Kratom is an evergreen tree that is native to Southeast Asia. They are particularly prevalent in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand due to their historical medical and recreational uses. In today’s blog post, we will discuss the medical history of the kratom plant and its active components.
Medical History of the Kratom Plant:
The use of Kratom in Southeast Asia is reported at least 150 years ago. Traditionally, its use is documented among laborers for its stimulant effect in hard day labor.
Kratom use was majorly reported as a substitute for opium that was widely used spread in Thailand and Malaysia from the 1830s to the 1920s.
Although kratom is used as a home remedy for pain relief in Southeast Asia, its use is prohibited in Malaysia and Thailand under the Poisons Act 1952. However, its use remains widespread because the tree grows in the area and tea decoctions are readily available in local communities.
In addition, Thailand lifted the ban on Kratom, which can now be used and produced in Thailand for medicinal purposes.
Kratom users in the West are turning to kratom for a variety of reasons, mostly for pain relief or alleviation of withdrawal symptoms. The leaf extract and its various formulations are used primarily by those who need pain relief, want to feel more in control of their mood, or want to wean off prescription drugs or illicit substances.
Alkaloids and the active components of the kratom:
There are more than 27 active components present in kratom leaves. All of these active compounds affect differently on the body depending on the strains and vein color of the leaves. Here is the list of the prominent alkaloids present in kratom.
Kratom leaves generally contain about 1% of total alkaloid content – this is called Ciliaphylline. It doesn’t have strong effects, but acts as an antitussive, preventing cough. Kratom also provides only light sedative and analgesic effects.
It is also less than 1 % of the total chemical composition. Mitraphylline is one of the chemical compounds found in Kratom. It’s not very potent but it does work to boost your immune system naturally.
It is a vasodilating, antihypertensive, anti-leukemic, and immune-stimulant. It can be used to help your muscles smooth and relax as well.
The main active compound in kratom plant leaves is Mitragynine. Kratom products contain approximately 4.4 to 7.5 percent Mitragynine.
It directly binds to the opioid receptor in the brain and spinal cord. It works as a pain reliever.
Mitragynine comes with a unique mechanism of action and pharmacology that’s different from classical opioids like morphine, heroin, or fentanyl.
It has healing effects includes sedative, antitussive, anti-diarrheal, analgesic, stimulating, and adrenergic effects.
Of the total chemical composition of kratom leaf, 6.6% to 7% of alkaloid content is Speciogynine.
It is used as a muscle relaxant and muscle tension. It relives from the effects of nervous anxiety and stress.
It has also sedative, anti-tussive, and anti-diarrheal effects. 7-hydroxy mitragynine acts as partial agonists on opioid receptors. It is also known as an analgesic alkaloid. Its composition ranges between 1.5 to 2.5 percent of total chemical composition.
It contains almost one percent a flavonoid compound. A flavonoid acts as an antioxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-aggregant, anti-hepatitic, anti-diabetic, anti-leukemic, anti-inflammatory, anti-per-oxidant, and anti-mutagenic. It has also anti-viral and potential cancer prevention properties.
One preliminary study has claimed that it can reduce myostatin production, which as a result helps in muscle growth. Thus, it improves strength. This compound is present in green tea (Camellia Sinensis), dark chocolate (present in Theobroma cacao plant), and grapes.
This chemical contains a mild opioid antagonist which is also present in Yohimbe. It is less potent than Mitragynine and other alkaloids. It is less than 1% of the total alkaloid content present in Kratom leaf.
Isomitraphylline also makes less than 1 % content of the total chemical composition. It is known as the major stimulant of the immune system.
It takes less than 1% alkaloid content of the total chemical composition. This chemical is known for mood enhancement. It relieves anxiety and increases focus and concentration.
It comes with immune-stimulant properties. It has a 5-HTP modulator.
Isomitrafoline has similar structure to Isomitraphylline. Its effects are known for immune stimulation. Its concentration is also less than 1 % of the total chemical composition.
This chemical is mainly present in medicinal plants such as Uncaria rhychophylla. The properties of this plant-based chemical helps are neuro diseases. It helps in preventing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It also aids in improving the immune system.
It contains a variable alkaloid content of kratom chemical compostion.9-hydroxycorynantheidine is used with 7-hydroxy mitragynine to speed up pain relief. It is an effective analgesic pain killer.
Rhyncophylline has potent vasodilating properties. You can use it against inflammation and hypertension as it has anti-inflammatory and anti-hypertension properties.