Summary of Kratom Medicinal Value
Thanks to the Botanical Education Alliance for the content of this extremely informative page.
This page is simply a summary of the current medical benefits of Kratom as described in various medical studies conducted in relation to this non-synthetic, natural plant that has been used safely for literally thousands of years. For a growing list of the 150+ medical studies that we are currently making our way through and then writing a “PLAIN ENGLISH SUMMARY” of each study, please visit the KRATOM MEDICAL RESEARCH page instead.
The current list, updated as new research papers are submitted or read by our team:
- Opioid Withdrawal Use: Kratom has been reported as a traditional alternative to manage drug withdrawal symptoms in Malaysia. Report described it as affordable and easily available with no serious side effects despite prolonged use, and allows self-treatment that avoids stigmatization as a drug dependent. The claims merit further and serious scientific investigation, with the potential as a low-cost alternative therapy, especially in developing countries.
- Analgesic/Behavioral Activities: Study on analgesic and behavioral activities of the methanol and alkaloid extracts of Mitragyna speciosa showed it possessed analgesic activity which partly acted at opioid receptors in the supraspinal opioid system. It produced no significant prolongation of latency in nociceptive response.
- Sedating Effects: Study results suggest that mitragynine possess sedative properties acting on the CNS of rats. The methanol and alkaloid extracts produced no significant changes in locomotor activity.
- Urine Alkaloid Markers: Study reports a simple urine extraction procedure for routine GC-MS analysis and suggests two major alkaloids in urine samples as markers of kratom consumption: mitragynine and speciogynine.
- Effect on Drug Metabolizing Enzyme Glutathione Transferases (GSTs): Data showed concentration-dependent inhibition of cytosolic GSTs when MS extract was added to the reaction mixture. Only MS aqueous extract at dosage of 100 mg/kg showed significant results. GSTs are dimeric enzymes involved in the detoxification of toxic and carcinogenc compounds in the cells. GSTs also act as antioxidant enzymes due to their selenium-independent GSH peroxidase activity.
- Anti-Diarrheal: Study showed methanolic extracts of leaves caused a dose-dependent protection against castor-oil induced diarrhea in rats and also inhibited intestinal transit. The anti-diarrheal effect was not antagonized by naloxone. The effect may occur via pathways in addition to the action on opioid receptors.
- Cognitive Behavioral Effects: Study suggests that the chronic administration of mitragynine can alter cognitive behavioral function in mice.
- Antinociceptive/Anti-Inflammatory: (1) Study in rodents suggests the presence of potent antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory principles in the methanol extract, with significant dose-dependent activity in all nociceptive models and dose dependent suppression of carrageenan-induced paw edema2) Study showed the antinociceptive effect of mitragynine was less potent than the crude extract of Mitragyna speciosa, suggesting that one or more minor constituents of MS may have a very potent antinociceptive effect.
- Neuromuscular Blockade: Study investigated the effects of mitragynine and a methanolic extract of kratom leaves on neuromuscular junction and compound nerve action potential. The ME and mitragynine blocked nerve conduction, amplitude and duration of compound nerve action potential. Muscle contraction was greater with extract. The dominant effect of the Kratom extract was at the neuromuscular junction and not at the skeletal muscle or somatic nerve
- Alcohol Withdrawal Benefit/Antidepressant Effect: Administration of the aqueous extract of MS at dose of 300 mg/K significantly inhibited ethanol-induced withdrawal behaviors such as rearing, displacement and head weaving. It also showed antidepressant activity without affecting spontaneous motor activity.
Botanical Education Alliance (BEA)