Kratom is a tropical plant from southeast Asia. It can offer benefits such as pain reduction, euphoria, mood enhancement, and energy. It usually comes in the form of powdered leaf, although it can also be acquired as crushed leaves, to make tea, and extracts.
If you’ve read about kratom before or looked at a vendor’s selection, you’ve probably noticed that kratom comes in many strains. Maeng Da, Bali, and Malay are some of the most common. The color of the vein, which is broken down here by Kratom Gardens, is also listed.
Different strains have different effects. Some, like Maeng Da, are more energizing whereas some, like Bali, are more euphoric and sedating. Read about them to determine what sounds right for you, and don’t be afraid to try out multiple strains. This video by Chris Kratom does a great job of breaking down their differences. Of course, this is his own experience. Other forums and content creators will all offer different perspectives.
What’s a Potentiator?
A potentiator is essentially a substance that interacts with another in a way that enhances its effects. Kratom potentiators synergize with kratom to increase certain effects or the length of time the effects last for.
Using potentiators can give you better effects from the same dosage. It can also allow you to use less kratom to get your desired effects. Over time, this can lower the amount of money you have to spend, and using less kratom will mean you won’t build as strong of tolerances to it.
The Most Beneficial Kratom Potentiators
Orange Juice and Grapefruit Juice
One common way of taking kratom involves mixing the powder with a liquid before drinking it. Orange juice and grapefruit juice mix with kratom very well, and they also act as potentiators. In my experience, orange juice works the best, but many prefer grapefruit juice.
If you take your kratom some other way, such as toss and wash, you can drink some orange or grapefruit juice afterward to achieve the same results.
Lemon juice can have similar effects to its citrus fruit cousins, oranges and grapefruits. Many like to squirt lemon juice into their kratom concoctions. The acidity is thought to cause its potentiating effects, and it also can help with the taste.
Green tea is full of antioxidants and can provide energy to those who drink it. Combining this with kratom can offer a nice productive buzz. Also, the taste of kratom could be compared to a more bitter version of green tea. Many find that mixing kratom into the tea itself can mask the taste and help it go down easier.
Chamomile tea is known for its relaxing properties. It also has antioxidant effects. If you are taking kratom for its relaxing or euphoric calming effects, then consider doing so with a cup of chamomile tea.
In fact, chamomile tea is worth trying on its own. A study published in 2011 showed the benefits of drinking tea.
Blue lotus is a plant used for relaxation. It is considered to be psychoactive, but only minimally. The combination of the two can provide incredibly relaxing effects.
The energizing effects of coffee can work with kratom in a couple of different ways. If you like to start your day with an energizing strain of kratom, then coffee can synergize nicely with it to give an almost energetic glow. If you take more sedating strains for pain relief, but you don’t actually want to fall asleep, then coffee can help counteract the sedating effects.
Make sure you don’t overdo it though. Too much coffee and kratom at once can cause you to feel jittery or over-excited.
Black Tea combines many of the benefits discussed with other teas and the benefits associated with coffee. It contains less caffeine than coffee, but still enough to have an effect. If you are interested in the benefits of mixing kratom and coffee but aren’t interested in taking large amounts of caffeine, then black tea is a great choice.
Watercress is actually a type of lettuce. It is incredibly hydrating and full of health benefits as explained by professional dietician Rachael Link. The nutrients are thought to be the cause of its potentiating effects. Whatever the reason, many users report that consuming watercress potentiates kratom.
Valerian root is useful for those who want to relax and relieve stress. It works incredibly well with sedating strains of kratom. This can be a nice combo when you want to relax after a long day and unwind. Valerian root is also useful for inducing a peaceful sleep.
Cat’s Claw is a vine that grows in South America. It contains alkaloids that synergize with the alkaloids in kratom. It is mostly useful for lengthening the duration of kratom’s effects.
Magnesium is known for many positive effects, including anti-inflammatory effects and help in fighting depression. It is also commonly used to potentiate kratom. Kratom users report magnesium being useful for both enhancing its effects and making withdrawal symptoms easier to handle.
As explained here by David Mastrine, magnesium is an NMDA antagonist. In general, NMDA antagonists help prevent tolerance from building with drugs like kratom.
Mixing cayenne pepper with your kratom dosages can prolong the effects and enhance the experience. Many do not know this, but cayenne pepper actually has stimulating effects of its own when taken in high doses.
You should start with low amounts of cayenne pepper and work your way up to figure out the right amount for you. You’ll also ensure that you don’t take too much and spoil the experience your first time using it.
Another item many of you will likely already have in your spice cabinet, turmeric also acts as a kratom potentiator. It is thought to help your body digest and absorb kratom. This causes a potentiating effect. Similarly to cayenne pepper, you can mix it in with your tea, juice mix, or wash it down after your dose.
Black pepper, the kind on everyone’s dinner tables, is useful for boosting the effects of kratom. It helps the body metabolize kratom which helps deliver its effects.
Akuamma seeds give users similar effects to kratom. The synergy of the two seems to seriously enhance the effects. Be careful not to take too much of either, or you could end up having a bad time.
Kava kava exists in a similar place to kratom. It is touted as a “legal high”. Many take it for similar reasons to kratom. However, its effects are less stimulating and more similar to alcohol. It is not as dangerous as alcohol can be, but it should be treated with some caution.
Because Kava Kava is a genuine psychoactive substance, you may want to check out this article by Medical News Today detailing its effects and points of caution.
Other Ways to Maximize Benefits
Take on an Empty Stomach
One easy way to enhance kratom’s effects is to take your doses on an empty stomach. In short, when your body is digesting kratom and food at the same time, it takes longer to get the kratom into your system. On an empty stomach, it digests the kratom fully and gives stronger effects with a shorter onset.
Some people report that eating roughly an hour after consuming kratom helps to lengthen the amount of time the effects last. The best advice I have is to experiment and figure out when the best time is for you.
Staying hydrated is very important not just for staying healthy, but for preventing negative effects of kratom. Kratom is notorious for causing dehydration in users. Many do not realize that they are dehydrated, especially if they are drinking the same amount of water as before.
The fix is simple, just drink water before and after any kratom dosage. If you have been taking kratom for some time, then start to do this and you will likely have noticeable benefits.
Different strains of kratom have different alkaloid makeups. Alkaloids are the chemicals that interact with your body to give effects.
You can build a tolerance to specific strains if you take the same one too often. The best way around this is to rotate strains or switch it up periodically. This will help prevent tolerance build-up and will keep the effects fresh. I have never used their products, but Happy Hippo Herbals does a great job breaking the process down.
If you live in a state where marijuana is legal, then you may want to consider combining the two. Preferably, take a low dose of kratom at first. Once you know how your body reacts to the combination, then you’ll have a better idea of how much of each to combine.
Where to Go from Here?
The best way to pick a kratom potentiator is to pick one that you both think you will enjoy consuming and will get benefits that line up with why you are interested in kratom. If you haven’t taken kratom before, I would recommend taking it as it is first. This way you can learn how much kratom is right for you, and you will establish a baseline. Knowing what kratom does to you will allow evaluating how potentiators are altering the experience for you.
As a word of caution, be careful with some of the potentiators that have psychoactive effects. I would recommend taking them each separately before combining them. Taking multiple psychoactive substances at once can affect some people negatively.
Also, ensure that you are purchasing kratom from a respectable organization. A recent study by the FDA reported that heavy metals were found in many batches of kratom that they analyzed. There are many good brands out there, just make sure it is considered to be reputable by the community.
Feel free to experiment with potentiators and work through the list at your own pace. There are many to choose from, and you're bound to find some that you love.