Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is the leaf of a tropical deciduous tree within the coffee family (Rubiaceae) native to Southeast Asia.
Kratom has been safely used as a dietary and nootropic supplement, and natural remedy in Southeast Asia for centuries.
Typically consumed in small quantities by chewing fresh or dried leaves, as a steeped tea, or powdered and washed down with a drink. Kratom was used throughout their workday for energy and pain relief.[i]
As a nootropic supplement, Kratom continues to be used to improve mood, as an anxiolytic, for insomnia, pain relief, more energy, as an anti-inflammatory, and to lower blood sugar.[ii]
Here we’ll explore how Kratom benefits your brain.
- Pain: The compounds mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine are agonists of mu (μ) -, delta (δ) –, and kappa (κ) opioid receptors. Resulting in relief from pain.[iii]
- Anxiolytic: Kratom affects serotonin and norepinephrine pathways in the central nervous system providing relief from anxiety and depression.[iv]
- Energy: Kratom affects dopamine D1 receptors which helps boost energy.[v]
Table of Contents
Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is the leaf of a 4 – 16-meter-high tree indigenous to South East Asia, the Philippines and New Guinea.
Kratom is of the Rubiaceae family of flowering plants which includes the coffee plant.
The genus was given its Mitragyna name by the Dutch botanist Pieter Korthals in 1839 because the leaves and the stigmas of the flowers of the plant resemble the shape of a bishop’s mitre.
Other names of the plant are krathom, kakuam, ithang or thom (Thailand), biak-biak or ketum (Malaysia), and mambog (Philippines).
Kratom as a nootropic supplement is the leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa tree and are either greenish/white or red in color. Typically supplied as crushed or powdered dried leaves that vary in color from light to dark green and some variants have a reddish tinge.
Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine (7-HMG), unique to Mitragyna speciosa, are the two alkaloids mainly responsible for the effects of Kratom. And are agonists of the μ-subtype opioid receptor (MOR).[vi]
5-HT2a (subtype of serotonin receptor) and postsynaptic α2–adrenergic receptors, as well as neuronal Ca2+ channels are also involved in the unique mechanism of action of mitragynine.
Kratom has been traditionally used as fresh or dried leaves that are chewed or steeped into tea.
At lower dosages, Kratom is used for its stimulant effects and is used to combat fatigue.
At higher dosages, Kratom can have more of a sedative and anxiolytic effect. And has also been used in traditional and natural medicine as an alternative to opiate medications.
Currently, Mitragyna speciosa is legal to buy in most European countries and in most states in the USA.
But some EU countries, such as Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Sweden, Mitragyna speciosa and/or mitragynine and 7-HMG are controlled drugs.
Kratom is listed as a controlled substance in Australia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand (which has legalized the use of Kratom and cannabis plants for medicinal use on December 2018).
In New Zealand, Mitragyna speciosa and mitragynine are controlled under the Medicines Amendment Regulations. In the USA, Kratom is not controlled on a federal level though considered as a ‘drug of concern’.[vii]
Kratom is a potent option for its pain-relieving qualities and as a neuro-stimulant.[viii] And its legal use will continue to be debated.
With ordinary people pressing for maintaining its availability as a supplement. While pharmaceuticals and mainstream medicine fight to have it scheduled as a restricted substance.
How does Kratom work in the brain?
Kratom boosts brain health and function in several ways. But two in particular stand out.
- Kratom helps reduce pain. Kratom has traditionally been used to treat various types of diseases especially in Thailand and Malaysia. Its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties in its crude form are well documented.
Research shows that mitragynine, the major alkaloid compound found in young leaves of Mitragyna speciosa affects the norepinephrine and serotonin pathways in the brain. Contributing to its pain-relief qualities.[ix]
Studies also show that mitragynine significantly inhibits mRNA expression of COX-1 and COX-2, and the production of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). Meaning Kratom “may be useful for the treatment of inflammatory conditions.”[x]
- Kratom is an anxiolytic and antidepressant. Kratom users often speak of Kratom’s ability to lift mood and tame anxiety soon after taking it. And researchers have confirmed its anti-anxiety and antidepressant qualities in several animal studies.
Researchers in Malaysia treated Sprague-Dawley rats with 10, 20 and 40 mg/kg of mitragynine or 10 mg/kg of the benzodiazepine diazepam 60 minutes before testing. The Kratom dosage was selected based on human equivalent doses from previous reports.
The study revealed that mitragynine produced anxiolytic effects similar to diazepam. Which was attributed to interactions among opioid, GABA and dopamine regions of the brain.[xi]
Another Malaysian study evaluated the antidepressant effect of mitragynine in mice. The mice received 10 mg/kg and 30 mg/kg of mitragynine.
The researchers said, “mitragynine exerts an antidepressant effect” in mice. And the effect appeared to be mediated by an interaction with the neuroendocrine HPA axis system.[xii]
Mitragynine is the main alkaloid in Kratom.
How things go bad
Seems just being human guarantees each of us will need to deal with anxiety, depression and pain at some point in our lives.
And if left unchecked can result in:
↑ Chronic inflammation
↑ Accelerated aging
↑ High blood pressure
↑ Increased pain
↑ Anxiety and/or depression
If you choose to be treated with prescription drugs, it could result in side effects like decreased alertness, brain fog, slower thinking, poor memory and possible decline in mood.
Neurohackers report using Kratom to alleviate chronic pain, as an antidepressant and anti-anxiety supplement, for energy at lower dosages, and for sleep at higher dosages.
Kratom has also helped thousands to withdraw from opiates. Because the compounds mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine bind to same opiate receptors as prescription pain meds. But without the danger of respiratory failure.
Christopher McCurdy at the University of Mississippi National Center for Natural Products Research used mouse models for Kratom research.
In one study, McCurdy’s team gave mice two doses of morphine daily for 5 days. Doubling it each day until the mice were addicted to morphine.
The control group then received naloxone which is used to reverse heroin overdose. And subsequently went through the physical symptoms of opiate withdrawal.
The other group of mice received freeze-dried Kratom tea daily for 5 days. The animals displayed a significant reduction in withdrawal side effects.
The scientists then repeated the test with extracts of pure mitragynine in place of Kratom tea. Which caused the residual withdrawal side effects of opiate withdrawal to vanish completely.[xiii]
How does Kratom feel?
You feel the affects of Kratom within 30 minutes of your first dose.
A 2017 Grundman survey of 10,000 Kratom users aged 31 – 50 years, the majority having used Kratom from 6 months to 5 years, reported the following benefits:
- increased energy
- decreased pain
- increased focus
- less depressed mood
- less anxious mood
- reduced or stopped use of opioid painkillers
- reduced PTSD symptoms
- elevated mood
99.35% of survey respondents answered “no” to the question asking if “medical or mental health care treatment was needed because of Kratom consumption?”
20.93% of respondents reported the only negative effects of using Kratom was nausea or constipation.[xiv]
The Pain News Network conducted a survey of over 6,400 Kratom users in 2017. Survey respondents reported the most common reason for using Kratom was pain management.
Followed by using Kratom for anxiety, opioid addiction or dependence, and depression. The majority reported that they didn’t think Kratom was harmful. And the majority said they could NOT get a high from using Kratom.[xv]
Kratom Clinical Research
Kratom helps control pain
Mu-opioid receptor agonists are the mainstays of pain management. But the therapeutic use of these drugs is associated with serious side effects, including potentially lethal respiratory depression.
So, there is an ongoing search for new opioid analgesics which are safer.
Kratom is an unusual class of opioid receptor modulator with a distinct mechanism of action.
Researchers found that mitragynine and the oxidized analogue 7-hydroxymitragynine found in Kratom, are partial agonists of the human mu-opioid receptor and competitive antagonists at the kappa- and delta-opioid receptors.
But mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine are also G-protein-biased agonists of the mu-opioid receptor, which do not recruit β-arrestin following receptor activation.
Which means that Kratom provides the pain relief associated with prescription opioid medication. But without the potentially lethal side effect of respiratory depression.[xvi]
Kratom as an anti-depressant
Many neurohackers report that Kratom is effective in relieving their anxiety and depression.
And a 2018 study confirmed these findings in a systematic review of all studies on Kratom use and mental health published between January 1960 and July 2017.
Participants in these studies confirmed that Kratom enhanced their mood and reduced anxiety symptoms. The study authors noted that Kratom also has potential as an opioid substitute for people addicted to opioids.[xvii]
Kratom for withdrawal from opiate addiction
Surveys of regular Kratom users often report its primary use is to help people quit opiates and avoid withdrawal symptoms. And research in animals support what neurohackers report.
Researchers at Prince of Songkla University in Thailand investigated the effects of Kratom extract on morphine withdrawal in mice.
Male Swiss Albino mice were given morphine until they were dependent on it. The mice were then given injections of naloxone, an opioid agonist, to induce morphine withdrawal symptoms.
The mice were tested then given Mitragyna speciosa extract and tested again. The Kratom extract significantly reduced the severity of morphine withdrawal symptoms.
And the researchers concluded, “treatment with the M. speciosa alkaloid extract may be useful for opiate addiction treatment program.”[xviii]
Kratom Recommended Dosage
Dosage of Kratom is key when your goal are specific effects. Dose too low, and you’ll get no benefit. But dose too high and you’ll experience relatively harmless, but usually unpleasant side effects like diarrhea, the sweats, or even vomiting.
And Kratom has a short half-life, so you need to dose it several times a day to keep stable levels in your system.
Recommended dosage of Kratom is:
- Mild effects – 1 – 2 grams
- Moderate effects – 2 – 5 grams
- High effects – 6 – 15 grams
Note that potency can vary a lot between different strains of Kratom. And even which area Kratom is harvested. There is no ‘standardized’ dosage. Instead dosage is based on experience and user reports.
Typically, lower dosages are more stimulating and higher dosages more sedating.
But every Kratom strain has a general, optimal dose for its therapeutic value, and for its ‘feel-good’ effects. Anything above this ideal dosage can have unpleasant effects.
And most people find that Kratom works more effectively when consumed on an empty stomach. Taken with a meal could nullify or dramatically reduce its effects.
The traditional method of using Kratom in Southeast Asia was using fresh leaves, removing stems and veins, bundling the leaves, and chewing the leaves.
The “toss ‘n’ wash” method of dosing Kratom is chasing the powder with water. Not recommended.
Kratom tea is a common method of using it. Simmer powdered Kratom in water for 20 minutes and drink the tea. Easier to drink, but if you strain out the soggy Kratom powder before drinking, you’ll lose some of the valuable, medicinal value of the plant.
Adding lemon juice to your Kratom tea can increase the bioavailability of its alkaloid content.
You can also mix measured Kratom powder with yogurt, applesauce, juice, peanut butter or chocolate milk.
My preferred method is making capsules of Kratom powder. It’s convenient, eliminates the unpleasant taste, and provides the desired therapeutic benefit within 20 minutes of swallowing the capsules.
You can help avoid Kratom tolerance by supplementing with magnesium because this mineral is a NMDA receptor antagonist.[xix]
Kratom Side Effects
The most common side effects associated with Kratom use is nausea and constipation. But others may include muscle tremors, itching, sweating, dizziness, and dry mouth.
There have been unsubstantiated reports that Kratom could cause seizure and hallucinations in some people.
Abruptly stopping long-term Kratom use could result in withdrawal symptoms including insomnia, diarrhea and fever. Some neurohackers have reported feeling nervous, tense, angry or sad when stopping Kratom.[xx]
The American FDA has reported some deaths among Kratom users. But none have been substantiated. In fact, The New England Journal of Medicine did a systematic review of 15 kratom-related deaths.
And the researchers concluded none of the deaths were caused by Kratom. But that there is an “increased risk of adverse events” when Kratom is ingested with opioids or psychoactive drugs.[xxi]
Studies with animals show that Kratom even at dosages of 1,000 mg/kg daily for 14 days will not cause death.[xxii] But did produce severe liver damage and minor kidney damage. That’s the equivalent daily dosage of 72 grams in a 160 lb. (72 kg) human.
If you are dealing with liver or kidney problems, use caution when using Kratom. Particularly at higher dosages.
If you are pregnant or intend on becoming pregnant you should avoid using Kratom.
Those who have problems with addiction to alcohol and other drugs are at increased risk of abusing Kratom.
And Kratom may worsen existing mental disorders. So if you are dealing with clinical depression, suicidal thoughts or other neurological disorder, and especially if you are using anti-anxiety or antidepressant medication for these disorders, you should not use Kratom.
Types and where to buy Kratom
Kratom is sold as capsules, tablets, powder, concentrated extract, gum or raw leaves.
Leaf alkaloid content varies from plant to plant, and from strain to strain. The most popular strains for pain relief both red and green veined versions are:
- Maeng Da
Red vein versions of the above Kratom strains tend to be more reliable for pain relief. And the general consensus is that Maeng Da is most potent of all.
Most strains of Kratom can help depression and anxiety. But differences in strain can change the type of experience you’ll have.
In general, the following red and green strains will help lift mood at higher dosages. And lower dosages of the same strains may be somewhat stimulating.
You can also buy water-based extracts of Kratom. These extracts have more alkaloid content than regular Kratom. One option is adding some extract to regular Kratom to potentiate its pain-relieving effects.
Kratom resin extracts are made using a solvent to extract the alkaloids which is then left to dry. You get the full spectrum of effects of regular Kratom at much smaller dosages of resin.
Adulteration of Kratom is an ongoing problem and you must use caution when selecting your Kratom vendor. Because anything other than pure, dried Kratom leaves or a verified extract can cause severe side effects.
Researchers at the School of Pharmacy at the University of Massachusetts purchased several commercially available Kratom products for analysis. And found multiple Kratom products to have substantially higher concentrations (109–520%) of 7-hydroxymitragynine than those found in raw Kratom leaves.
The problem is that 7-hydroxymitragynine, a potent mu-opioid receptor agonist, is likely to be a major contributing factor to the addictive potential of Kratom.[xxiii]
Buying ready-made capsules of Kratom is not only more expensive, but riskier because unless you are buying from a fully vetted vendor, you can’t be sure what’s in the capsule.
I highly recommend avoiding capsules from the corner shop. And buying Kratom powder from a company you trust.
My personal recommendation is a company based in the USA, and one of the only companies I’m aware of who offer a 30-day money back guarantee on all their product – Organa Kratom.
Organa Kratom offers 20 different strains of organic Kratom, and tests all their product for purity, yeast and mold, bacteria, pesticides and heavy metals. And are members of the American Kratom Association.
You can check out the Organa Kratom line of products here: Organa Kratom.
Nootropics Expert Recommendation
I recommend using Kratom as a nootropic supplement.
Your body does not make Kratom on its own. So to get its benefits you must take it as a supplement.
Kratom is especially helpful for those dealing with chronic pain, and fatigue.
Kratom is a powerful nootropic supplement. It may help you avoid or even get off opioids you’ve been on for years. With fewer withdrawal symptoms.
Kratom at lower dosages can provide a gentle stimulant effect. And at higher dosages can help you deal better with anxiety and depression.
Some find Kratom especially helpful for insomnia. And not needing to rely on problematic prescription sleep aids.
You can safely take up to 15 grams of Kratom daily if needed. But dosed 5 grams at a time and preferably before you eat.
You can help prevent tolerance by taking Kratom with magnesium because this mineral helps block receptors associated with tolerance.I highly recommend choosing your Kratom vendor or supplier wisely. I’ve tried and recommend Organa Kratom and know their product is pure.
[i] Singh D., Müller C.P., Vicknasingam B.K., Mansor S.M. “Social Functioning of Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) Users in Malaysia.” Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. 2015 Apr-Jun;47(2):125-31. (source)
[ii] Raffa R.B. “Kratom and Other Mitragynines” CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group 2015 ISBN: 13-978-1-4822-2519-8 (source)
[iii] Takayama H1, Ishikawa H, Kurihara M, Kitajima M, Aimi N, Ponglux D, Koyama F, Matsumoto K., Moriyama T., Yamamoto L.T., Watanabe K., Murayama T., Horie S. “Studies on the synthesis and opioid agonistic activities of mitragynine-related indole alkaloids: discovery of opioid agonists structurally different from other opioid ligands.” Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 2002 Apr 25;45(9):1949-56. (source)
[iv] Rosenbaum C.D., Carreiro S.P., Babu K.M. “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow…and Back Again? A Review of Herbal Marijuana Alternatives (K2, Spice), Synthetic Cathinones (Bath Salts), Kratom, Salvia divinorum, Methoxetamine, and Piperazines” Journal of Medical Toxicology 2012 Mar; 8(1): 15–32. (source)
[v] Stolt, A.-C., Schröder, H., Neurath, H., Grecksch, G., Höllt, V., Meyer, M.R., Maurer, H.H., Ziebolz, N., Havemann-Reinecke, U., Becker, A. “Behavioral and neurochemical characterization of kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) extract” Psychopharmacology Volume 231, Issue 1, January 2014, Pages 13-25 (source)
[vi] Takayama H. “Chemistry and pharmacology of analgesic indole alkaloids from the rubiaceous plant, Mitragyna speciosa.” Chemical and Pharmological Bulletin (Tokyo). 2004 Aug;52(8):916-28. (source)
[vii] Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) Drug Profile. European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (accessed on 03 August 2019) (source)
[viii] Harun N., Hassan, Z., Navaratnam, V. et al. “Discriminative stimulus properties of mitragynine (kratom) in rats” Psychopharmacology (2015) 232: 2227. (source)
[ix] Matsumoto K. et. al. “Central antinociceptive effects of mitragynine in mice: contribution of descending noradrenergic and serotonergic systems” European Journal of Pharmacology Volume 317, Issue 1, 12 December 1996, Pages 75-81 (source)
[x] Utar Z., et. al. “Mitragynine inhibits the COX-2 mRNA expression and prostaglandin E2 production induced by lipopolysaccharide in RAW264.7 macrophage cells” Journal of Ethnopharmacology Volume 136, Issue 1, 14 June 2011, Pages 75-82 (source)
[xi] Hazim A.I., Ramanathan, S., Parthasarathy, S. et. al. “Anxiolytic-like effects of mitragynine in the open-field and elevated plus-maze tests in rats” The Journal of Physiological Sciences (2014) 64: 161. (source)
[xii] Idayu N.F., et. al. “Antidepressant-like effect of mitragynine isolated from Mitragyna speciosa Korth in mice model of depression” Phytomedicine Volume 18, Issue 5, 15 March 2011, Pages 402-407 (source)
[xiii] Arnst J. “The science behind kratom’s strange leaves” American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology July 01 2017 (source)
[xiv] Grundmann O. “Patterns of Kratom use and health impact in the US-Results from an online survey.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 2017 Jul 1;176:63-70 (source)
[xv] “Kratom Survey” Pain News Network (retrieved August 3, 2019) (source)
[xvi] Kruegel A.C., et. al. “Synthetic and Receptor Signaling Explorations of the Mitragyna Alkaloids: Mitragynine as an Atypical Molecular Framework for Opioid Receptor Modulators” Journal of the American Chemical Society 2016138216754-6764 (source)
[xvii] Swogger M.T., Walsh Z. “Kratom use and mental health: A systematic review” Drug and Alcohol Dependence Volume 183, 1 February 2018, Pages 134-140 (source)
[xviii] Cheaha D., Reakkamnuan C., Nukitram J., Chittrakarn S., Phukpattaranont P., Keawpradub N., Kumarnsit E. “Effects of alkaloid-rich extract from Mitragyna speciosa (Korth.) Havil. on naloxone-precipitated morphine withdrawal symptoms and local field potential in the nucleus accumbens of mice.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2017 Aug 17;208:129-137. (source)
[xix] McCarthy R.J. et. al. “Antinociceptive Potentiation and Attenuation of Tolerance by Intrathecal Co-Infusion of Magnesium Sulfate and Morphine in Rats” Anesthesia & Analgesia April 1998 - Volume 86 - Issue 4 - p 830-836 (source)
[xx] Singh D., Müller C.P., Vicknasingam B.K. “Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) dependence, withdrawal symptoms and craving in regular users.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 2014 Jun 1;139:132-7 (source)
[xxi] “Deaths in Colorado Attributed to Kratom” The New England Journal of Medicine January 3, 2019 (source)
[xxii] Kamal M.S.A., Ghazali A.R., Yahya N.A., Wasiman M.I., Ismail Z. “Acute toxicity study of standardized Mitragyna speciosa Korth aqueous extract in Sprague Dawley rats.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2010 Sep 15;131(2):404-9 (source)
[xxiii] Lydecker A.G,. Sharma A., McCurdy C.R., Avery B.A., Babu K.M., Boyer E.W. “Suspected Adulteration of Commercial Kratom Products with 7-Hydroxymitragynine” Journal of Medical Toxicology. 2016 Dec;12(4):341-349 (source)
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Your article is amazing. Are you still doing private consultations?
David Tomen says
Laura, I am still doing personal consultation. Here is a link to my calendar if you are interested: https://calendly.com/davidtomen/60-minute-consultation-with-nootropics-expert
I see you said magnesium helps avoid tolerance because it is an NMDA receptor agonist. But the study you site claims it is an NMDA antagonist. Can you clarify if I’m missing something, or is it a typo and NMDA antagonism is what helps avoid tolerance rather than agonism?
David Tomen says
It was a typo and thanks for catching it. I’ve corrected it. Much appreciated.
I really appreciate you and your info but after having been through a really horror withdrawal from kratom I really feel like that part of it needs more warning. The withdrawals can be very, and I mean, really, very, extremely bad. Please read the quitting kratom reddit. I do think it is interesting and holds a lot of potential. And I realize most other pain killers (never used it for pain, more of a white strain person myself, for focus and energy) are worse. Especially oxycodon and tramadol. If it gets people of other much worse and life destroying drugs yay for them and I wish it to be available for them and do think people should have the option to use it if they want BUT… be warned, it is addictive. Not if you just use it once in a while. Or on your worst days only. But it is with daily use. The withdrawals suck big time and if you did not see them coming you might be in for a very unpleasant surprise. So please read the good and the bad, and make a well informed decision. People who are prone to addiction really should not use it unless it is an alternative for worse stuff.
David Tomen says
Sen, sorry you had that experience using Kratom. This article explains the science on how and why Kratom works. It is up to the individual to decide to use it or any other supplement.
I took a look at your article and I think it’s too flattering for kratom.
I have been using kratom for a long time and it is indeed a very interesting plant. I will probably still use it occasionally. For many people, it can be very useful (as a replacement for stronger opioids).
However, a lot of people also become heavily addicted to kratom, and that needs to be said too. Yes, it temporarily works on anxiety disorders, but it worsens them in the long run, just like with benzodiazepines. I don’t know about depression, but it’s possible it’s similar.
David Tomen says
Piotr, every one of the individual supplement reviews is based on and backed by peer-reviewed clinical studies. They are not intended to be “flattering” or to scare anyone. Is Kratom right for you based on the science and how your body and brain react to it? Only you can decide that as an individual. I don’t what you or any politician telling me whether something natural is good for me. Or not.
Hi David, is there any plant that works the same or similar to kratom?Do you have any advice so that I don’t have to use kratom and still get the benefits that kratom has to offer? thank you for answer
David Tomen says
Jarda, there is no other plant that has the same chemical profile as Kratom. It’s unique because of how it binds to mu (μ) -, delta (δ) -, and kappa (κ) opioid receptors. No other plant does that.
Adam Smith says
Hi David, I have just started back on Kratom after a couple of years hiatus. I want to know if you know of any contraindications with saffron. I haven’t taken them together, and figured I would ask as can’t find any info on this. But I get a lot of benefit from Saffron, so am keen to not screw that up.
David Tomen says
Adam, there is nothing published and I am not aware of any contraindication. But there is only one way to find out. And I think you know what that is. 🙂
Hello thank you so much for this article and forum to connect! I just had a question about possible issue an unknown brand of Kratom may have caused. Hope to get your thoughts. I recently moved and was unable to find my regular blue majic brand while coming off long term opiate use(prescribed);until my order arrived by mail. In that time I was using a powder that was supposedly red vein. I know I was not taking the best care with it; I let it sit out in liquid for long periods between doses. I did not keep it sealed in its packet. From the start I was not getting much benefit as I normally would with my capsules. That being said, I may have gotten sick from it. I’m hoping you can tell me if it may have caused an infection in my parotid gland/saliva duct blockage. I sought medical help through ER for this and just completed antibiotics. During this time I was waiting on my 2nd order of capsules and went back to that powder until yesterday. Today I have been vomiting quite a bit, and I have a killer headache and nausea. So, I guess I’m wondering if I might have poisoned myself, or if my gland may do the same thing (If it’s related) have you ever heard of the first issue? And what do I do if I e become ill from bad Kratom (either because it was left out in liquid and still consumed up to 10 hrs later or that it was never sealed the month I had it as substitute) I will also say that my opiate withdrawal started almost 2 months ago, so I would not bring vomiting from that. Thank you for any help or advice you can provide! Greatly appreciate it. Syd I can try and discover the bad brand if needed for question. Bought from smoke shop in middle of nowhere AZ.
David Tomen says
Syd, I wish I could help but the one thing about Kratom is never ever buy it from a “smoke shop in middle of nowhere”, or a gas station, or a source where you cannot verify what you are getting.
There is a huge problem with adulteration in the dietary supplement industry. This industry is self-regulated and we do a pretty good job of it. But Kratom is another story altogether.
The only way to find out if the Kratom you have is contaminated or something else other than Kratom is to get it tested at a lab. There are so many things that can be mixed with it that cause the symptoms you describe that your only other option is to work with a medical professional and detox your system.
Rob Simmons says
Kratom can be good but tread lightly. Look at both sides (reddit/quitting kratom is the other). I’m weaning with withdrawals currently after two yrs of daily. If recreational, 2x/week max! And one big drink — not dosing all day long. (My advice would differ if using medicinally for major pain.)
I thought Kratom was innocent and perfect…so I went daily. Tolerance kicked in, so upped amount. Lost 45lbs, stomach probs, and major rebound anxiety/depression. Don’t believe the hype. Yes, it can be a great plant but can be a disaster if used on daily basis for months/years on end. I know from personal experience and from two close friends.
Are you familiar with RDS Reward deficiency syndrome. Doctors are using opioid medications to help recover from dopamine downregulating addictions.
David Tomen says
Mike, somewhat familiar. One of the best supplements for restoring dysfunctional dopamine receptors is NAC.
Derek Morrison says
So if I have a high tolerance for kratom…and I am looking for an energy booster using White Mange Dae, would I be able to receive an energy booster or would I just get a sedation because of my tolerance?
David Tomen says
Derek, I do not know what effect that strain of Kratom will have on you. It varies from person to person. For example, my wife finds Green Bali to be very stimulating while I find it only works for pain.
Stevan Wilcox says
Dear Mr. Tomen, my name is Stevan Wilcox and am quite impressed with your knowledge and also the format of your videos. I need some advise and am willing to pay for consultations, however the advice is not for me but for my daughter Chelsea. She has Recently been diagnosed with Guillain Barre Syndrome (possibly vaccine related) and I would like to have you discuss some possible options with her. I would prefer to have you talk directly to her. Can we set up an appointment with her directly?
David Tomen says
Stevan, I’m happy to do a consultation directly with Chelsea. Here is a link to my calendar: https://calendly.com/davidtomen/60-minute-consultation-with-report
Claudine M Diamond says
I am looking for an expert regarding the supplement, Kratom. I needs someone to look at records of purchases and medical records to determine if someone is addicted to Kratom. Can you help me locate someone?
David Tomen says
Claudine, records of purchases and medical records is not going to tell you if someone is “addicted” to Kratom.
That’s like looking at the purchase records and medical records of someone who uses alcohol to determine if they are an alcoholic. Life does not work that way Claudine.
Ask anyone you know in a Twelve Step program about this. And you’ll find alcoholics who are binge drinkers but their records would show they had not purchased any kind of alcohol for the last month. But when they drink they black out. That is one of the indicators of alcoholism.
I can only imagine why you are asking this. But I’m afraid you are going at this the wrong way.
In the first place thanks for your exquisite list (and info sheet) of all those nootropics/vitamins here.
I have GAD and since half a year ago, it has worsened by a lot. The most pronounced symptom that got worse beside the anxiety was muscle pain, I guess because of stress..
During that time, I came across your big list and tried a lot (basically all of them) to cope with my situation. Except ‘methylene blue’ though, I’ve never really felt a pronounced positive effect. I stopped using MB after a few trials though; I never couldn’t manage to NOT get blue stains all over the place (which are hard to clean too) despite careful covering my work bureau and wearing rubber gloves. Wouldn’t hurt to add that to your description here if I can be so free.
Now my point.. Of your list, kratom is the one I’ve been using for about 2 years and had great luck with it so far. It helped me to get rid of the dexedrine. However the benefits seem to shrink nowadays (even after starting to cycle strains) and it also depletes my iron levels (which i need to take high dose tablets of now). So I’m looking for something else to improve my anxiety and lack of energy which my kratom doesn’t really manage to succeed in any longer..
I’ve had few luck with dozens of medications prescribed in the past: only dexedrine, nardil, memantine and tramadol helped but all just temporarily..
I do admit that maybe I haven’t given all the mentioned supplements enough time to deliver my needs.. Is there perhaps one I should be more patient with? Or any other advice you could give me?
Thanks in advance for reading this and any kind of suggestion of your end. It’d mean a lot to me.
David Tomen says
Marlo, the mechanism of action for Kratom is closer to Tramadol than the other drugs on your list. And the first 3 affect dopamine and/or norepinephrine primarily.
Have you tried L-Tyrosine to increase dopamine? This neurotransmitter is involved in muscle movement, learning and memory, libido, energy and more.
I suggest trying a simple stack like L-Tyrosine, Alpha GPC, ALCAR, DHA, magnesium, and high quality, bioactive multivitamin and see how that works for you.
Set up a consultation with me if you want to dive deeper into this. It would likely reduce your experimenting by a few months. Here is a link to my calendar if you are interested: https://calendly.com/davidtomen/60min