The Origin And History Of Kratom

maeng da kratom leaves laid out next to a bowl of crushed kratom with tree bark as the background.
October 6, 2018 2 Comments

What Is Kratom?

Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa) is a plant that most people had never heard of until recently. The appetite of consumers for herbal remedies is both obvious and well-documented, and so it is no surprise that this old remedy has made something of a comeback. However, the plant is still not very well-researched, and thus its efficacy and safety have not yet been fully verified. Thankfully, some very intelligent people are working to change that. But in the meantime, here is a short overview of the history behind this unique plant.

Where Did It Come From?

The origin of Kratom is not fully known. However, we can reasonably assume certain things about the origin of Kratom. The Kratom plant is a native of Southeast Asia, where it has been used by the native cultures for many centuries. Tribal societies used it as a mild stimulant by chewing its leaves, making it very similar to Khat or Coca in a functional sense. It is said to increase the appetite, give energy, and increase sexual potency. Native tribes in this region would eat it, smoke it, or brew it as a tea. It was rarely used by itself because of its bitter taste. Native tribes would also often use it as a poultice for various wounds. Historically, the Kratom tree was enjoyed most by laborers, field workers, and others who worked hard and demanding jobs.

Historically Used As An Opium Substitute:

An interesting aspect of this plant is the fact that it behaved as a stimulant in low doses while behaving more like an opiate in large doses. Since the Kratom plant did not contain any opiate substances, it did contain substances that are chemically similar.

This chemical similarity has led to Kratom’s use in the treatment of opioid addiction. It worked as a substitute by bonding to the brain’s opioid receptors in a similar fashion.

It should be mentioned that Kratom has never been known to cause death or any other serious problem when used in the traditional manner. When a substance is not regulated properly, there are bound to be negative consequences.

Kratom’s use as an opiate substitute goes all the way back to the 19th century when the plant was first documented by Pieter Willem Korthals. He wrote that the plant was used by the natives as a substitute for opium when it was unavailable or unaffordable. Another Western scientist named H. Ridley wrote two years later that Kratom was used by the natives to wean addicts from opium. From this example, we can see that this particular remedy is likely to be a very old one. From the origin of Kratom, it has been used to wean opiate addicts from their often-deadly addiction. Upon further research, Western scientists identified the active ingredient in the Kratom tree as Mitragynine, a complex alkaloid that behaves like an opioid with much milder side effects.

As a medicine, Kratom has been used in traditional Southeast Asian societies to treat a variety of ailments from diarrhea to diabetes. Its use is also a central component of some traditional festivals and gatherings. The buying and selling of this plant has become illegal in many countries but remains in use in many rural communities. Malaysia and Thailand have always been the nations with the highest incidence of Kratom use.

Where To Buy (Research Purposes Only):

If you want to buy Bali Kratom or Maeng Da Kratom, there are a number of good sources for your research material. Here at Kratomystic we offer exceptional powders. With continued research, it is possible that this tree could yield a solution to the worldwide opiate epidemic.



  1. May 10, 2019
    Nancy Nichols

    I’m wanting to buy some. What website do you recommend.

  2. July 14, 2019

    Thank you for the great information and continued advocacy! We must insure that Kratom is not banned by big pharma and misinformation.


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