Kratom is a plant in the coffee family, and much like its more famous cousin, it has become popular for its purported beneficial effects on the human body. As a plant, kratom contains a wide array of complex phytonutrients. In particular, kratom contains compounds known as alkaloids. It is these compounds that are believed to give the plant its unique qualities. In this article, we’ll explain what kratom alkaloids are and what some experts believe they may be able to do for your body. We’ll also discuss adding kratom to your health regimen in a safe and responsible manner.
Broadly speaking, alkaloids are naturally occurring organic compounds that contain nitrogen. Deriving from common amino acids, they commonly originate in flowering plants and are most often basic (or alkaline, hence the name), as opposed to neutral or acidic. In general, they have a rather bitter flavor, which is actually taken advantage of to create certain beverages, such as the “tonic” in gin and tonic.
In plants, where most alkaloids originate, they appear to have a variety of biological effects, although exactly what these are is not fully understood. There are over 3,000 known varieties of alkaloids, many of which have been found to have a profound impact on the human nervous system. Depending on the alkaloid, some of the effects are beneficial, some harmful, and some neutral.
Alkaloids act upon the human nervous system by binding to receptors in the human body, creating effects that are often very quick and very powerful. One of the most famous alkaloids is the caffeine molecule. When this binds to the body’s A1 receptor, it blocks the absorption of adenosine, which is the chemical that causes tiredness. As a result, caffeine has the effect of waking you up as well as stimulating blood flow and potentially increasing blood pressure.
Another common alkaloid is quinine, which inhibits the synthesis of nucleic acids in organic cells. It’s for this reason that quinine has become such a well-known and effective anti-malarial agent, as it kills the parasite that causes the disease by interfering with its ability to synthesize proteins.
Kratom contains dozens of alkaloids, with two in particular believed to be responsible for most of the plant’s purported effects. These two are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. Both of these alkaloids bind to various neuroreceptors in order to achieve their effects. It is believed that these two alkaloids work in tandem with one another and that different strains, with different levels of each active alkaloid, can have different results.
The first of the two compounds, mitragynine, is the most common alkaloid in the kratom plant, being found in concentrations of around 60 percent (sometimes more or less depending upon the strain). It affects the body’s production of adenosine, dopamine, serotonin, and other neurotransmitters.
The other compound, 7-hydroxymitragynine, is believed to be a key mediator of the effects of the other alkaloid. Though 7-hydroxymitragynine only accounts for around one percent of the total alkaloids in kratom. Its potency is magnitudes higher than that of mitragynine and greatly influences the effects of various kratom varieties.
Kratom is used with a number of goals in mind, with many users lauding its effects. For example, kratom is beginning to be studied for the beneficial effects it may have on relaxation and calming. Many users consider it an important part of their relaxation routines.
A large constituent of kratom users reports a boost in stamina and absence of fatigue in strenuous activities such as physically demanding activities or a long work day. As a relative of coffee that acts upon the adenosine receptors, kratom has also been used to act as a mild stimulant and to improve focus. Kratom alkaloids are sometimes used by athletes as well, as they believe they may help with endurance.
To safely utilize kratom and take advantage of the benefits it may provide for you, you first need to ensure you purchase it from a reputable vendor to ensure the receipt of a high-quality product.
When looking for a kratom vendor, find one like Club13 Herbals, which maintains excellent quality control by utilizing strict growing conditions and independently testing each and every product in a laboratory so that it’s guaranteed to be both high quality and free of pathogens. Club13 also offers a wide variety of products and strains so that you can learn which one works best for you.
Once you have selected a product to try, start with a very small amount and carefully study how you feel afterward. Gradually, you can increase the amount until you achieve the effects you desire. If unsure if kratom is a good addition to your herbal regimen, please consult a doctor or health specialist.