantee and lab-tested products is the best way to avoid the risks associated with this natural supplement.