kratom tea is an herbal preparation made from the leaves of Mitragyna speciosa, a plant indigenous to Southeast Asia. It’s sold in capsule, extract and tablet form or can be brewed as a tea. Dried kratom leaves are also sometimes chewed or smoked. Kratom is a potent stimulant that can induce opioid-like effects, and long-term use can result in addiction or dependence. It can cause agitation, tremors, confusion, seizures, vomiting, hallucinations and withdrawal symptoms. It’s not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so there is no way to know how potent it is or whether it contains other substances.
Taking kratom can produce both stimulating and sedative effects, depending on dosage and strain. It’s a popular alternative to prescription opioids for pain relief and can treat muscle spasms, anxiety and depression. It can even help people quit smoking or other tobacco products, but it’s important to talk to a doctor before trying kratom. It can interact with other medications and supplements, especially ones that affect the liver or central nervous system. It may also increase the risk of respiratory depression if taken with antidepressants or other opioids, and it can increase the blood levels of benzodiazepines.
To make kratom tea, whisk powdered kratom with boiling water and let it steep for about 15 minutes. Add a sweetener, if desired. The brew is usually bitter, but it can be potent. It takes one day for the body to eliminate half of the kratom and up to five days to completely remove it from the system.