Kratom is a native tree of Southeast Asia, found in countries like; Thailand, Indonesia, Borneo, and Malaysia. Mitragyna speciosa is its botanical name, and it belongs to the same family as Rubiaceae. Since ancient times the people of Southeast Asia used Kratom leaves as a herbal drug to treat various illnesses.
Kratom is used in low doses as a stimulant in folk medicine. At high doses, Kratom is consumed as a sedative, and along with that, Kratom is used to treat opiate addiction, as a painkiller, as a medicine for diarrhea and as a recreational drug.
How Is Kratom Used To Treat Anxiety?
One of the most prevalent mental disorders is anxiety because it is debilitating for the person’s health.
Benzodiazepine is used to treat anxiety disorder but its withdrawal is fatal, and the medication also has the potential to make the patient addictive to the medicine.
Research published in American Family Physician elaborated side effects and abuse risk of benzodiazepine. It tells that benzodiazepine is one of the many medicines prescribed for anxiety and insomnia.
Usually, they are considered safe, but the overdosing and prolonged use may result in side effects. Also, they can be addicting for most of the patients. When used in combination with other abusive drugs, they may end up causing an addiction disorder.
The study prescribes the patients to use a safe alternative of benzodiazepines. It may include antidepressants, anticonvulsants, buspirone, antihypertensive agents and the newer neuroleptic medicines, as recommended by the physician. Usage of benzodiazepines is the worst in patients that have a current or remote history of substance abuse in the past.
According to various scientific studies, it was found that majority of the psychological disorders are caused due to the deficiency of endogenous opioids, and this is where kratom plays a vital role in treating anxiety.
Kratom works the same way as opioids of an endogenous sort like; dynorphins and endorphins. With ‘an endogenous sort,’ we mean that the body naturally produces these opioids, and it helps to combat pain and low mood.
Kratom can treat all types of anxiety; such as anxiety due to a medical condition, or an emotional state, and even for short-term anxiety due to stage fright or some stress.
As per a study from Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Kratom has an internationally acclaimed therapeutic plant. The researchers conducted a systematic review of Kratom use and mental health that was published from 1960 to 2017.
The findings indicated Kratom’s power as a stress-relieving agent. It was also helpful for mood enhancement and anxiolytic property among many people. Also, the side effects from Kratom were relatively rare as compared to opiates.
Before you opt for Kratom, you ought to know that Kratom isn’t a cure for anxiety, but instead, it is only used to ease your stress. But it is perfect for self-treatment without causing any severe side effects in contrast to other pharmaceutical medicines.
How Is Kratom Used To Treat Pain?
Dealing with chronic pain is a constant battle for those who suffer from it. Even though a lot of medicines are available in the market to treat chronic pain, they come with unwelcoming side effects.
Drugs like opioid risk causing addiction to the consumer, and Lyrica and Cymbalta come with several adverse side effects. So looking at all of these drugs we see Kratom as a natural drug for treating chronic pain.
It was found in several pieces of research that Kratom targets the exact part of the brain which response to morphine, fentanyl, and codeine. But drugs like morphine, fentanyl, and codeine can cause specific adverse side effects such as constipation, respiratory depression, and physical dependence.
In contrast, Kratom does not cause these adverse side effects. It has been reported that opioid overdose deaths are mainly caused due to respiratory depression whereas Kratom does not cause this side effect.
Kratom consists of alkaloids, which function by attaching themselves to the opioid receptors. Once this attachment is completed, it sends signals to the body’s neurons. This, in turn, increases the level of enkephalins and endorphins. Enkephalins and endorphins are two agents that contribute to the analgesic pathways of the body.
This pathway is responsible to suppresses the transmission of pain signals at various points such as spinal cord level and anterolateral Spinothalamic tract.
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism explains these opiate receptors of enkephalins and endorphins in detail.
Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics has published a study on nature’s best atypical opioids that is Kratom and mitragynines. It tells that typical opioid is usually analogs of substances derived from the poppy plant. The analgesic and adverse effect is through the primary opioid mechanism.
However, two latest analgesics are naturally developed for an opioid mechanism and, a non-opioid mechanism of action. Non – opioid mechanism of Kratom is the inhibition of monoamine neurotransmitter reuptake.
It also analyses the potential use and abuse by Kratom, which has conflicting and often contradicting opinions. But the view of the underlying pharmacology of Kratom tells that Kratom has both opioid and non-opioid properties. This is very fascinatingly to find a natural pain reliever like Kratom with fewer risks and safe working, research says.
So you see that by increasing the level of natural neurotransmitters in the body Kratom helps in eliminating the pain.
Best Strains Of Kratom For Pain And Anxiety
Even though you will find different strains of Kratom, you should know that not all of them are effective in treating pain and stress. Some Kratom strains may work well in relieving anxiety whereas some may be effective for treating pain.
Red veins are also useful, but its disadvantage is that it is profoundly sedating which will not allow you to focus and be productive during the day. Indo, Bali, and Borneo are also considered useful for relieving anxiety.
But at the end of the day, you ought to know that the strain of Kratom that works best depends on individual differences. So in the start, you might have to try a few and experiment with what works best for you.
For treating pain, it is yet again suggested to try out different strains and find out which works best for you. The Red Bali is known to give instant relief to the pain and also relaxes the body. White Bali consists of high amounts of 7-hydroxy mitragynine, and so it works best as a painkiller.
Borneo works well in small doses to provide analgesic effects. Maeng Da is significantly effective in inhibiting chronic pain, and along with that it also includes energy and gives a relaxing effect on the mind and body.
Dosages of different Kratom according to their type of pain and anxiety:
For treating anxiety-using Kratom, it is recommended that you start with low dosages since they have an energetic effect in the beginning. White and green veins are stimulating but remember that high dosage can lead to high levels of stress.
Start with only 0.5 – 1 grams of Kratom and gradually increase the dosage until you find the most suitable dose that helps you relieve anxiety. The recommended Kratom dosage for reducing anxiety is 4 grams. Kratom as a painkiller lasts for about 3 to 5 hours.
Following is the recommended dosage of Kratom for using it as a painkiller:
- 4-7 grams of White Maeng Da.
- 1-6 grams of Red Maeng Da.
- 2-7 grams of Red Bali.
People who have benefited from Kratom:
Pain News Network surveyed to study the effectiveness of Kratom in treating pain and other medical illnesses. 6,150 Kratom users participated in this survey, and it was found that 90% of the users said that Kratom is useful for treatment. To further strengthen their study, the PNN spoke to several Kratom consumers so they can know what people had to say about Kratom:
“Honestly, I was blown away at how good it was for my pain and also had the benefit that it lifted my mood, which was important because of the depression I had been experiencing from the chronic pain.”
“I have acute, chronic migraines that, unmediated, result in pain that is completely debilitating, and at times have landed me in the emergency room with stroke symptoms. Multiple doctors have approved my use of Kratom for pain management, as over-the-counter medicine simply does not work and I cannot take opiates.”
The survey also concluded that Kratom is 100% effective for cancer, 97% for multiple sclerosis, 94% for irritable bowel syndrome, 93% for a migraine and fibromyalgia and 92% for rheumatoid arthritis, back pain and acute pain.
Jeanell had suffered from anxiety throughout her life. She did not like to socialize and only interacted with people who understood her feelings and were not judgmental. Soon after giving birth to her son she suffered from an increased level of anxiety for which she was prescribed Xanax, an anti-anxiety medicine.
This treatment made her feel distant from her loved ones, which mainly involved her son. This distance was the turning point during when she was suggested to use Kratom and decided to go with this suggestion.
Jeanell found the results to be incredible after which she also encouraged her husband to use it for the treatment of anxiety disorder. Jeanell and her husband are now living happy and fulfilling lives.
They enjoy interacting with people and feel that with the help of Kratom they have become quite active and good at parenting. Now since the anxiety disorder is under control, Jeanell occasionally takes Kratom thus helping her to avoid developing Kratom tolerance.
Scientific evidence of Kratom being effective in treating pain and anxiety:
Research conducted in 2011 in Universiti Putra Malaysia experimented the effect of Kratom on mice as an antidepressant. It was seen that Kratom significantly reduced the immobility time with no significant impact on the locomotors activity. Along with that, it was understood that Kratom exerts an antidepressant effect in the animal behavior model of depression.
A study published in The Journal of American Osteopathic Association in 2012 suggested that Kratom is an emerging botanical agent, which comprises of stimulant, analgesic and opioid-like effect.
The study concluded that Kratom consists of a variety of active compounds that produces a pharmacologic impact on opioid and other receptors. So Kratom may potentially be consumed for treating pain and opiate withdrawal.
Hence we can see that the use of the Kratom is an efficient way of dealing with pain and anxiety and it will not cause any severe side effects.
We expect to see that shortly Kratom will become one of the ‘on the counter’ herbal drug so that patients suffering from anxiety and chronic pain can get easy access to it.