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Is Kratom a Natural Nootropic?

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Natural nootropics are a hot topic as people look for every advantage they can find in our age of information and media overload. Plant-based nootropics, especially, are garnering a lot of attention as consumers look for natural alternatives they regard as both safer and gentler on the body. One of the big questions people are beginning to ask is should kratom be considered a nootropic. To understand the answer, it helps to take a look at what exactly people mean when talking about nootropics and how Kratom fits with that description.

Defining a “Natural” Nootropic

Nootropic supplements are substances that are purported to provide a cognitive boost. Improvements in memory, creativity, focus, and concentration are all common claims made about nootropics. The roots of the word, “noo” for mind and “tropic” for turning, hint at the intention behind these mind-boosting solutions. Purported natural or plant-based nootropics are frequently sold as supplements, but there are other, non-ingestible forms as well such as invigorating aromatherapies.

A man pulls apart a kratom leaf to explore kratom as a nootropic

What Is Kratom?

The Mitragyna speciosa tree is an evergreen member of the coffee family that is found in the deep, rich jungles of Southeast Asia. Over the last decade, kratom has garnered increased attention as more and more people look for plant-based nootropics. Fed by a largely acidic soil filled with rich volcanic minerals and the hot, humid environment of the South Pacific, the leaves of this tree have a unique blend of alkaline chemicals that has made it an important ethnobotanical to the indigenous people of the area for hundreds of years. Considered an important medicinal plant, local populations traditionally use kratom for its soothing and stimulating aromas.

Characterized by veins that change from white to green and finally red as they age, kratom leaves were traditionally chewed raw or dried and ground into a powder that could be used as incense or infused into a tea. This plant came to the attention of the West in the 1800s before natural nootropics were a hot topic and was largely ignored until troops returning from the Vietnam War brought home tales of a local foliage that helped them stand watch through the longest nights, remain alert, and improved their performance under grueling combat conditions. This sparked interest in the potential of kratom as a nootropic.

Kratom’s Status

It’s important to understand that in the United States, kratom is not sold or approved for human consumption. Rather it is sold only for educational and research purposes. This is due in part to FDA guidelines which state once an active ingredient has entered the process of being approved as a pharmaceutical — as kratom previously was — it can no longer be marketed for consumption without specific FDA approval. It is, however, available as an incense in many varieties that provide aromas of various effects and qualities.

Current kratom news and independent research has led some kratom purchasers to evaluate kratom as one of the natural nootropics most readily available. High-quality kratom powders, premium kratom extracts, and other derivative kratom products can be purchased online, and more and more states are listening to growing movements of kratom advocacy and protecting their citizens’ access with kratom-friendly consumer protection laws. This is good news for those who want to ensure they have a path to legal plant-based nootropics.

A man using natural nootropics plans work on a white board

Is Kratom a Nootropic?

In order to determine whether kratom belongs grouped with natural nootropics, we have to consider what effects it has traditionally been used for. Due to its legal status, few large-scale kratom tests or research studies have been done on this botanical’s effects. While the existing studies we have do show potential, there just isn’t a large enough body of scientific evidence to say for sure. Instead, we’ll turn to the role it played — and still plays in villages that are far from urban medical care — in its native region.

  • Day-to-Day Relief – The active compounds found in kratom act as an agonist for certain opioid receptors found in the intestines and brain. These opioid receptors are part of the system that regulates how we perceive discomfort throughout the body.
  • Improved Alertness and Focus – For centuries, low doses of kratom have been used by local tribes as a natural nootropic for its stimulating effects and ability to help improve work output. It is this very property that led some American soldiers to choose kratom as a way to help them stay awake and alert when standing watch through the long jungle nights.
  • Calm Demeanor – Paradoxically, higher aromatic doses of kratom are purported to offer the opposite effect, relaxing and calming the user so they can focus on tasks without the distractions of anxiety. As with many plant-based nootropics, there is no scientifically-approved method or recommended use for best effects.

Kratom Processing

While kratom advocates are still debating whether kratom counts as a nootropic or not, the historical evidence suggests that kratom was traditionally used for similar purposes. Today, kratom is still harvested by farmers trained by the generations before them. Grown wild in the lush rainforests or tended to in back-yard garden farms, these experienced growers pick kratom leaves at the peak of ripeness before laying them carefully out to dry. Once dried, the leaves are then ground into a fine powder and quickly packaged for safe and effective kratom storage.

At Kratora, we work closely with local growers to produce the best kratom online. Picked fresh and 3rd-party lab tested for safety, our premium fresh kratom and other natural nootropic ethnobotanicals are here to help you find your best holistic health. Explore our kratom and kratom alternatives today and receive same-day shipping on orders submitted before 3 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday and 1 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturdays (excluding holidays).

Please note that the US FDA has not approved kratom to be sold for human consumption, sold for external use only. None of the products sold on our website are intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or medical condition.

Want to learn more about kratom quality and value? Start here:
Why Buying Cheap Kratom Can Be Dangerous

Author Bio


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Colleen is a part owner of Kratora along with her brother David. Kratora was founded in 2013 by David with Colleen joining the team later in 2017. The siblings were born and raised in the Bay Area and spent most of their professional years working in Silicon Valley. Their interest in botanicals began in the early 2000s as they cared for a sick family member and quickly grew into the passion that formed Kratora.

Colleen and the team at Kratora are dedicated to providing the best quality botanicals on the market along with the best customer service. They believe their loyal customers are what makes Kratora so special! Over their many years in business it has always brought them joy to work with their customers and see how botanicals are changing lives for the better.

Kratora’s vision is to help their customers live a better life by consistently providing the highest quality, safest, and purest botanicals on the market. Colleen and her team specialize in regular kratom, kratom extracts, liquid kratom, even kratom gummies — plus a lot of kratom alternative products. Kratora is always looking to expand their product line while remaining true to their high standards.

Colleen believes in transparency between the Kratora team and the expert farmers in South Asia which is why they follow Fair Trade policies. Without these farmers, Kratora would not have any products to sell. As part of Colleen’s commitment in providing the highest quality botanicals, Kratora invests highly into third-party lab testing for all of the products they sell.

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