You’ve probably heard about kratom here and there, or maybe even seen kratom products available at local shops. Some might buy it who have pain or anxiety.
Where does kratom come from, though, and how did people start producing it? We’re going to take a look at the origins of kratom in this article, giving you some insight into the history of this substance.
Hopefully, having a little backstory will give you an idea of how to appreciate and purchase kratom to the best of its ability. Let’s get started.
The Origins of Kratom
The substance that we know as kratom comes from the leaves of the Mitragyna Speciosa Korth. It’s an evergreen tree that grows in Southeast Asia.
Notably, the tree grows in the Philippines, Thailand, Borneo, and the surrounding countries. The first time that Westerners encountered kratom was sometime in the mid-19th century.
A merchant named Pieter Willem Korthals was an employee of the East India Company and documented the processing of kratom leaves on one of his voyages to the East. Within a few decades, people of the West recognized that kratom was a good herbal substitute.
It may have been the advanced processing of kratom leaves at the time, or maybe it was happenstance, but it grew in popularity in Southeast Asia in the mid-19th century as well. Opium was a popular substance in the area at the time because of opened new trade routes in proximity to those countries.
Before Western Discovery
Before people of the West encountered kratom, it was being used for an indefinite amount of time. People in Southeast Asia have long known that the kratom tree’s leaves produced or promoted a calming, even euphoric effect.
It’s a native tree, so it’s conceivable that people have been producing it as long as there have been people.
In particular, people doing hard labor posessed the plant to relieve them while they worked. It’s also a natural herbal, so it helped promote productivity and reduced fatigue, making it an excellent tool for people who needed to work an excessive amount.
The Thai authorities made kratom distribution illegal in the early 1940s. This happened because they profited a great deal from the sale of opium. Because kratom was a cheap and healthier alternative to opium, they made the substance illegal to increase their profits.
Modern Use of Kratom
Today, you can find kratom in most smoke shops, some gas stations, and other herbal remedy stores throughout the United States. In certain cases, states have banned the distribution of kratom or made it illegal to buy unless you’re over 18 years old.
Many people find that kratom is a great herbal to promote a sense of calmness, wellbeing and tranquility. That said, kratom has to be studied more by the FDA to declare any official health benefits.
Because we don’t know what the specific benefits or harms of kratom are, we have to be skeptical of buying it with any particular benefit in mind. There are few different kinds of kratom as well.
Because of where kratom comes from and how kratom grows, the different species of kratom tree produce unique leaves at different points of the season. That variation allows for unique trees that produce leaves with different properties.
For example, there is a red vein, green vein, gold vein, white vein, and more. These different strains are thought to produce unique effects when processed.
What to Expect from Kratom
Kratom comes in a refined powder. A bag of kratom is just the leaves of various kratom trees that are either isolated or ground to a very fine point.
The leaf is a little earthy, depending on the vein that you purchase. Many people also buy kratom capsules. This is a simpler way to buy and sell kratom.
Kratom capsules are also beneficial because you know precisely how much you’re getting. If you don’t have capsules and use a spoonful, for example, you might get too much.
At the same time, humans have been producing kratom for what could be millennia. Certainly before recorded history. That means that there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence about the substance, so at least you have a good bank of information and stories online to reference.
How Kratom Grows: Growing Your Own
If you’re interested in producing your own Mitragyna Speciosa leaves, you’re going to need a little bit of equipment.
The tree is native to tropical climates that stay warm year-round. Further, they’re used to a lot of precipitation. If you have a greenhouse or live in a tropical climate, you might have some luck producing a healthy kratom tree.
It’s also important to note that the trees can grow up to over 100 feet tall in their natural environment. If you cut off some nutrients or limit their space, they will get stunted and won’t grow to those heights.
That said, it’s possible to grow your own kratom tree if you have healthy seeds and enough time to tend to them. That way, you’ll have leaves to process year after year.
Want to Learn More about Kratom?
Hopefully, our exploration of the origins of kratom was helpful to you. If you’re trying to learn more about the plant and might want to buy kratom yourself, we’re here to help.
Explore our site for more information on different strains of kratom, kratom history, where to buy kratom, and more.