Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a tree in the coffee family that grows naturally in Southeast Asia, in countries like Indonesia and Thailand. Native Asian cultures have known about the many beneficial properties of kratom for many generations.
Kratom is a natural remedy for many ailments, including chronic pain, fatigue, anxiety, depression, insomnia and even diarrhea. Kratom’s active ingredients are alkaloids that act upon the same neurotransmitters affected by opiates. As a result, individuals trying to wean off opiates can find an ally in kratom, which also eases the symptoms of opiate withdrawal.
Given all these properties, you may be surprised to learn that kratom’s benefits don’t end there. Did you know that kratom also has antioxidant properties that can bring a variety of different benefits? In today’s article, we will explore kratom antioxidant properties.
What Are Antioxidants and Why They Are Good for Your Health
In its simplest form, an antioxidant is a substance that inhibits the oxidation process. Antioxidants can also remove the oxidizing agents that exist within the human body.
There are many foods and supplements that contain antioxidants. Most micronutrients (some substances, like minerals or vitamins, that the human body requires to function normally) also have antioxidant properties. In fact, antioxidants play a key role in your body, as they protect you against the potential damage from oxidants.
The human body needs oxygen to survive. Your cells need oxygen to metabolize nutrients. This oxidation process is essential to your body. However, oxidation also has a dark side. Inside your body, there are some molecules known as “free radicals.” Free radicals are responsible for the aging process in your body. Certain metabolic processes in your body produce free radicals. However, some external factors (like pollution, medications or food) can also generate free radicals. Oxidation has a negative impact on free radicals. It damages your cells and even affects your DNA. Hence, oxidation is responsible for aging, skin damage, poor immune system function, and serious diseases like cancer or Alzheimer’s.
Therefore, antioxidants are very important. And the more antioxidants you can take in, the better!
Antioxidant Properties of Kratom
When it comes to kratom antioxidant properties, there is scientific research into the antioxidant and anti-cancer properties of mitragynine, kratom’s most abundant alkaloid. Indo, Borneo and Bali are the kratom strains with highest levels of mitragynine.
The wonderful kratom antioxidant properties are comparable to those of green tea. And they are just one more reason to enjoy kratom on a regular basis. The greatest benefit is achieved when kratom is taken on a regular (i.e. daily) basis.
According to one study, “[Mitragynine demonstrates] moderate antioxidant value…the medicinal and nutritional values of mitragynine [are not limited to] analgesic properties but could be promising antioxidant and anti-cancer or chemo-preventive compounds.”
Kratom is rich in epicatechin, a flavonoid with great antioxidant properties. Epicatechin reduces lipid peroxidation, a process in which free radicals damage the cells by attacking the lipids in their membranes. There are many plants that are rich in epicatechin. But also cocoa and grapes have high levels of this flavonoid.
Epicatechin has many other benefits. For example, it can be very useful for type 2 diabetes patients, as it can mimic some of the effects of insulin by promoting acetylcholinesterase activity. According to Phytochemicals.info, “Studies show that epicatechin and other flavonoids exert a protective role on osmotic fragility of cells, similar to that of insulin.”
Promoting a better heart health is another property of epicatechin. It can cause blood vessels to dilate through the regulation of nitric oxide, and it can also inhibit the aggregation of platelets in the blood.
Effects of Kratom Antioxidant Properties on the Immune System
Because antioxidants also help improve your immune system, they are also important for individuals dealing with chronic diseases and even cancer. Antioxidants affect the immune system by protecting many of the body’s immune cells. These cells are the body’s first defense against viruses, bacteria and cancer cells.
Cancer can arise when the body does not recognize abnormal cells as such and allows them to replicate in an uncontrolled manner. So, on the most fundamental level, cancer is the result of an immune system malfunction. Furthermore, many treatments for cancer can weaken your immune system in a dangerous and even deadly way. Because of this, antioxidants are especially important.
The same is true for individuals who are experiencing Opportunistic Infections. These are infections that affect more (and more often) to individuals with weakened immune systems, like HIV patients.
A virus can invade and damage healthy cells, so you need as many good-functioning cells as possible to attack the virus and recover soon. Also, the same happens with bacterial infections. When free radicals and other oxidants attack the cells of your body at the same time, those cells can neither mount an immune response nor support the other functions your body needs for keeping a good health. Therefore, antioxidants are essential to keep a strong, healthy immune system. And kratom has great antioxidants that can help you fight the oxidation process and boost your immune system.
Kratom can help you boost your immune system and has antioxidant properties. But there are many more benefits to kratom.
The effects of kratom include:
- Energizing and stimulant
- Pain reliever
- Mood lifting
Because of its effects, you can use kratom for many conditions and issues:
- Painful conditions (including conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia)
- Opiate withdrawal symptoms
While kratom is a very safe substance, it also has some side effects, such as nausea, dizziness, constipation or eye wobbles. Therefore, being cautious with the dosage is crucial, especially when you are using kratom extracts or enhanced kratom.