There are many indigenous plants that have both economic and social value that are widely grown in the world. One of such kind of plants is Kratom and it has gotten reception in the past in some parts while others have made it illegal. What is this plant all about and how does it look like? The cross-section through its history legality and some facts that is provided below can make it easy to understand the plant.
History of Kratom
Kratom – Mitragyna Speciosa is a plant which has its origins in Thailand, and ironically it is illegal to buy kratom there! Many people outside this country do not know much about the plant. It is also found in other regions like New Guinea and some parts of Philippines. It falls in the family of the coffee trees and in the modern times the plant is used popularly for recreation.
· It can grow in a range of 4-16 meters of height. The height depends on where the plant grows and the availability of water in hat region.
· It has ovate leaves that are dark green. The leaves can grow in a range of 100-180 mm wide
· The leaves have greenish white veins or sometimes red but the former color is the most common.
· It produces yellow flowers that can carry up to 120 florets and the fruit capsules of this plant carries many flat seeds.
· Its products are supplied in dried leaves that have been crushed. In some cases Kratom extracts are also available.
· The tree is also cultivated by people in different parts of the regions where it grows like in Thailand.
Current Legal Status
There plant is outlawed in some countries and it is not regulated in others. For instance in Thailand, the plant has been illegalized since 1943 until recently by the government and other bodies. It was however realized that whoever is destroying the plant, destroys also untouchable rainforest plants in the country. At the end of the day, they will come to destroy almost the entire forest cover because Kratom is an indigenous tree.
Other countries like Malaysia, Finland, Denmark and Lithuania have illegalized the possession of this plant. Australia, Burma, Sweden and Myanmar have also set penalties against any possession, growth and usage of the Mitragyna Speciosa.
In USA, the plant itself is not criminalized by the federal state. The food and drug administration however has the authority to seize ships that are suspected to have brought the plant into the country without any physical examination. But possession, growth and usage of Kratom is legal in the states and in many of the European countries.
Researchers, after long deliberations have come to conclusion that the banning of Kratom in some of the countries is not all about health. They reveal that the major reason is economic and therefore such kind of regulation of the tree is unfounded and summarily unnecessary. It turns out that therefore academics and researchers rule out banning of possession of the plant as good intention. After all, the plant is indigenous and cannot be done away with completely in some of the regions.
Illegality of growth of the plant in some countries has made it very difficult for scientific researchers to conduct medical examinations to determine whether the plant is harmful or not. It is however not clear if the plant possesses medicinal benefits too. The limited medical research that has been conducted reveals that the plant can be used to heal those people with dependence on drugs and therefore making their health better.
The Transnational Institute for example argues that treatment of dependence should be taken as an anchor point to make kratom legal in as many countries as possible. In Thai folk medicine, the leaf of the tree is used in treatment of diarrhea.
It is evident that Kratom has medicinal value and can be used by many people in Thai and all parts that can have access to it in the world. The banning of growth and possession of the plant in parts of the world may be standing in the face of scientific and medical research as a barrier. It is not known until when the plant will be illegal but let’s see if it will stand the test of the times.