Kratom, formally named Mitragyna speciosa and Mitragyna speciosa korth, is a tropical member of the coffee family. This evergreen tree grows naturally in Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, and other parts of South Asia.

People sometimes use kratom leaves, or extracts made from them, as a sedative, stimulant, or both. In use throughout Southeast Asia for hundreds of years, kratom is also used to treat opiate withdrawal, digestive ailments, and chronic pain. However, reliable information about Kratom is not easy to find.

Kratom is easy to order on the internet and is not currently an illegal substance. It is often sold as a gum or an extract, or as a powder in teas, packets, or capsules. Sometimes the leaves themselves are sold, of course.

Explore Kratom

Louisiana Parish Bans Kratom as Debate Over Access Rages On

Louisiana Parish Bans Kratom as Debate Over Access Rages On

The patchwork of legislation surrounding kratom added a fresh tangle earlier this month when a local Louisiana council passed a ban on the substance.  Ascension Parish in Louisiana became the…

Research on Kratom

Kratom is under research for a range of uses, including in psychiatry thanks to possible antidepressant and antipsychotic properties, and treatment for acute and chronic pain, opioid use disorder, and…

Kratom Statistics

According to a cross-sectional survey of non-medical use of prescription drugs (NMURx) program, covering a total of 59,714 respondents aged 18 years or older, between the third quarter of 2018…

How to Use Kratom

How to Use Kratom

Since 2019, the FDA has warned US consumers not to use kratom at all. That said, people can and do use kratom, both in traditional and modern ways. People often…

What Is Kratom

What Is Kratom

What is Kratom? Kratom is the common name for the tropical tree named Mitragyna speciosa, an evergreen member of the coffee family. Native to Southeast Asia, it has been used…

Frequently Asked Questions

Kratom is trending in a major way, and it’s not at all clear that prohibition will win out in this case, this time. In fact, with enough research even Big Pharm companies and larger biotech businesses may try to get in on kratom. Get the facts about this substance, though, before you try it—right here.


  • Ed Markey

    Ed Markey is a former special education teacher turned psychedelics enthusiast. His goal is to help shine a light on the emerging potential of psychedelics to help improve people's lives--focusing especially on writing in-depth pieces, research based, to help educate those interested in how psilocybin, MDMA, ketamine, and more can potentially help improve mental health (when taken in conjunction with medical supervision, in states where it is legal to do so).