Kratom is a tropical evergreen tree that grows in the regions of Southeast Asia. It belongs to the same plant family as the coffee tree. You derive Kratom tea from the plant’s leaves.
Kratom tea is getting popular these days as some people use it as a natural medication to treat their chronic pain and anxiety.
Some believe that Kratom can be a stimulant if taken in small doses and can have a sedative-like effect when taken in large doses. There are even some who are using Kratom to alleviate opiate withdrawal symptoms.
Kratom, however, is not legal in a lot of countries as it gives a feeling of “natural high” to the user. There is also a recent claim on the damaging effects of Kratom on your body, although authorities would still need to verify that information.
So the question most people would be asking now is: Is Kratom tea safe for consumption and is it effective?
Let’s check it out.
Effects of Using Kratom Tea
To make your Kratom tea, you can brew the Kratom tree’s leaves, or you mix some Kratom powder in boiling water.
If you are not a tea lover, there are other ways to use Kratom. You can smoke or chew your Kratom, or you can take it as Kratom supplements in capsule form. Kratom extract is also available.
According to Maggie Moon, MS, RD, (a nutritionist based in Calaifornia), Kratom leaves has mitragynine. Evidence shows that mitragynine has similar effects with codeine and morphine. These two are both pain medications belonging in the opiate or narcotics family.
Manufacturers and vendors market Kratom as natural (plant-based) and safe treatment for pain, depression and anxiety.
There are also people who are using Kratom tea as it gives stimulating effects that can improve your mood, heighten your sexual performance and increase your physical endurance. According to Maggie Moon, however, these claims are still uncorroborated.
A lot of Kratom users believe that drinking Kratom tea can ease the symptoms of opiate withdrawal, but the FDA (Food and Drug Authority) is saying that there is no proof for that claim. They stated that there are no substantial evidence or studies that can back up those claims.
According to the FDA, there are currently no well-controlled and adequate researches about Kratom’s usage as treatment for human diseases. The same thing is also true on Kratom’s impact and possible side effects on the human body, or how Kratom reacts when taken with various substances or other drugs.
Dangers of Kratom Tea
A research showed that a Kratom dose of 5 to 8 grams can cause side effects like nausea, dizziness, vomiting, dry mouth, constipation, palpitations, increased urination, muscle coordination loss, sweating and sedation.
Larger doses of Kratom gave more serious side effects such as anxiety, heart rate changes, seizures, coma, extreme euphoric high, slowed breathing, constipation and can even lead to death.
There are case studies that linked seizure, coma, hypothyroid and addiction to Kratom use. The FDA even found 44 deaths last year that are kratom products related.
Based on those results, the FDA warned people to stop using or don’t use products with Kratom content.
The FDA also stated that these side effects get worse when you are taking other drugs aside from Kratom. Taking Kratom with other narcotics like hydrocone may lead withdrawal symptoms and liver damage.
There was a lawsuit filed by a mother in Florida alleging that her daughter’s habit of drinking Kratom tea led to her brain damage. Maggie Moon, however, states that she can’t comment on the link of Kratom to a person’s brain damage as she doesn’t have enough information regarding the case.
Legality of Kratom
Kratom is a pseudomedicine or alternative medicine in the US. It remains unregulated as the FDA can’t screen the herbs’ purity.
You can find Kratom in US supplement stores under any of these names:
- Mitragynine Extract
- Maeng Da Leaf
If you’re trying to buy it online, look for Kratom capsules or Kratom powder. Most Kratom capsule supplements list their dosage as containing 500 mg of Kratom. A doctor can’t prescribe this supplement.
There are 16 countries that consider Kratom as controlled drug or controlled substance. It is generally legal and accepted in America but the states of Wisconsin, Tennessee, Indiana, Arkansas and Alabama has banned its use.
Maggie Moon and the FDA advise people to stay away from Kratom even if it is legal in your area. They have issued an advisory stating the risks in using Kratom.
The full extent of the risks involved in taking Kratom tea is currently still not known. There are also a lot of positive claims about the effectiveness and safety of Kratom, but it is important to take note that unregulated drugs are always risky.
You can’t really know how potent an unregulated medicine is. If you are quite unsure with Kratom, it would be best to wait until there are more research and studies conducted about its effects and dangers.