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Kratom: Is This a Nootropic Remedy to the Opiod Crisis?

Lars
October 16, 2019

If you read health newspapers or visit nutritional supplements stores, you may have come across kratom. It is a supplement available in market as an energy booster, mood enhancer, pain reliever and antidote for withdrawal symptoms of opioids.

Kratom comes from the leaves of an evergreen tree named Mitragyna speciose, grown in Southeast Asia. Kratom is available in powder form to brew or swallow, leaves extract and also in raw leaves form to chew. Kratom extract is used to make liquid syrups of different concentrations. You can get these from specific retail pharmacies or vitamin shops by a prescription to treat muscle pain or spasms, to repress appetite and cure diarrhea. Kratom is also marketed as a therapy for panic attacks.

How does it work?

Kratom contains a chemical substance in it named mitragynine. It works just like analgesic opioid drugs for example codeine and morphine.

It mainly works by acting on brain opioid receptors. Kratom acts as a brain stimulant when taken in small doses and makes the person feel more active mentally and physically. At moderate dose, it works as a strong analgesic and relives pain plus makes you feel relaxed. When taken in higher doses, kratom works as a tranquilizer and makes consumer sleepy. Some traditional medicine practitioners consider kratom as a substitute for opium.

Some people consume kratom to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms because kratom is easily available than prescription only opioid analgesics.

Is Kratom effective
Is Kratom effective?

Kratom benefits:

·         This drug has gained attention of the american populace over the last 10 years. People who consume this substance often, claim that it may act as a nootropics agent by increasing serotonin and dopamine levels in brain. According to some studies, it works as a brain stimulant and makes menial tasks enjoyable. It also works as an anti-depressant and anti-anxiolytic medicine, to reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety in patients.

  • Kratom is often used for recreational purposes in concerts and other occasions. Defenders claim this to be a natural plant based and safe alternative of other drugs used for recreational purposes. However, it depends on the amount of active ingredient present in the product. One should be aware of his capacity and concentration of the drug they are consuming, otherwise complications may occur.
  • The people suffering from withdrawal symptoms of opioid drugs such as heroin, morphine and many others may use kratom for treatment. It is often due to the reason that kratom is natural and less potent than those drugs but there is no clear scientific evidence to support these theories.
Benefits of  kratom

Dosing:

An expedient dose of kratom depends on several factors like age and health of the user and also their medical history. Right now, there is a scarcity of enough scientific studies detailing reasonable range of doses for this drug. It is a fact that natural ingredients are not always safe and free from side effects. Therefore, a proper regimen for use is very important. Always remember to follow instructions written on label of product and consult your pharmacist or other healthcare professional and discuss about its pros and cons before taking this drug.

Kratom should be consumed in moderate doses because at higher doses may cause breathing difficulty, seizures, termers and hepatic damage. Due to above and some other serious safety hazards, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continuously keeps warning people to avoid using certain products containing high concentrations of  kratom.

Side effects:

Kratom can cause many side effects when taken orally, such as, stupefaction, nausea, vomiting, dryness or numbness inside of your mouth, frequent urination, constipation or bloating, GIT distress, hallucinations and delusions and thyroid problems

Safety and Precautions:

·        An important thing to be aware of is that if you consume this drug on daily basis, it can cause dependence to your brain and body. People who often use kratom in larger quantities and then suddenly stop taking it may experience some withdrawal symptoms like loss of appetite, severe diarrhea , muscle spasms and consistent pain, muscle twitches, swollen eyes, nervousness, insomnia, disorientation, aggression and increased body temperature.

  • Pregnancy: Kratom is considered unsafe when taken orally during pregnancy. Newborns to women who consumed this drug during pregnancy have shown some withdrawal effects right after their birth. These babies required special treatment in this matter.
  • Breast-feeding: There is no clear cut and reliable information on whether it is safe during to cunsume while breast-feeding or not. However, you should stay on the precautionary side and avoid its use.
  • Mental disorders: It has been suggested that kratom might worsen the mental condition of patients suffering from some brain impairment.

Bottom Line:

It is an old saying that a coin has two sides. This rule applies here as well. No doubt that there are some significant advantages of kratom but one should avoid excessive use of this nootropic. After all, it is a drug and overdose can lead to serious health damage.

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