Kratom Leaves
Kratom Leaves

Mitragyna speciosa (ketum, kratom or kratum, Thai: กระท่อม) is a tropical deciduous and evergreen tree in the coffee family (Rubiaceae) with a long history of medicinal use in Southeast Asia, particularly in Thailand or Malaysia.


In low dosages of a few grams of leaf, kratom functions primarily as a stimulant, with effects similar to caffeine without the marked jitteriness of drinking several cups of coffee. In higher dosages, kratom functions as a neurological opiate, triggering the mu opiate receptors in the brain, even though kratom is chemically different from the opium derived medications such as codeine, morphine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone.


Until 2002, the alkaloid mitragynine was believed to be the primary active ingredient in kratom. Out of all the alkaloids in kratom, there is more mitragynine than any other alkaloid. In the 1970’s, the predecessor of the pharmaceutical giant GSK did research into the medicinal potential of mitragyna speciosa. They did a scientific study comparing the effects of pure mitragynine to crude extract of kratom leaf and found that mitragynine by itself was not an effective analgesic medicine. They subsequently decided that there was no medical use for kratom.

kratom-leafs 2

In 2002, the true active alkaloid in kratom, 7-hydroxymitragynine, was discovered by a group of Japanese researchers. These researchers have filed a patent for all possible medical derivatives of mitragynine and over the next few decades will likely bring kratom derivatives to market as patented pharmaceutical drugs.


Also see Erowid’s kratom scientific literature overview.

This Post Has 31 Comments

  1. thomas duncan

    73 yr. old male, 13+ yrs on morphine sulfate,then O.D’d., clean for 1+yrs., tried kratom, pain down to 2 or3, and got a smile on my face !!!

  2. kratom pill

    Thanks for share the great information about kratom.

  3. Jacqueline hertzog

    I love using Kratom , but honestly , 1/3 rd of a teaspoon is plenty for me . Every few hours . I tried at first with 1 teaspoon and was totally miserably high and it took many month for me to try again . So be careful with your dosage and start slow …I am a 120 lbs woman and definitely a bit of a lightweight .

  4. Diana

    Hi my name is Diana I am on pain meds and I want to get off of them do I quit taking the pain meds to take the kratom can you please tell me what I need to do thanks

    1. Ann Shepherd

      I’d like to know the same thing but I see no reply to your question.

      1. Kevin

        You can just try it, it helped much people to get off of pain meds. You have to find your dosage, a red strain would be the best for that, I think. Borneo Red Vein is a good alrounder.

    2. Allison Browning

      Yes ma’am!! You should stop taking your pain medication up to 4-6 hours before you start kratom. If not, the are known to cancel each other out.

    3. Syrr W

      Hi Diana, this is a very good question. Kratom is ineffective to people taking pain medicine. You wont likely feel the Kratom if taken with pain meds but you could cause yourself complications including overdose. The best way to look at Kratom is as a healthy approach to pain. You have to stop ALL pain meds 1st and any illicit drug use as well to take Kratom. Then and only then can Kratom successfully treat your pain, low energy, or depression without complications. It is it’s own answer to everything so dont combine it with other drugs. Once you experience Kratom ALONE, you will never go back to prescription pain meds. 🙂

      1. Syrr W

        Oh and dont forget that Red Kratom treats pain most effectively. It goes like this:
        White Kratom- High Energy , slight analgesic , up to 2 hrs effectiveness
        Green Kratom- Longer smoother energy source, slight analgesic, up to 5 hrs effectiveness
        Yellow Kratom- Pain relief without the drowsiness that some reds cause. More of a daytime pain relief, lasts up to 5 hrs
        Red Kratom- The King of pain relief. Can cause sleepiness in new users, up to 5 hrs effectiveness

  5. Davia Martin

    Hello Editor,

    I hope you’re doing great!
    I’ve got few guest post topics that you may like to publish on your website, here:

    1. Kratom Leaves: Benefits vs. Risks
    2. Drug Facts: 3 Dangers of Kratom You Must Know About
    3. Kratom: Drug Facts, Addiction Claims, And Call For The Ban
    4. 6 Medicinal Herbs You Can Use To Benefit Your Health

    I am certain your audience would love reading about it.

    Would you like to have a look at it please?
    In the case, you’re not satisfied with the topics mentioned above, I can write on any other topic of your choice.

    David Martin

  6. karmaganics

    Great website with really good information about Kratom. I like how you have a range of different articles on here from user experiences to the basic science. Keep up the great work. Thank you!

  7. lenny warmington

    I was on hydrocodone for seven years when the opiate scare started and my doctor cut me off so I tried kratom it is great for me there was no withdraw symptoms at all. works great for me I use two rounded teaspoons every five or six hours and I feel better than those opiate drugs they were handing me somebody needs to spread the word this stuff is great I worry about long term effects since there don’t seem to be many studies of it. but so far it works for me and that’s all that matters to me.

  8. Jake

    Kratom has saved my life. I am in chronic pain from a back injury my doctor just gave me pain meds. I became addicted, I quit taking those meds and broke the addiction that had set in. I lived for 5 years in some of the worst pain ever. I was told about Kratom and figured what did I have to loose. After 2 days of the toss and wash method I moved to the gel tablets bought a machine to fill and make my own. I found out the the strain that works for my body is a mix of a green and red strain. They were Plantation Green Mang Da and Red Mang Da. I have my life back. I take 4 capsules of the mix in the morning and then 2 at lunch. I have my energy back and can now say my pain which was around a 7 or 8 on a good day is now a 1 or 2. Kratom has given me life and happiness again.

    1. Carol Brock Rathburn

      Where do I get this wounded drug I’m tired of pain pills how do I make it Please Help Carol

    2. Katie Hall

      Hi,I have a Question ? Did you Quit Your Pain Medication All at once on the Kratom and if so did you have any withdrawal Problems ? Thank you

    3. Katie

      Hi,I have a Question ? Did you Quit Your Pain Medication All at once on the Kratom and if so did you have any withdrawal Problems ? Thank you

  9. Damien

    I suffer from severe anxiety, depression and chronic back pains due to two slipped discs. Pain meds and antidepressants and such, never worked or only worsen my state. I take the Red Strain of Keaton, have been for three years now. And I feel like a whole new me. I can work, function normally and there are no side effects. Best stuff ever. Give it a try. I drink it in coffee.

    1. Lori

      To get the pain-killing effects, but not to be overly sedated, what do you suggest as a starting dosage? And then as a maintenance dosage?

      1. Tom Bird

        really depends on type of kratom , but usually start out with 2 to 3 grams and wait and see the effects on you,wait 1/2 he. to 45 minutes if no results try 1 gram more until you find what best works for you.
        kratom is a wonderful plant that got me off pain meds with no withdrawals,off meds over a year,God bless kratom.

    2. Keedan

      Where did you find your Keaton Kratom? I’m having a tough time

  10. Missy

    I’ve suffered with pain for the last 16yrs now! I’ve had many Mri’s, & at least a 100 different injections and doctors still don’t know for sure what it is. Now they want to stabilize my sacroiliac joint but insurance won’t cover it. I’m taking 8 Percocets a day plus 2 OxyContins a day. Now the laws are changing and making it harder too get pain medicine. None of these medications are helping me I’m just addicted to them. I have five grandkids now and the pain is effecting what I can and can’t do with them. Im so depressed that I don’t have the energy or ambition to clean my house anymore. My poor husband does it plus works 40+ hrs a week. What would you reccomend for me and the dose and where do you order it from? I’m at my breaking point here and can’t take much more of this pain!!

    1. Karen

      You have to go to the head shops where you would buy bongs and stuff like just look up headshops on google

  11. John

    Kratom works.i suffered chronic [email protected] for more than 15 yrs. Drs.only prescribed me pain @ anxiety meds.i bellieve too have worsend my condition.through. a friend i learned about Kratom. I feel better now than i have felt in 18 yrs.educate yourselves on kratom and change your life…….

  12. Samantha Black

    Can kratom be used to treat epilepsy

  13. shårone negev

    i have a lot of chronic pain and anxiety. i wold like to know how to use this herb and what strain or brand i should get to best meet my needs of pain reduction. i would also like to know how often i should use this herb. i am desperate to get help. pleas provide me with any info you may have on this subject thx so much sharone

    1. Jason musser

      Try the red meng da fine powder.thats about the strongest one for pain and seditive effects.its about twice as expensive as the other strains but it really works man.ill never agsin go back on pain killers…this stuff works and everytime i stop for a week or so,i feel no withdrawls at all….i have my life back and this stuff really at the gym everyday and now at 40 yrs old w multiple herniated disks,all my lifts are bigger than when i was in my 20’s.give it a shot.

      1. Lori

        I’m interested in using kratom, but cannot afford the sedating effects. I lead a very busy life and this is what has stopped me from successfully ridding myself of other drugs (2 yrs on suboxone , currently 2 – 4 g daily). I want to be rid of this once and for all and have read about the various strains of kratom. The information is overwhelming. You mentioned working out at the gym. What strain do you take and how much per day to start? What do you consider a good *maintenance* dosage?

    2. Jason musser

      It lasts for awhile….try one to two teaspoons of the red meng da fine powder to start,sharone….u just dump it in ur mouth,take a drink of water or ice tea makes the taste go away,swish it around and swsllow…very simple…good luck to ya.

    3. shane 61

      Red Bali strain. It has the highest concentrations of the alkaloids in kratom, highest pain killing properties, and anti anxiety properties. Start out @ 4-6 grams then increase 1 gram as needed .

  14. joyce Davison

    In need for pain–anxiety –energy not sure what kind to order or how to order

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