The plant’s leaves are what botanists, scientists and medical researchers tend to focus on, as they are the parts of the plant that contain its many interesting compounds. It’s psychoactive properties and many alkaloids are what led the Thai government to enact the Kratom Act 2486) which came into force on 3 August 1943 as means to prohibit its use.
For ages, Kratom had been used by villagers, peasants and laborers of Thai and Malaysian descent for its many proclaimed effects and according to folk traditions, has been suggested they used it to treat a variety of ailments such as diarrhea, muscle cramping, intestinal infections, coughs and more. According to early Thai traditions, Kratom helped workers who often led rather mundane and repetitive lives. Thai laborers claimed they felt energized, and keen to work on their plots of land, rice fields and other manual labor roles that were assigned. They were said to have developed a strong desire to earn more money and work in the hot sun after consuming the plants leaves. The use might be described as being similar to how American workers might use coffee to perk themselves up in the morning or mid-afternoon. This appears to be a logical conclusion because of its relation the coffee family plant Rubiaceae, and it was normal for Thai people to consume the plant. It was a normal way of life for them embedded in local traditions and customs.
More modern research into the plant’s phytopharmaceutical effects has brought about by various medical researchers and documented in various journals. Since the 1960’s 25 specific alkaloids have been identified from Mitragyna speciosa. The specific indole alkaloids found are mitragynine and its analogues, speciogynine, paynantheine and speciociliatine. While there is many other alkaloids present mitragynine represents 66% of the total alkaloid compounds. Reported scientific effects from this alkaloid are analgesic, antitussive, antidiarrheal, adrenergic and antimalarial.
Kratom is a psychoactive plant, that has a long documented history of use in Southeast Asia. Further research is on-going into the effects of this unique plant and its other compounds. Comprehensive research and analysis are required in order to determine how we can gain the most benefit out of this plan. While Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa) is recognized in many cultures, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strictly prohibits internal use of this herb.