Over the past few decades, Kratom, a tree native to Southeast Asia, has been making more inroads into Western culture. The leaves of this tree, which is in the same family as the coffee plant, are traditionally used in everyday life and cultural rites in countries like Borneo and Malaysia.
It can be ingested in a few ways as the most common traditional method – chewing the leaves – is difficult for those new to Kratom due to the leaves’ bitter taste. To avoid Kratom’s strong flavor, many consumers mix it with food, make capsules, or make it into tea.
Here is some background on Kratom and why you should be making your Kratom into tea.
What Is Kratom?
This fantastic tree grows in a myriad of conditions, boggling botanists. It can grow in such diverse conditions as arid areas to floodplains, and when the tree gets excess heat and sunlight at the peak of its growth curve, it grows exponentially.
The two magical ingredients in Kratom are alkaloids, naturally occurring compounds found in many flowering plants. Kratom has tons of different alkaloids, but the two with the most benefits for Kratom consumers are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.
These two alkaloids make up 2% or less than 2% of the finished Kratom product. Different strains of Kratom produce specific benefits, and before you make your Kratom into tea, you must discover which strain fits your wellness lifestyle.
The strains of Kratom are differentiated by the color – red vein, green vein, and white vein Kratom.
However, the differentiating methods become unclear as some farmers name their Kratom according to where the tree grows, and some name the strain after the type of Kratom leaf they harvest. Still, others name their Kratom strains after the drying and fermentation processes.
Most of the Kratom on the market is created from red vein kratom leaves, which are processed in a particular manner and exposed to a certain amount of UV light to create a green vein, red vein, or white vein strain.
Each strain has a particular profile. Red vein Kratom can help you ease into a more meditative state of mind; green vein Kratom inspires productivity and focus; white vein enhances your optimism and motivation.
When you begin your journey into the world of Kratom, it’s critical to give each strain a try to see which one fits your expectation the closest.
Along with the unique strains, there are also different ingestion methods. In Thailand, Borneo, and Malaysia, where Kratom grows endemically, people traditionally chewed the Kratom leaves or brewed them into tea.
You can also toss-and-wash, which is when you take a spoonful of Kratom powder and quickly wash it down with a big glass of water. This method is effective and popular, as well as quick and easy.
Some Kratom aficionados make capsules, which is an effective way to keep track of your dosage. With this more modern method, you order capsules and Kratom separately and then assemble them in the privacy of your own home. The capsules are discreet and portable.
You can also mix the Kratom powder of your choice into many, from smoothies to applesauce to overnight oats. The more spices you can palatably add to the recipe, the better.
Yet, one of the oldest and most trusted ways to ingest Kratom is to make it into tea. You can technically do this with either the leaves or the powder, although most Western consumers make their tea out of Kratom powder.
Making Kratom Tea
Tea from this tropical evergreen tree is becoming as popular, if not more so, than coffee. Many Kratom consumers believe that making Kratom tea is arduous and takes a lot of time, but this isn’t true.
With the right preparation methods, Kratom tea has a similar acidity to strong green tea. Kratom powder or leaves, a pot, water, and a stove are the only things you need to make Kratom tea. You can potentiate your Kratom tea with citrus juices from a lemon or a grapefruit to boost the benefits for longer periods throughout your day. It also helps to mask the bitter herbal flavor from the Kratom.
When boiled, Kratom releases its beneficial alkaloids into the concentration, so you get the same benefits from the tea as you would from a capsule or powder. You shouldn’t boil the Kratom for long periods, however, as it can start to burn some of these alkaloids away.
To make the tea using a teapot, measure out your dose of powder into the teapot, pour the boiling water over it, stir vigorously, and allow it to steep for five to seven minutes. Once you’ve let the Kratom powder settle at the bottom of the teapot, you can pour off the liquid and leave the dregs. If you’re brewing tea with leaves, strain out the leaves before consumption.
Now that you have your liquid concentration of Kratom, you can mix it with herbal teas, add sugar, agave syrup, or honey to sweeten it or chill it over ice. This mixture also keeps quite well in the fridge, so you can make it ahead of time if you’re planning on drinking it cold.
Surprisingly, you can also make Kratom tea in a coffee maker, although if you use the device daily to make coffee, your Kratom tea might hint of coffee. Substitute Kratom powder for the coffee grounds in the filter, measuring no more than 2.4g, and no more than two servings per 24 hours. Make sure the coffee pot itself is clean, and then turn your coffee maker on.
Storing your pre-made Kratom tea is easy: Simply seal it in a covered container and put it into the fridge, much as you would any other herbal tea. If left unrefrigerated, the tea eventually grows mold and spoils. If you are careless about covering it in your fridge, the tea may pick up some of the tastes and scents of the other food and beverages you store in there, much like butter does.
The most important step you can take when starting on your Kratom journey is to buy your Kratom from a reputable seller. There are a few signs that can let you know whether the seller is above-board or not.
Established Kratom suppliers have strong relationships with the farmers and Kratom processors in Southeast Asia. In the cultures that have used Kratom for centuries, growers know the exact moment to pick the Kratom leaves, so they have the maximum amount of alkaloids in them. Pick them too soon or too late, and the product does not have an adequate amount of those wonderful alkaloids.
Make sure the company you’re looking into has a proven stable relationship with the Kratom tree growers. That way, you know you’re getting Kratom that has the alkaloids you love.
Another surefire way to check the validity of the company’s claims is to check whether the company sends its products out for third-party testing. Reputable sellers send their products out to outside, unbiased laboratories.
These tests verify the product’s labeling to make sure the label honestly represents what the product contains. Lab tests also look for pesticides, heavy metals, and pathogens like mold and bacteria.
Pesticides and heavy metals are found in plants that grow in an environment with these elements in the soil or water. If there are heavy metals or pesticides used in an area, this is reflected in the chemical makeup of the Kratom leaves.
Bacteria and mold occur when the Kratom leaves are picked off the ground instead of the tree or not dried thoroughly before storage. Kratom leaves should be pulled from the tree, not off the ground. When allowed to sit on the jungle or forest floor, the leaves collect moisture and become breeding grounds for bacteria and mold. This same result occurs if the leaves are not thoroughly dried before storage.
Lab tests can tell you a lot about what the product is made of and how it was treated on its journey from Southeast Asia to your cupboard. Reputable sellers always show you a full report upon request.
The final piece to ensure your Kratom purveyor is trustworthy is to gauge their customer service. Do they seem eager to talk to you about all things Kratom? Are they quick to respond with knowledgeable answers? You can tell a lot about a company by the way they treat their clientele.
Once you’ve found a reputable vendor like Kats Botanicals, you can rest assured that your Kratom tea is delicious and safe.
Kratom has changed many people’s lives for the better. This remarkable tree’s leaves can help enhance your well-being, inspire a sense of calm and focus, and boost your motivation.
Tea is one of the oldest methods of ingesting Kratom, and it is also one of the most effective ways. Before you brew, try different strains to see which one suits your lifestyle and expectations.
Whether you enjoy it iced or hot, sweetened or unsweetened, making Kratom tea is an excellent way to enjoy all of the tree’s benefits.