Throughout history, humans have used plant-derived materials to treat ailments, cope with stress, and achieve altered states. Even with the development of modern pharmaceuticals and medical practices, many people still use herbal remedies either as alternatives to or in conjunction with mainstream medical care.
Several years ago, it was reported that more than 30% of US patients had used or were currently using herbal-based remedies. Among these natural remedies, Kratom has gained great popularity in recent years due to its reliable effects.
Kratom’s Many Uses
It’s unclear when kratom use began, and, although we only have a couple centuries of documented Kratom use in Southeast Asia, the practice is thought to be ancient.
In its native growing regions, leaves from the plant have been used to numb aches and pains, soothe fevers, treat diarrhea, manage diabetes, and alleviate addiction. They have also been applied as poultices to wounds or spread across the abdomen to drive out worms.
Kratom In Thailand and Malaysia
Besides traditional medicinal uses, kratom leaves have also been used by Thai and Malaysian natives for centuries to help promote energy and physical ease. Even today, Kratom is particularly favored by physical laborers in Southeast Asian countries.
Traditionally, the broad green leaves are plucked by hand and chewed or dried in the sun, to be brewed as a tea, or, less commonly, pulverized and swallowed with water.
From at least as far back as the early 19th century in Malaysia, kratom has also been used as a sedative—especially as a replacement for opium. In the early 20th century, during Thailand’s opiate epidemic, Kra-thum gained popularity as a supplement that helped ease opium withdrawal symptoms and assist opiate addicts in getting clean.
Unfortunately, after Kra-thum appeared on the Thai government’s radar as a threat to their opium profits, they outlawed Kra-thum. However, Thailand recently changed its Kratom laws to allow its use for medicinal purposes.
The Unfolding Of Kratom’s History
Despite the legal restrictions in some Southeast Asian countries, Kratom never became widely perceived as a drug and kept its place in folk medicine by the general villagers and in herbal supplements among the village men and laborers.
The story of Kratom is alive today and the West has become an essential part of it. With Kratom for sale online and in retail stores across the United States and Kratom use growing at a steady rate, it looks like Kratom is finding its place in American society.
Not only does our entry into Kratom’s story bring with it plenty of unanswered questions about Kratom’s history (like whether it has been used for centuries or for millennia), but also basic questions about the plant itself, like, what’s the real difference between Kratom strains?