The Medicinal Chemistry of Kratom Leaves
Kratom, also known as mitragyna speciosa, is a large, evergreen tree only found in marshy areas of Southeast Asia. It is very abundant in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. It also goes by the names of ketum, thom, kakuam, biak, and thang. This tree can grow as high as 60 feet. It has a clustered flower with a distinct yellow color and oval-shaped leaves that go from light to dark green.
While kratom has been introduced in the West only in recent years, it had been popular in Southeast Asian traditional medicine for many centuries. Its leaves are either chewed or brewed as a tea to cure a variety of conditions and maladies like cough, fever, anxiety, pain, and depression.
Its first recorded mention in western literature was in 1839 by the Dutch botanist, Pieter Korthals. He was also the one who gave it its scientific name.
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