Kratom – Materia Medica


The Kitchen Cupboard Underground is more than just a weekly blog. Our website contains hundreds of past posts, all of which are accessible through our search tool. A quick peek at recent queries indicates people have been searching on kratom – a lot. You ask, we listen. So without further delay, here is this week’s topic: Kratom.

Kratom is a tree that is being touted for its ability to help people wean off from opiates. It’s also seen as an alternative to those who have tried, and do not like, or have not experienced the desired results from marijuana. It has a fascinating duality in its ability to not only provide stimulation, but to also create a calming effect. In South East Asia, Kratom has been used for millennia by laborers to improve their productivity and relieve fatigue. While it is an amazing plant, caution needs to be exercised when deciding to use Kratom. There is very little data on its safety and no information on any drug contraindications.

  • Common Name: Kratom (ketum, biak, krathom)

  • Latin Name: Mitragyna speciosa

  • Family: Rubiaceae

  • Areas of Origin: South East Asia, the Philippines, New Guinea

  • Botanical Description: A tropical tree which can grow to 13-52’ in height. The leaves are oval in shape and can grow to 7” long and almost 4” wide. The flowers this tree produces grown in clusters that form the shape of a ball. The flowers are yellow in color and contain flat seeds.

  • Parts Used: Leaves

  • Uses: It is believed to reduce the symptoms of opiate withdrawal, relieves pain, calming, diabetes treatment.

  • Actions: Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antidiarrheal, narcotic, psychoactive, sedative, stimulant

  • Preparations: Infusion, beverages, capsules, chewing the leaves or smoking them

  • Taste: Bitter, earthy

  • Safety: May not be suitable for use while pregnant or nursing; avoid combining with alcohol. May cause: tongue numbness, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, need to urinate, constipation, aggression, hallucinations, delusions, thyroid problems. In large doses, it may cause: trouble breathing, brain swelling, seizure, liver damage, death.

  • Contraindications (Plant-Medication Combinations): None known.

Until next time, discover the power of welcoming nature’s healing plants into your life.


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