Traditionally, kratom leaves have been chewed or brewed into tea. The brew is usually sweetened to offset its bitterness. Kratom tea has sedative and stimulant effects, depending on the strain and dosage used. It also acts as an opioid substitute and alleviates pain. Its pain-relieving properties come from its ability to interact with mu opioid receptors in the brain. In addition, it has been shown to help with opioid withdrawal symptoms.
People who take kratom report increased work capacity and alertness. They also feel sociable and may experience heightened sexual desire. However, kratom can cause side effects, including dehydration, weight loss, constipation and hyperpigmentation of the cheeks. Some users have reported depression and anxiety. Animal studies have found that kratom can reduce depression by lowering corticosterone levels.
Kratom is available at some health food stores and online. It is sold as capsules, extracts and powders. It is marketed as an herbal supplement and not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Those who use it often are at risk of dependence and addiction.
It is recommended to only consume kratom under the supervision of a trained medical professional. This is especially true for children and adolescents. In addition, it is important to choose a reputable vendor who offers a money-back guarantee and lab-tested products. This will ensure that you are getting a quality product that has been properly screened and is free of any contaminants. This will help to avoid unwanted side effects and promote a healthy lifestyle.