It is ancient knowledge that various plants have always been used for emotional and physical healing, self-discovery and spiritual development. Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is no exception. The herbal leaf comes from a tree of the Rubiceae family, which can grow up to 30 feet tall and can be found in Asia and Africa. In Thailand the Kratom leaf has been used for many centuries as a medicine for gastro-enteritis and physical pains. Since the 19th century its usage extended and Kratom became a cure for opium addicts. Even though Kratom is used mostly as herbal medicine and there are currently no references to Kratom being used as a spiritual plant, its spiritual qualities are extensive to psychonauts of New-Age movements.
The amount of different Kratom types makes it hard to generalize its effects, however this is also the reason for the huge variety of possible treatment areas, whether they are of physical or emotional nature. The three main Kratom types are White Vein, Green Vein and Red Vein, named after their leaf vein colors. Still, the effects in each type vary based on the origin of the plant. In addition to that the dose influences the effect, for low doses have a more stimulant and high doses a more sedative quality. In general White Vein is a stimulant with effects similar to cocaine, Red Vein a sedative with effects similar to opium and Green Vein is a mixture of both, balancing stimulant and sedative effects.
So far more than 25 alkaloids could be extracted from Kratom, of which the most important ones are mitragynine, paynantheine, speciogynine, 7-hydroxymitragynine and speciociliatine, which bind to the μ-opioid receptors. The opiate-like effects of the Red Vein types and primarily the closed eye visuals are why this plant became so interesting to psychonauts as a tool for introspection. Very similar to lucid dreams, closed eye visuals can create a scenery that makes personal wishes and fears become more vivid and comprehensible. Experiences with archetypes give proof that there is a strong connection to the collective unconscious. All kinds of creative impulses are highly stimulated, which is not only great for artists, but for every person who is stuck in a desperate situation and wishes to change their point of view. Unofficially, Kratom is also used as a cure for drug induced psychosis, since it calms body, mind and soul.
Mentioning all these positive results a Kratom trip can bring, I hardly have to mention the obvious risk – addiction. Unlike typical psychedelics like LSD, magic mushrooms and mescaline, Kratom behaves as an opioid receptor agonist and even though is it used in drug therapy, Kratom is addictive itself. Tolerance builds extremely fast and it takes weeks to being back to normal, which is why a break of 4 weeks (minimum) should be set between two Kratom trips. To compensate a tolerance, higher doses are needed, which cause terrible side-effects such as extreme nausea, constipation, cramps and physical pains. If you truly want to experience the full potential of this sensational plant, this break should be accepted.
Kratom can be bought as crushed or powdered leaves, extract and resin. Because of its extremely bitter taste, people usually put it into capsules before consumption. A tea or simply chewing and swallowing the leaves is also possible. Again, there are many different Kratom types with different amount of alkaloids and different effects. The doses vary extremely between 2 grams and up to 10 or even 15 grams! Use caution! It takes up to an hour or longer before full effects start, please wait with redosing. Since a general statement about the dose cannot be made, please inform yourself about the type of Kratom you choose. Do not combine Kratom with other drugs!