Kratom is scientifically known as Mitragyna Speciosa. According to GC-MS analysis of freshly made Malaysian ‘ketum' drinks, prepared by extended boiling of fresh leaves in water, one 250 ml glass of ‘ketum' contained 22.5-25 mg mitragynine. Instead, this herb contains an alkaloid called mitraphylline that binds to the same mu-opioid receptors in the brain as mitragynine and is also present in kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) and cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa).

Mitragyna Speciosa is a botanical name for kratom, a tropical deciduous and evergreen tree with a long history of medicinal use. Grundmann Patterns of kratom use and health impact in the US. Results from an Online Survey, Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Powdery, greenish or beige-brown kratom preparations fortified with extracts from other leaves are also available.

Kratom is the common name for a plant that carries the scientific name: Mitragyna speciosa Korthals. Kapp FG, Maurer HH, Auwarter V, Winkelmann M, Hermanns-Clausen M. Intrahepatic cholestasis following abuse of powdered kratom seeds (Mitragyna speciosa). Similar to kratom, Mitragyna hirsuta is traditionally used for its calm, energizing effects and to relieve the discomfort of minor aches and pains.

Philipp, A. A., Wissenbach, D. K., Weber, A. A., Zapp, J., and Maurer, H. H. (2011), ‘Metabolism studies of the Kratom alkaloids mitraciliatine and isopaynantheine, diastereomers of the main alkaloids mitragynine and paynantheine, in rat and human urine using liquid chromatography-linear ion trap-mass spectrometry', Journal of Chromatography B, Volume 879, pp. 1049-1055.

Opioid-like adverse effects have been observed and include constipation, dry mouth and loss of appetite 74. There have also been reports of patients suffering from intra-hepatic cholestasis after two weeks of kratom use 71 and seizure and coma 75,76 which might result from opioid agonist action of the major components in kratom.

The aim of the present study was to study this new phenomenon by (i) reviewing the state of the art on kratom pharmacology and identification; (ii) providing a comprehensive overview of kratom use cross-culturally, ranging from its traditional use in native societies in Southeast Asia to its more recent diffusion as a NPS in Western countries; (iii) exploring the subjective experience of users; (iv) identifying risks and side-effects related to its consumption.
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