As a holistic medicine you may have only recently heard about, it’s natural to wonder, “Is kratom safe?” After all, unlike green tea or lavender, the type of kratom plant used will make a big difference in the effect of the various product on you. That’s why kratom is often described as either a sedative or a stimulant. For example — the dosage and the variety will determine which effect it has. Because of both its relative newness within the United States, as well the variety of kratom options, kratom may seem mysterious at first.
Is Kratom Safe To Use?
An evergreen tree that grows in southeast Asia, kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is harvested for its medicinal leaves. Over the last several centuries, people in that region have taken advantage of kratom’s benefits by consuming it in various ways, from chewing the leaves directly, to making tinctures and teas. In modern times, it’s possible to order kratom as tea, capsules or extracts.
Kratom is sold and described according to its “strain,” or variety. Different strains of Mitragyna speciosa produce different leaves, all with unique balances of compounds. The most important of these is the alkaloid 7-Hydroxymitragynine, which can be modified in the lab to create mitragynine pseudoindoxyl. Mitragynine pseudoindoxyl is increasingly studied for its painkilling and potentially anti-addictive properties.
Types of Kratom
Kratom products are often sold by vein type — literally, the color of the veins found on the subspecies of various kratom trees. Red-veined kratom leaves have higher levels of 7-hyodroxymitragynine than other varieties and are known for their soothing and anti-anxiety qualities, as well as their pain-killing capabilities.
Green-veined and white-veined kratom leaves have lower levels of 7-hyodroxymitragynine. As a result, people may use them when they need extra energy and anti-depressant qualities.
Within the categories of the color of the veins, specific strains boast specific qualities. Some strains may combine memory enhancement with depression-alleviation, for example, while others may be both stimulating and superior painkillers.
Choosing the Best Strain for You
It’s important to use a reputable source for kratom, one that demonstrates a knowledge of the different types of kratom leaves and the best kratom dosage for various uses. Extracts, capsules, and teas of kratom can be grouped by the veins in the leaves of the kratom. This is where the preparations are derived. These veins signal their chemical compounds and even influence the colors of the extracts and teas. Along with the veins, the shape of the leaves and characteristics of the tree enable distributors to distinguish various types of kratom strains.
White vein strains, for example, are high in the alkaloid mitragynine, which is highly stimulating. These can help with pain-killing and energy enhancement. But it may be too much if you suffer from anxiety or take other stimulating medications or beverages. In general, the key to answering the question about Kratom’s safety lies in understanding your own medicinal needs, as well as how you tend to react to different types of stimulating and sedating products.
Kratom should definitely be used medically, not recreationally. It’s also important to note that kratom is still being studied in the U.S. For that reason, your health team may not know enough about it to recommend it for its beneficial results, much less warn you of possible interactions with your own medical situation. It’s important to ask questions and be sure you have the best possible advice before taking kratom, or other herbal products and dietary supplements.
On your quest to put healthier substances in your body, be mindful that even natural products should be used carefully. How much you use a herbal product or dietary supplement, as well as how frequently, can make the difference between health-enhancement vs. health risk. It’s important to ask your health team to evaluate any products you may be considering to take. This is because medical professionals are more likely to be up to date on the latest studies. In addition, check local regulations for substances which may not be legally sold in your state or region.
Have you consulted your doctor about taking kratom lately? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Disclaimer: As with any natural remedy, please use discretion on the amount and frequency as it can have adverse effects. You can find our full disclaimer here.