Kratom is an herbal plant with a rich history and tradition. Thailand is known as the origin of the Kratom plant, where it was discovered by a Dutch settler in the early 1800's. The Mitragyna speciosa plant stayed confined to Southeast Asia - mainly Thailand and Malaysia - for many years before moving west. The tropical tree grows anywhere from 15-50 feet in height, with oval-shaped broad leaves that taper to a point. It can also have yellow flowers that grow in clusters and winged seeds. The plant actually grows wild in the marshy regions of Thailand, Malaysia, New Guinea and Borneo.
Kratoms use in Southeast Asia goes back centuries where it was chewed by peasant workers as a comfort and to give increased energy. It has also been used for centuries as an antidiarrhetic. It later became known as a sort of "opiate-substitute", even more desirable as it was cheaper and allowed users to actually "function" and work while using it, as opposed to opium or cannabis. This was before many country's started to enact laws restricting kratom purchase.
The chemistry of the alkaloids in the mitragyna speciosa wasn't investigated until the 1920's, when mitraynine was isolated as a key agonist. Kratom effects are interesting in that it acts as both a sedative and a stimulant, giving both feelings of euphoria as well as increased energy. Some find it to be an aphrodisiac, while others can experience slight hangover-like effects of nausea. The method and amount of mitragyna speciosa that you use is key to all of this and it's very important that you do some research before jumping to buy kratom, particularly with the stronger kratom extracts.
There are not really traditions on Kratom use in the spiritual sense but it's medicinal uses appear to be quite varied and are still being studied. Of particular importance is Kratoms effectiveness in treating opiate withdrawal and diarrhea. Interestingly, at it's very source, mitragyna speciosa was made illegal in Thailand in 1946 but became an active seller on the ethnobotanicals markets in early 2000's, making its purchase more widely available. mitragyna speciosa is still very much legal in the United States and there are many reputable places to purchase it online. There are also many that are not quite so. Just be sure to do your due diligence, or let us do it for you - by checking out our Kratom Reviews page.