Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a tree found in Southeast Asia, including the countries Thailand, Malyasia, and Myanmar (Burma). It is a relative of the coffee tree, as both are in the family Rubiaceae. Various herbal medicines have been made from its leaves. Small doses of kratom act as a stimulant, while large doses have a sedative effect. Kratom has also been used as a pain killer, diarrhea medicine, recreational drug and a treatment for opiate addiction.
People in Thailand often simply chew the fresh leaves, usually after removing the stringy central vein. Dried leaves are tough to chew, so most people grind them into a powder or tear them into small bits. The results are then added to apple sauce or fruit juice. That masks the taste and makes it easy to swallow.
Some people smoke kratom, but this method probably only works for users wanting the stimulant effect. It takes two to six grams of kratom to produce the stimulant effects. At seven to 15 grams, the effects vary depending on the strength of the kratom and/or the sensitivity of the person. In other words, this dosage would stimulate some people and sedate others. At 16 to 25 grams, kratom’s effects are consistently sedative. As large doses of kratom can cause sleepiness and vomiting, taking more than 25 grams is not recommended.
Kratom leaves, whether fresh or dried can be boiled and then made into a paste-like extract that can be stored. People can then either make the extract into pellets that can be swallowed or made into a tea.People in the West who use kratom prefer to make it into a tea, which can be made from the extract or from crushed and dried leaves. To make tea from dried leaves, the user boils 50 grams of dried leaves in one liter (slightly more than a quart) of water. They then strain the leaves, squeezing out as much liquid as possible, and then boil another liter using the same leaves. The two batches of tea are then added together and boiled down to the desired concentration. The more concentrated the tea is, the stronger it is. Very concentrated tea can become syrupy.
Kratom tea is very bitter. Most drinkers use sugar or honey to sweeten it. It can also be mixed with another, more palatable tea. Some people will drink the kratom tea as is and then follow it up with a chaser of fruit juice. Kratom tea can also be mixed with alcohol to extend its shelf life. Plain kratom tea keeps for about five days, while kratom tea mixed with rum, vodka, or some other type of alcohol will keep for months.