Jun 05

Kratom Powder Goes Global As More Learn Of Asian Tree’s Health Benefits

kratomAs more people look beyond costly, side effect prone Western pharmacology to meet their health care needs, interest in Eastern medicine has steadily increased. Asia’s centuries-old indigenous health and healing traditions, including India’s Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine, are well respected globally. Asian medicinal plants, such as kratom, used for generations southeastern Asia to treat a variety of health complaints, are experiencing an upsurge in use far outside Asia’s borders, including in the industrialized nations of the west.

Kratom comes from a southeast Asian tree native to Thailand and Malaysia. A member of the same plant family coffee belongs to, chewing the fresh leaves of the tree is a traditional means of easing pain and treating diarrhea. If fresh leaves aren’t available, kratom powder, made by finely grinding dried kratom leaves, can be stirred into fresh fruit or vegetable juice, shakes and smoothies. This medicinal plant has many uses, but one of its most exciting may be its usefulness in treating opiate addiction.

Although kratom is of no relation to the opiate producing poppy, it has powerful alkaloids, such as mitragynine, that interact with the same receptors in the brain that opiates do. However, those are the only points of connection that kratom has in the brain. In addition to the brain’s opioid receptors, kratom also connects with the brain’s serotonin receptors, enhancing the function of the mind’s very own feel good chemicals. It is this combined affect that seems to produce positive results for many engaged in the effort to end their opiate addiction.

Communication technologies have had a powerful role in helping extend the reach of kratom powder far beyond its southern Asian origins. Via the Internet, people all over the world have been able to learn how this medicinal plant can help them in their efforts to improve their health, as well as purchase kratom powder even if they are far from the sorts of ethnic stores likely to carry these sorts of imported medicinal plants. In the era before our modern computer age, even if a person in a western nation knew about the benefits of an indigenous medicinal plant like kratom, obtaining it would likely be quite difficult.

As is often the case with medicinal plants and traditional indigenous remedies offering solutions outside of the western pharmacological treatment paradigm, kratom powder has been viewed with varying degrees of suspicion by government and health officials in several nations. It has even been outlawed in some. However, in light of the potential this medicinal plant has shown in the treatment of opiate addiction, some nations are reevaluating the legal status of kratom and moving towards legislation that will make the plants health benefits available to all.

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