Most scientific and first-hand reports you read about the effects of the natural botanical Mitragyna Speciosa mention the power of kratom alkaloids. What are these somewhat mysterious and powerful components of the popular kratom leaf? Some people enjoy this herb for years without considering where its psychoactive, body-rejuvenating, mood-enhancing properties come from. But it’s not a magic trick. Let’s break down what the alkaloids in kratom are, and the excellent benefits they give to users.
What Are Alkaloids And Why Are They Important
Don’t be intimidated by the name. An alkaloid is simply a naturally occurring compound that is found in organic plant life. It is not, as some assume, created in a lab or stoked into existence by a chemistry experiment.
Quick facts about alkaloids:
- Made primarily of nitrogen.
- Occur in a broad range of plants and fungi.
- Most concentrated in the leaves of a plant.
- Often have medicinal benefits for humans.
- Famous for bitter taste.
Modern medicine has drawn heavily from these natural compounds. In fact, many synthetic chemical medications are actually based upon the design of plant-derived alkaloids.
The 3 Main Psychoactive Kratom Alkaloids
The kratom tree, also known as Mitragyna Speciosa, is known to contain at least 40 distinct alkaloids in various concentrations. The amount and variety varies based on the qualities of each individual strain, and where and how it is grown. Each alkaloid has unique interactions with the human body and account for many different health benefits.
The primary kratom alkaloids found in all of the plants are mitragynine, speciogynine, and paynantheine. Of these, mitragynine gets the most attention and credit as the provider of kratom’s famous psychoactive effects. It is not an opioid, but may behave like one. However, contemporary medical research and testing has only recently began in earnest, so the exact nature of how mitragynine binds to receptors in the body and the results it produces are not fully known.
Health Benefits of The Broad Range of Kratom Alkaloids
Almost all of the rest of the alkaloids found in kratom are what we call Yohimbe-type indoles and oxindoles. These compounds behave in similar ways to the alkaloids found in Yohimbe, but without the addictive properties of opioids. Here are just a few of the prominent alkaloids and the effects upon the body they are thought to have:
- Ajmalicine – increases oxygen to the brain
- Ajmalicine – lowers blood pressure
- Mitraphylline – muscle relaxer
- Epicatechin – antioxidant
The Best Ways To Experience the Benefits of Alkaloids
So, how do you get the benefits of kratom alkaloids? You must introduce them to your bloodstream. This can be easily achieved by a few different methods.
Chewing: This was the original method for delivering this herb into the bloodstream. By chewing on raw, fresh kratom herb leaves picked right off of the tree, indigenous people in Southeast Asia were able to gain the health benefits without any preparation required. The leaves were not to be swallowed – the action of chewing plus the acids in saliva released the alkaloids into the system. This method is still practiced where kratom grows naturally today.
Eating kratom powder with food: By drying and crushing the leaves, then grinding them into a powder, kratom may be added to any food and eaten normally. This method is popular as it masks the botanical’s sometimes bitter taste, and has led to countless innovations and home Kratom recipes over the years, as home chefs and enthusiasts constantly devise newer and tastier ways to eat their favorite plant.
Drinking powder-infused beverages. Mixing the powder into a liquid beverage or brewing it into a pot of kratom tea is also a very popular way to consume it. Mixing with orange juice is the most widely-used method of drinking kratom, with hot, honey-infused tea coming in a close second. Either method significantly sweetens the bitter taste of the plant.
Smoking: Yes, it is possible to smoke dried kratom leaf, but most users world-wide do not prefer this method. Why? It is the least efficient way to get kratom alkaloids into the blood. In fact, it is thought that this method strips the leaf of many of its powerful alkaloids. So, most user reviews agree that eating it in some form is best.
Whichever method you prefer for delivering kratom alkaloids into the blood, make sure you start with high quality product, and select a strain and dosage that is right for your body and its particular chemistry. This process may take practice and patience to get just right. Don’t know where to start? It’s always a good idea to consult with what other users have said. Most of the major kratom store websites, like Bouncing Bear Botanicals, feature user testimonials that will point you in the right direction.