You may have heard about kratom, an alternative medicine that has risen in popularity over the past few years.
It’s often linked with properties that can be beneficial from a health and fitness perspective, but what is it exactly, and what are the claims about its potential positive traits?
There are many supplements out there that are best suited to your needs, and kratom is an example that’s derived from natural sources, in this case, a tree from Asia that’s found in countries including Thailand and Myanmar.
It’s the kratom leaves that are used as the source of this extract, and while it was originally only used for medicinal purposes in the region where it grows, today it has spread around the globe.
Different types of kratom that you can buy
Rather than being a single ingredient, there are actually several varieties of kratom, sourced from trees within the same species.
For example, White Vein Sumatra Kratom is grown on the Indonesian island of the same name. And it should be no surprise that this area produces such high-quality strains, since kratom is part of the coffee family, and so enjoys the same climatic conditions.
There are also green vein and red vein varieties, and we’ll talk more about what these can do in a moment.
The effects of kratom
The impact that kratom has on your body largely depends on the dosage, as well as the distinct strain of plant extract that is taken. The alleged benefits include:
Getting relief from chronic pain is something many of us crave, and kratom is capable of this as it contains compounds that work in a similar way to codeine.
From a fitness perspective, the stimulating qualities of small doses of kratom are worth mentioning. It is thought that it can enhance your levels of alertness and make you more aware of your surroundings, which is the kind of stimulation that is useful for things like team sports.
Some proponents of kratom put it forward as a potential solution for counteracting depression and anxiety in those who suffer from this mental illness.
At least one study in rodents has identified that kratom has the capability of driving down urges of hunger, meaning it may be effective as a dietary supplement to facilitate weight loss.
People with problems like erectile dysfunction, or generally low sex drives, can take kratom to benefit from the purported aphrodisiacal effects it delivers.
The more kratom that’s taken at once, the greater the sedative effects of its chemical composition come into play. This can be used as a means of helping people to feel calmer, perhaps if they are experiencing anxious thoughts.
One of the effects of kratom which is derived from the traditional uses it has received over the centuries is in treating diarrhoea.
The flip side of this is that of course, it means if you take it for any other reason, one of the side effects can be constipation, which is a complication in its own right.
The bottom line on kratom
It’s worth pointing out that for the time being, although there have been several studies involving kratom, there has not been sufficient research into its properties to make definitive scientific assertions as to its efficacy.
That said, it’s legal to buy and take this type of supplement in the US, and plenty of people have had positive experiences using it as an alternative to other medical treatments, so you can make your own mind up with advice from your physician.