Kratom Tea:  Does it really have medicinal benefits?

Author: Peter Grinspoon • Last updated:

Drinking a hot cup of Kratom tea seems an innocuous way to soothe and revitalize one’s body after a stressful day at work.  Kratom’s popularity is rising because of its health properties such as being a natural pain reliever and a mood stimulant.  But is Kratom tea truly an effective one, or would it be better for us to stick with tried and tested, conventional remedies?

Kratom tea comes from Mitragyna speciosa – a tropical evergreen tree that belongs to the coffee variant Rubiaceae and is seemingly endemic to Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Malaysia, and Myanmar. Having stimulating effects on an individual given their coffee connections, it apparently gives a so-called natural high.  As such, it is deemed illegal in most countries.

As an analgesic, Kratom leaves have traditionally been used as a pain medication and reprieve from diarrhea.  It can also support opiate withdrawal to avoid the cold turkey syndrome with complete cessation of smoking.  Further, Kratom can be used recreationally as well.


Disturbing Kratom Tea report

It is unfortunate that Kratom Tea became very controversial lately because it allegedly caused a permanent brain injury in a 19-year-old Florida teen.  The mother has blamed her daughter’s damaged frontal lobe on her habit of drinking Kratom Tea.

As a result, the FDA has dispatched warning notices to at least two Kratom tea merchants as they were also claiming unsupported and unproven health benefits for their product.  The same cannot be said with drinking black tea or green tea, which are consumed safely without negative issues.  That is why it is advisable to proceed with caution when it comes to getting into the habit of drinking Kratom tea.


How Kratom tea affects you

Just like most herbal products, you can make Kratom tea in two ways.  One is brewing Kratom leaves, and the other is to mix Kratom powder in hot water. Maggie Moon, who is a nutritionist based in California, explains that Kratom leaves consists of a chemical called mitragynine that supposedly works like codeine and morphine as opioid pain modulators.  Aside from Kratom tea, Kratom can be taken in many ways- as a capsule supplement, smoking its dried leaves, or chewing it raw.

It has been mentioned earlier that Kratom is a pain reliever.  It is apparently beneficial for those suffering from chronic ailments and some cancers.  Besides that, it is also a stimulant which can address anxiety and mild depression.  It is for these reasons that drinking Kratom tea seems justifiable, being plant-based, that can mitigate the said conditions.


Tea Made of Kratom more effects

Further claims about the benefits of Kratom include boost in sexual performance, enhanced overall mood and refined physical endurance. According to Moon, these supposed benefits, however, have yet to be proven by science.

While there is no sufficient evidence that Kratom tea can help one ease into opium withdrawal, many have subscribed to this remedy in order to avoid cold turkey syndrome with an immediate cessation from addictive substances.    FDA has announced that Kratom has not been proven to alleviate withdrawal symptoms from opiate addiction.

FDA further states that there are no clinical studies on Kratom use that indicate that it will be healthfully beneficial for opiate addiction and disease treatment.  This also extends to the  lack of scientific findings on both positive and negative effects of Kratom being combined with substances.


Dangers of drinking Kratom Tea

Moon warns that when Kratom tea is consumed using at least 5 grams, it will cause the following:

  • appetite loss
  • constipation
  • dizzy spells
  • excessive perspiration
  • frequent urination
  • Increased heart rate
  • mouth dryness
  • nausea
  • sedation
  • uncoordinated muscles
  • vomiting


More of the following ill side effects are expected when Kratom tea is drunk in large amounts:

  • anxiety
  • comatose
  • death
  • euphoric high
  • heart rate changes
  • seizures
  • slowness in breathing


As such, FDA has already been warning people against the use of Kratom in any form since November 2017.


Should you still drink Kratom tea?

While Kratom is not illegal in the US and is being sold as a medicinal alternative, it’s better to stay safe and avoid it for the time being, pending more available research on its true health profile.

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