p_1529Kratom has recently been mis-categorized as a “synthetic” and a “synthetic street drug”.  It absolutely is not; Kratom is a 100% natural plant and herbal supplement that has been used safely for thousands of years.  There is also a growing body of clinical studies that outline Kratom’s potential life-saving medicinal properties.

Entheology has long been a voice for the plants, and we’ve decided to devote a large portion of our resources to the preservation of legal access to natural, safe, and effective Kratom products.  We have been amassing as much information that might help Kratom’s current legal battle.

The main articles are as follows:

Pharmacology of Kratom

Kratom IS a 100% natural plant, and the Kratom products available for sale on the internet are all 100% natural herbal products and dietary supplements.  Lawmakers incorrectly grouping Kratom with dangerous synthetics and placing it into “Schedule I” will prevent any further research on the serious medical benefits this plant has already demonstrated in just the few studies that have already been published, many of which are on our website below.

Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa Korth.) is a tall leafy tree, in the family Rubiaceae, and is native to Southeast Asia. It grows in hot, wet tropical areas such as Thailand, where it is generally called kratom.  It grows mostly in the southern regions of this country. The leaves have long been for “medicinal purposes” and as a narcotic drug. Oddly enough, because of a political decision during WWII, Kratom is illegal to buy, sell, import, or grow and harvest in its native country of Thailand. This law makes planting the tree illegal and requires existing trees to be cut down. However it is not fully effective, since the tree is indigenous to the country and native people prefer to use them. Hence, Kratom remains a popular herbal supplement in Thailand, especially in southern regions.

Kratom has been traditionally used in Thailand, and there are also reports of some use in Malaysia. There are two kinds of kratom, distinguished by the color of veins in the leaf, red or green. Local people preferred to use both of them. In addition to being used, in its own right, it has been used successfully medically by helping to moderate opium addiction. Kratom has been reported to be a central nervous system stimulant, and also depressant. It helps to increase work efficiency and tolerance to hard work under a scorching sun (Suwanlert, 1975). It also uses to treat muscle ache and fatigue (Chucheun, 2005).

Over 25 alkaloids have been isolated from kratom leaves with mitragynine being the most dominant (Chittrakarn et al., 2005). Other alkaloids are mitraphylline, speciogynine, 7-hydroxymitragynine, etc. Mitragynine has an antinociceptive action through the supraspinal opioid receptors and descending noradrenergic and serotonergic systems (Matsumoto et al., 1996).

Mitragynine inhibited the vas deferens contraction elicited by nerve stimulation, probably through its blockage of neuronal Ca2+ channels (Matsumoto et al., 2005). Mitragynine inhibits guinea-pig ileum contractionin vitrovia the opioid receptor (Watanabe et al.,1997). 7-Hydroxymitragynine has a more potent analgesic activity than that of morphine (Matsumoto et al., 2004). In folk medicine, it has been used to treat diarrhea. It was found that methanolic extract of kratom had the antidiarrhreal activity and decreased body weight (Chittrakarn et al., 2008).

The fresh leaves are usually chewed, often continuously, by workers or manual laborers seeking a numbing, stimulating effect that helps to improve their tolerance to work and relieves muscle strains. From the traditional medicine use for relief muscle ache and strain, the effects of mitragynine and methanol extract of kratom leaves on neuromuscular junction and somatic nerves were investigated in this study.

Current Plight of Kratom

Kratom is being lumped in with the new synthetics; dangerous manufactured drugs that need to be taken off the market and the streets.  Entheology is on the side of lawmakers who want to ban the wide range of synthetic Designer Drugs that have exploded onto the marketplace.  What we take issue with, is that Kratom, a 100% natural plant is being incorrectly lumped in with these synthetics.

Kratom is NOT an analogue of a legal or illegal drug; Kratom is a safe and effective plant with vast medical potential described in the reports above.  It needs to be separated from the current frenzy of bills that are looking to criminalize the use of Kratom.

How You Can Save Kratom

The Botanical Legal Defense Team has already been successful at getting Kratom and its alkaloids removed from the Arizona House Bill 2453.  We pointed out to Senator Farnsworth (the sponsor of the bill), that Kratom was mis-categorized as a “synthetic drug”, and needed to be removed from that list.  Kratom is a 100% natural herbal supplement with an impeccable history of safe use, but has also shown great promise because of its various medical uses already being researched.

The absolute best you can do right now is to TALK INTELLIGENTLY about Kratom and it’s several thousand year safe history.

The Now-Famous Mitragynine Alkaloid

Mitraginine is one of the 27 naturally-occurring alkaloids inside the Kratom plant.  Just as caffeine is an alkaloid that naturally occurs in the coffee bean, so does mitragynine and other alkaloids in Kratom leaves.  Alkaloids are typically responsible for the varying actions of different plants, such as analgesic properties of the Willow Tree’s bark in the form of aspirin.

In the simplest terms, Mitragynine itself acts primarily via μ-opioid receptors.  Its oxidation product mitragynine pseudoindoxyl, acts as an even more potent and selective μ-opioid agonist with less affinity for δ or κ receptors.

What does this mean in plain English?  This means there is great medical potential for Kratom for this one reason alone.  It can possibly work as a powerful medicine to help mitigate opiate withdrawal, or as a potential new pain killer that could be far less addicting than current medications such as Oxycodone.

But that’s just the start of what is possible for this ancient plant..  Research has just begun, and if Kratom is incorrectly lumped together with dangerous street drugs and synthetics as it already has in 3 states, all medical research on this plant will be stopped.  Do not let that happen by taking action and joining the fight today!

This is also an additional key alkaloid inside the leaves of the plant Mitraginine Speciosa called 7-hydroxymitragynine.  7-OH is another alkaloid with a major contribution to the μ-opioid activity of the kratom plant, which while present in the plant in much smaller quantities than mitragynine, is a much more potent μ-opioid agonist.

This means that Kratom not only has incredible medical potential, but it may have multiple uses in the medical field.

And these two alkaloids, are just two of the 27 alkaloids contained within the living Kratom plant.  If Kratom continues to be incorrectly categorized as a “synthetic” and lumped in with the dangerous street drugs such as Bath Salts and K2, all medical research on Kratom will be forced to be stopped, and we will all lose a chance at finding new ways to help cure addiction, to mitigate pain, and to make our individual lives happier and more comfortable.

Please consider all of this before deciding to place Kratom and any of it’s naturally-occurring alkaloids onto Schedule I.  Just because the alkaloids sound like chemicals or “synthetics”, they absolutely are not and have absolutely no business on any bill that aims to ban or criminalize Kratom.

As always, in relation to this fight or any other fight related to protecting the plants and people who honor the ancient, sacred, and medicinally-valuable, don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Warmest Regards,Keith (keith at botanicallegaldefense dot org)


Chittrakarn, S., Keawwongsri, P., Kumarnsit, E., Sawangjaroen, K., Keawpradub, N., 2005. Botanical description and pharmacological activity. In: Assanangkorn-chai, S., Siriwong Na Ayutthaya, A. (Eds.), Kratom in Thai Social. Bangkokblock, Bangkok, pp. 97–112.

Chittrakarn, S., Sawangjaroen, K., Prasettho, S., Janchawee, B., Keawpradub, N., 2008. Inhibitory effects of kratom leaf extract (Mitragyna speciosaKorth.) on the rat gastrointestinal tract. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 116, 173–178.

(Chittrakarn found that methanolic extract of kratom had the anti-diarrhreal activity and decreased body weight)

Chucheun, C., 2005. Social, culture and human life in kratom community. In:
Assanangkornchai, S., Siriwong Na Ayutthaya, A. (Eds.), Kratom in Thai Social.
Bangkokblock, Bangkok, pp. 17–96.

(Chucheun verified that kratom has been used to treat muscle ache and fatigue)

Suwanlert, S., 1975. A study of kratom eaters in Thailand. ODCCP-Bulletin on Nar-
cotics 27, 21–27.

(Suawanlert found kratom helps to increase work efficiency and tolerance to hard work under a scorching sun.)

Matsumoto, K., Horie, S., Ishikawa, H., Takayama, H., Aimi, N., Ponglux, D., Watanabe, K., 2004. Antinoceptive effect of 7-hydroxymitragynine in mice: discovery of an active opioid analgesic from the Thai medicinal herbMitragyna speciosa. Life Sciences 74, 2143–2155.

Matsumoto, K., Mizowaki, M., Takayama, H., Sakai, S., Aimi, N., Watanabe, H., 1996. Suppressive effect of mitragynine on the 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine-induced head-twitch response in mice. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 57, 319–323.

Matsumoto, K., Yamamoto, L.T., Watanabe, K., Yano, S., Shan, J., Pang, P.K.T., Ponglux, D., Takayama, H., Horie, S., 2005. Inhibitory effect of mitragynine, an analgesic alkaloid from Thai herbal medicine, on neurogenic contraction of the vas deferens. Life Sciences 78, 187–194.

Matsumoto, in 1996 found that Mitragynine has an antinociceptive action through the supraspinal opioid receptors and descending noradrenergic and serotonergic systems.)

Matsumoto, in 2005 found that Mitragynine inhibited the vas deferens contraction elicited by nerve stimulation, probably through its blockage of neuronal Ca2+ channels)

Watanabe, K., Yano, S., Horie, S., Yamamoto, L.T., 1997. Inhibitory effect of mitragynine, an alkaloid with analgesic effect from Thai medicinal plant Mitragyna speciosa, on electrically stimulated contraction of isolated guinea-pig through the opioid receptor. Life Sciences 60, 933–942.

(Watanabe found that Mitragynine inhibits guinea-pig ileum contractionin vitrovia the opioid receptor)