"Kratom," a drug that natives of SouthEast Asia have used for ages to relieve pain, fatigue, and boost work energy, is now becoming very popular in the West. Here in the US, most people use it without physician prescription since authorities have not integrated it into mainstream medicine.
Instead of regulating its use, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has been toying with the idea of banning it. However, that intention is controversial- a majority of the people who have used it and attained positive results are actively advocating for it. Perhaps, it is their advocacy that makes this herbal supplement look like it is here to stay.
If you want to find information about the best way to take Kratom supplement, and also, to understand why there is so much uproar surrounding the use of Kratom products, here it is.
First Get a Grasp of What Kratom Is
Kratom is a coffee-like tree that grows in the tropical areas of Malaysia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, and Myanmar. The natives have used it as a traditional medicinal remedy and stimulant for more than one hundred years.
The drug's scientific name is "Mytragyna speciosa" According to BioMed Research International "Mytragyna speciosa" was a term that Korthals, a Dutch botanist coined. Kratom acquired this name owing to how its leaves and flowers appear. They are in a shape that mimics the headgear worn by bishops- "mitre."
The leaves of the tree are believed to have medicinal properties. The natives of the regions where it came from used to chew the leaves, and this could give them immediate results. However, today, the leaves are dried and crushed into powder and used as capsules, tablets, or made into tea and other liquids.
How to Use Kratom
If used in the right amounts, Kratom eliminates pain and acts as a stimulant. Large doses of the herb can treat anxiety and induce sleep. You can use various methods to make the powder easy to ingest, as described below:
Wash the Powder down Your Mouth
Popularly known as the "Toss and Wash" method, it involves nothing more than the Kratom powder and some water or any other cold drink, apart from soda. You put the Kratom inside your mouth and push it towards the end of the tongue, near the throat, then just wash it down with a drink of your choice.
I can describe toss-and-wash as the best way to take Kratom owing to its simplicity and fast results. The wrong side of it is the horrible taste that it leaves in your mouth. You can avoid this taste by going for the capsules instead.
On a cautious note, try to prevent any possibility of inhaling the powder. It is unclear what possible effects Kratom would leave on your lungs, but as the adage goes, prevention is better than cure. Also, protect your skin from the Kratom powder since it can be sticky.
Make Kratom Tea
This is so straightforward that, even though it is not so convenient for you if you are busy and may not want to visit the kitchen. You make it just the same way you do with a teabag, or rather, we can say, you use it together with tea bags.
Here is an outline of the short procedure:
- Put some Kratom powder inside a mug or just an ordinary cup
- Add some honey or sugar (most preferably honey)
- Add hot water into the mug (you can boil the water in advance with some lemon)
- Stir so that the ingredients mix properly
Your Kratom tea is now ready to drink. You may choose to add boiled milk before stirring, but remember to wait for it to cool before you drink. Alternatively, an ice cube will do the trick for you. The purpose of lemon is to enrich the alkaloids in the Kratom and enhance the taste.
Taking Kratom as tea appears to work better on its qualities as a stimulant, but as a treatment to relieve pain. It also increases energy, and that explains why it is ideal for taking it before or when working. However, the effects it causes in the body do not last long enough.
Mix with Drinks like Juices
Orange juice is considered the best option since it has the most potent effects that neutralize the awful taste of Kratom. You may also use pineapple juice or any other fruit juice if the taste is not so much of your concern.
Follow a similar procedure that you used with the tea to mix. However, you have to take note that you will have to stir thoroughly until all the powder dissolves into the juice.
Take It with Food
The effects of the drug will still be there even if you mix it with the food that you are eating. The only difference will be that the impact in your body will take longer to feel since it all depends upon the digestive and metabolic process of your system.
There is no particular type of food that we consider best to take with Kratom; any food is good. However, you may take the personal initiative of assessing how much of Kratom you will put in a particular quantity of food, just like you do with your salt. Take caution that too much of anything is poison.
Chew from the Source
Just like the natives used to do, you can also chew the Kratom leaves directly- it’s believed to be the fastest of all methods. The reason why we consider the toss-and-wash way fastest is that; the leaves may not be so easy to access where you are. But then again, if you can get the leaves, go for it! You get the immediate effect of the drug when you chew, and that is if you can stand the taste.
Important Points to Remember
- In my opinion, the best method for you is the one where you mix it with juices.
- Besides the options mentioned above, you can also mix Kratom with coffee, lemonade, mango juice, and chocolate milk.
- Chocolate milk and orange juice are the best in eliminating the bad taste of Kratom
- Do not take Kratom daily; this is to avoid possibilities of addiction
- Taking the raw powder is not very friendly to the stomach as compared to Kratom tea.
Beware of Kratom Side Effects and Hazards
According to Drugs.com, Kratom may be having side-effects that are similar to those of opioids. They include the following:
- Dry mouth
- Increased urination
- Loss of appetite
Drugs.com also states that the FDA had issued advisories about some severe health risks associated with Kratom. It explains that there have been deaths caused by the drug. Since most users of Kratom are self-medicating, some unforeseen risks may occur and pose a significant challenge to people with other underlying medical problems for which they are under clinical medication. People with diabetes, in particular, may not just use the drug without getting their physician's opinion.
Meredith Rutland Bauer, in an article on Everyday Health, quotes the FDA as having expressed reservations about the safety of the supplement. FDA observes that Kratom is not regulated, and that research on its safety and efficiency is scarce.
Bauer adds that there is no information on what could happen to a diabetic person should they use Kratom products. She notes that The FDA is categorical in its warning to consumers asking them to avoid anything associated with Kratom completely.
It is essential to know about the potential side effects so that you can take the necessary precaution. There is practically no drug without a single side side-effect, and therefore, this should not cause unnecessary alarm.
Be a Step Ahead and Avoid Kratom Addiction
The drug can be addictive since large and regular doses can make the user dependent on it over and over. Anwar and Schier, in their article through the CDC, writes about reported cases of poisoning in poison centers. They note that among the cases reported were those of Kratom users who were addicted to the drug since their exposure to it was "multiple."
Anwar and Schier observe a worrying trend; that 71.7% of people who the reports captured are men aged between 28-69 years old. Those subjects of the research reported having used Kratom many times, together with hard drugs like cocaine and heroin. That report shows that those people are addicts.
According to the advisory on Drugs.com, Kratom is addictive, and some addicts among the natives of South-Eastern Asia exhibited withdrawal effects. The article observes that indeed several countries in that region have gone ahead to restrict the use of the drug due to abuse that leads to hopeless addiction.
To avoid addiction, do not use too much of Kratom, especially not daily. Taking it in large doses will lead you to depend on the drug, and you will start developing withdrawal effects when you stop using the herb.
Continuous use of the drug anytime you experience hangovers will lead to addiction. It will be better to discontinue its use if you start suspecting that your body is becoming dependent on it. That will prevent the situation from developing into a full-blown addiction.
Exercise Caution Just in Case Kratom Has Adverse Harmful Potential
You may, of course, wonder what harm it has been causing to the natives who have used it for decades. I mean, are they not still there safe and sound despite using the products for many years? Your concerns are probably right, with reservations, of course!
The natives may not have experienced severe problems since they only consumed it in the natural form. Now, this powder that many people are using may not be so much in its natural state by the time it reaches the end consumer. We, therefore, cannot rule out any possibility of harm that can be caused by Kratom.
Studies have reported some adverse and fatal effects like:
- Liver toxicities
Kratom also has the potential to cause Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Hyperthyroidism, and even the ultimate fatality of death as noted in this journal. Other experts have also discussed the toxic possibility of Kratom and its various effects.
Draw Some Inspiration from People Who Have Used Kratom Before
Although there is no comprehensive research yet, Kratom is believed to ease opioids withdrawal effects. It relieves anxiety and depression to some extent. It, therefore, qualifies for the treatment of opioids withdrawal to some extent.
On the flip side, however, the drug itself may end up similarly exhibiting some effects to opioids. The use of this herbal supplement calls for extra caution. Some people claim to have used it and seen it work for them. They are Kratom activists who have been fighting for the legalization of Kratom.
An individual on YouTube claims to have recovered from opioids withdrawal symptoms after using Kratom. The gentleman is giving an account of his personal experience. He offers valuable suggestions on how you can avoid being hooked to Kratom while still benefiting from Kratom therapy-follow and decide which ones to apply in your situation.
Although there are many questions, from critics of Kratom, surrounding its safety and legality, that is no reason to worry since there is no concrete research to support their claims either. What is essential is to ensure that you have the right information. You will find out that there are many people out there who have had real experiences of healing after using this herbal supplement. That should give you the confidence to go out there, get your dosage, and use it responsibly. Remember that, just like any other drug, abusing Kratom could cause addiction, or worse still, other unspecified effects.
Bottom line: Keeping all factors constant, Kratom is improving lives. Consider all the conventional methods that people widely use to prepare and consume the supplement and maybe adopt the one that you are comfortable with at any particular time.