The History and Sciences Behind Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa)

Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa) is a tree/plant that is native to Thailand and which is not completely understood. It can be grown anywhere as long as the right climate and conditions are ideal. There are some legal issues regarding its possession and use that inevitably slows down any scientific or medical research about the plant. However, that does not discredit the possibilities surrounding the plant.

crushed kraotm leaf

Kratom tree can grow 12-30 feet (3-20 meters) tall and 15 feet in circumference depending on the climate in which it is grown. Its leaves are broad, oval or elliptical in shape with yellow flowers that tend to grow in clusters. Its seeds grow in pods that house 50 seeds per pod and when given the right place to grow, these seeds germinate fairly quickly. It is usually grown in Thailand, South-East Asia (Malaysia, Borneo, New Guinea) and Africa. The ideal condition in which kratom grows is in a wet, warm climate which is no surprise that it grows in subtropical regions. In the subtropical regions of Asia, it is seen growing in the rainforest and in the subtropical regions of Africa, it is growing in the swamps. Essentially, this plant requires very rich and fertile soil to grow and mature.

Kratom Strains

It is thought that Mitragyna Speciosa can be either an evergreen or a deciduous tree. Again, this depends on the climate in which it is grown. It is thought that kratom is more an evergreen tree than a deciduous because it has its leaf year round however its ability to lose its leaves during the dry season and experience new leave growth during the rainy season illustrations that is also a deciduous. It has two species that are distinguished by the color of the veins of the leaf and these colors are white and red.


Mitragyna Speciosa is a native plant of Thailand that has medicinal traditions. It is called ithang, kakuam and thomby natives. About 150 years ago, it was named, Mitragyna, by the Dutch botanist, Pieter Willem Korthals because he thought the leaves of kratom resembled the white pointy hats bishops in the Netherlands wore, also known as Mitra. In 1895, it was given the full name Mitragynaspeciosa by botanist E.M. Holmes.

Kratom’s botanical classification is: Family: Rubiaciae; Genus: Mitragyna; Species: speciosa. Although there aren’t enough studies about this plant, scientists have been able to uncover some properties about it through some chemical research and research involving laboratory mice. There has been 40 compounds that have been extracted from the kratom plant but the more active chemicals found within the leave of kratom are mitragyne (molecular weight = 414.49g) and 7-hydroxymitagynine (molecular weight = 398.495g). Other chemicals extracted from the plant include: speciocillatine, paynantheine, andspeciogynine.

Based on research that has been able to be conducted about kratom plant, it is found that is a partial agonist (it partially stimulates receptors in the brain) binding to mu- and delta-opiod receptors that are involved in pain along with adrenergic receptors and serotonergic receptors. Furthermore, it is found that the plant has anti-pyretic (fever reducing), anti-cancerous, anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant anti-diarrheal, analgesic properties and it can act as a local anesthetic. Research involving mice has demonstrated that the plant has the ability to alter cognitive behavioral function but the extent at which it does still requires further research and testing.


In August 23, 1943, Thailand government passed the Kratom Act banning the possession, use, sell and growth of the plant. The law went further to ban growing of more trees/plants and stated that old trees should be cut down. This law, however, is counterproductive because, as already stated, the Kratom plant/tree is native to Thailand. Recently, the Thailand government is trying to legalize the possession, use, growth and sell of kratom. The use or possession of Kratom is banned in other countries such as Australia, Burma, Poland, Lithuania, Malaysia, Sweden, Myanmar, and Vietnam. It is legal to possess and grow in other European counties and it has a controlled use status in Finland, Denmark, New Zealand, Romania and Germany. In the United States, the sale of the chemicals, found in kratom, mitragynine and hydroxymitragynine are banned in the states of Tennessee, Indiana, Arizona, Louisiana, Wisconsin and Vermont. The ban of the plant/tree itself is unknown in these states. Still widely available, and if interested you can buy kratom here from our sponsors.

Based on the information provided about kratom, it is clear that more scientific research is needed about this plant. It may hold great pharmaceutical advantages for us in the future. The laws surrounding the plant is obviously hindering future knowledge being researched but who knows, that may change.