Kratom: Nature's Plant-Based Painkiller

By: @eatyourbeautyblog

Indigenous to Southeast Asia, kratom comes from the leaves of a tropical evergreen tree related to the coffee family. It has been used for centuries as a plant medicine by the natives who chew the leaves for energy as well as for its sedative and pain relieving properties.

The multifaceted, medicinal leaf is becoming increasingly popular in the West for its potent painkilling and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as its ability to boost energy, elevate mood, increase focus and relieve depression and anxiety. Depending on the dosage and the strain, kratom has wide reaching benefits and can work on many levels at once. In small doses, kratomis energizing and acts similarly to a stimulant like caffeine. In larger doses, kratomacts as an analgesic; its alkaloids interact with opioid receptors in the brain to decrease pain and produce sedation and pleasure.

While studies are limited and science does not yet agree on whether or not this medicinal herb has potential risks or side effects; there is no denying that kratom has some powerful healing abilities.

Pain Relief

Kratom is essentially a natural opioid alternative. Its main pain relieving alkaloids, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, bind to opioid receptors in the central nervous system, working to reduce chronic and acute pain. They also release enkephalins and endorphins, which suppress the pain signals. While they possess all the powerful pain killing properties of morphine and oxycodone, they don’t cause the negative side effects typically seen with chronic opioid therapy, such as respiratory failure. This is because kratom doesn’t connect to receptors that control the respiratory system.  In fact, many people use kratom to wean themselves off of opioid addictions as well as other drug and alcohol addictions. 

Energy and Focus

Kratom at a lower dose, has a stimulating effect and can be really helpful with increasing energy by boosting blood circulation and raising oxygen levels in the body. The energy is longer lasting than what you would get from a cup coffee. You aren’t going get an intense burst of energy and then a crash a few hours later. The energy from kratom is more subtle and level.

It also sharpens focus and cognition by releasing the neurotransmitters acetylcholine, dopamine and serotonin, all of which are really important for increasing focus, attention span, motivation and productivity. Kratom also increases sympathetic activity which results in the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline (an adrenaline rush), also contributing to a boost in motivation.

Mood

Kratom can be really helpful for depression as it is a powerful mood booster. Taken in lower doses, kratom’s alkaloids attach to the delta opioid receptors which creates anti-depressant effects. Taken in higher dosages, the alkaloids bind with the mu opioid receptors causing pain relief, sedation and even feelings of euphoria. They also release neurotransmitters such dopamine and serotonin to help create feelings of well being and positivity. These same neurotransmitters can also be really helpful for anxiety and PTSD as they create a sense of calm and reduce stress and nervousness.

Weight Loss

Kratom regulates the satiety center in the hypothalamus region of the brain. This is helpful for people who would like to lose weight as it helps in reducing appetite.

Anti-Inflammatory

Kratom’s primary active alkaloid, mitragynine, has been found to reduce inflammation. It promotes healing and reduces pain, swelling and redness at the site of inflammation.

Antioxidants

Kratom contains powerful antioxidants that are said to be comparable to superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione, two of the most potent antioxidants made by our bodies.

Immune Boosting

Kratom has antimicrobial properties and contains similar immunostimulant alkaloids to those found in cats claw. Cats claw is known for being one of the most powerful antimicrobial, immune boosting herbs.

Insomnia

Some varieties of kratom are highly sedating and can be very helpful for people dealing with insomnia and other sleep issues. These varieties can help you to fall asleep faster have a deeper more restorative sleep.

Kratom Strains

There are three veins or types of kratom; red kratom, green kratom and white kratom. The strains are determined by the color of veins on the plant’s leaves and each strain offers different effects.

Red kratom is the most potent pain reliever and is very calming both physically and mentally. Because of its calming and relaxing properties, its excellent for anxiety and helping with sleep.

Green kratom is also good for pain relief and provides mild euphoria. It’s partially calming but can also promote energy and positivity.

White kratom is all about mental and physical energy. It elicits feelings of euphoria, gives an energetic boost and promotes focus. Its mood boosting properties work well for depression. It’s excellent for feeling sociable and is a great alternative to alcohol. Users report feeling talkative, connected and say it puts them in an overall pleasant mood, all without the damaging effects of alcohol. 

***THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR REGULATED BY THE FDA. WE ARE NOT DOCTORS, THEREFORE ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST.