2023 promises to be a year of new beginnings. As with every new year, many are re-prioritizing their physical and mental health.
But in 2023, more people than ever before are turning towards herbal remedies.
To improve their sense of health and well-being, millions are rediscovering or learning for the first time about these natural solutions — including some remedies which grown in your own garden.
With life busier than ever, many are searching for a naturally-sourced, ‘cleaner’ source of energy and vitality. One without the heavily processed and artificial ingredients.
One top herbal remedy that could be everywhere soon? Kratom.
Read on to learn more about this once little-known tropical plant, and why it is gaining attention all around the world.
What is Kratom?
Kratom, or Mitragyna speciosa, (also sometimes known as krathom, biak-biak, or ketum), is a tropical evergreen tree that is native to Southeast Asia. The leaves of the tree have been used for centuries by people in that region as an herbal remedy for both energy and well-being.
In the steamy, hot climates of Indonesia, laborers found that the leaves helped to fend off fatigue. And even today in Thailand, you’ll see many people there chewing on it like gum. Once a traditional herbal remedy, this plant has grown into a key cultural touchstone in many countries throughout the region.
Today, kratom is grown commercially in many Southeast Asian countries, and more is being planted to meet increased demand from the Western world. As more people discover the plant and its uses, it is important to ensure the quality and safety of any natural remedies.
What is Kratom Used For?
Traditionally, kratom seems to have been used for pain relief. Before prescription medicines, communities had to learn how to use the plant compounds around them for their health and well-being.
Kratom is a plant with many complex compounds found within its leaves. Two of these compounds — mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine — act on certain receptors in the brain and spinal cord.
Interestingly, these compounds have been found to provide both stimulating and sedating effects, depending on the dosage. At lower doses, users report a mildly euphoric feeling, along with greater energy, similar to a cup or two of coffee. Nootropic support for cognitive function is also a commonly reported feeling.
However, at higher dosages, users tend to feel relaxation, calm, and increased drowsiness. At these doses, kratom could be seen to support sleep and relieving anxious nighttime thoughts.
Kratom leaves are traditionally either chewed fresh, or dried and brewed into a strong tea. Thanks to modern techniques, a kratom extract can also be produced, which is a favorite way for many today to get their kratom.
Choosing The Best Herbal Remedies
If you’re interested in choosing herbal remedies, you’ll find there are SO many options out there. It can be hard to recognize which supplements and brands to choose and trust.
Johns Hopkins Medicine has given some good general advice when shopping for herbal remedies.
- Educate yourself. Learning as much as you can about the herbs and consulting with your healthcare team will give you a solid foundation.
- Follow label instructions carefully, and use the prescribed dosage only. With natural remedies, more doesn’t mean better.
- Watch for side effects. Every body may react differently, especially to a new remedy. If symptoms like nausea, dizziness, or upset stomach occur, reduce the dosage, or stop taking the remedy.
- Research the company whose herbs you are taking. All herbal supplements are not created equal, and it is best to choose a reputable manufacturer’s brand. Ask yourself:
- “Does the brand make hard-to-prove claims?”
- “Does the product label give information about the formula, directions, and precautions?”
- “Is label information clear, and easy to read?
- “Is there a way to contact the brand to learn more?”
Conclusion: What to Know About Kratom & Kratom Extract
For thousands of years, people around the world have turned to natural, herbal remedies. Today, many are turning away from mass-produced pain relievers and jittery energy sources, looking for a more natural solution.
Kratom, a natural herbal remedy from Southeast Asia, could be one of the top herbal remedies of the year. While it is essential to continue research, kratom may be able to support a healthy mind and body. It is important to do your own research, and learn the dosage and side effects that may result from use.
Whether you choose kratom leaf or an extract, ensure the brand is conducting basic quality assurance practices, and stands behind their products.