Things You Need To Know About KratomKratom also known as Ketum is the familiar name for a tree which carries the scientific name Mitragyna Speciosa. It is a plant native to Southeast Asia and it is often grown in the southern and central parts of Thailand, and less often in northern part.
The traditional use of Kratom dates back a few centuries ago, especially in Thailand. In modern time, Kratom has become quite popular for recreational activities, because of the stunning effects of its leaves. However, very little is known about this plant outside Thailand.
Ketum use is tied up in Asia, especially Thailand, with the history of opium which is plenty in continent. People who were addicted to opium used to substitute it with the safer Kratum leaves which offered milder effects. Then they would be able to control themselves from their craving for opium by slowly taking less Ketum every day while shunning withdrawal effects.
It’s this relationship between opium and Kratom that caused the tree to be prohibited in Thailand in early 1940s. As the use of Ketum continued to increase, it reduced the opium tax income collected by the Thai government. The Thailand government enacted high lucrative taxes on shops and traders who were involved in opium trade.
However, as more citizens begun substituting opium for more affordable Kratom, the Thai government begun to notice decline in tax income. This forced them to ban the trade of Ketum and in 1943 they enacted the Kratom Act 2846. The act made Ketum as well as its alkaloids a scheduled and controlled substance in Thailand.
Possession of this herb was illegal and the law stated that there is no new Kratom plant that could be planted in Thailand. The law also required that all Kratom plants be cut and destroyed so that there could be no new leaves for harvesting. However, enforcement of this act wasn’t very effective because the plant is naturally native to the location. Today, most people continue to grow and even use Ketum especially in southern part of the country.
The Mitragyna species, member of the family Rubiaceae, is often found in sub-tropical and tropical parts of Africa and Asia. The African Mitragynas are regularly found in swamps while Asian species are frequently found in rainforests. African species are sometimes classed in a different genus known as Hallea.
Most genuses are arborescent – some reach heights of about one hundred feet. Korthals named this genus Mitragyna Speciosa because the stigmas in the species he inspected resembled the figure of a bishop’s mitre. Mitragyna genus is often characterized by a spherical flowering head, carrying up to one hundred and twenty florets each.
Mitragyna Speciosa Korthals itself can achieve heights of about fifty feet with a spread of about fifteen feet. Their stems are erect and branching; leaves are evergreen as well as dark sleek in color, opposite in growth and ovate-acuminate in shape and the flowers are yellow.
Kratom is evergreen as opposed to deciduous and its leaves are always being shed as well as replaced, but there are quasi seasonal leaves shedding due to environmental situations. During the dry weather, leaves fall more often while new growth is more abundant during the rainy weather.
Growing kratomKetum likes wet, humus-rich ground in a protected area. Being heavy feeders, they need very rich, fertile surfaces. Kratoms are drought sensitive and if planted out of their indigenous habitant, they became sensitive to frost. Breeding is by cuttings or very fresh seed. In most cases, there is a low wallop rate, because of a fungus that attacks its xylem tissue.
There is very little known on growing Ketum. Cuttings and seeds are very hard to get. Ketum cuttings are said to be quite difficult to grow, although the trees themselves, once developed, are often hardy. Due to difficulties of getting cuttings, most people are trying cloning. Two of the major problems with cuttings are that they don’t put out root and are often attacked by fungus.
Some of the ways to deal with these issues includes; dipping the cuttings in water with air bubbles to increase their oxygen levels. Using a little fungicide in water to discourage fungus growth.• Changing the water regularly to discourage fungus growth.
Researchers have shown that the leaves of Kratom are at their best in late autumn, before the leaves begin to fall. In addition, plants that grow in cold regions are often weaker.