The following article was sponsored by Island Lion Herbals
We all know that in 2015, lifting weights is no longer optional. A man of value exhibits discipline in his diet, exercise regimen, and overall appearance. All of us would be smart to take full advantage of any edge that can help us get and stay lean, and maintain consistency in the gym (read: minimize missed workouts). This is especially true for natural lifters who want to maximize their genetic potential before (or perhaps instead of) exploring AAS options. Can kratom help with muscle soreness, water retention, and appetite suppression?
Search the internet and you will find thousands of anecdotal accounts of kratom as a powerful tool for relieving pain, suppressing anxiety, treating insomnia, and as a potent aphrodisiac. Even with its recent explosion in popularity in the United States and other western countries, many naysayers still doubt kratom’s medicinal value.
The fact that the FDA has not explicitly approved it for human consumption doesn’t help that reputation, and it’s still considered by many to be nothing more than a “drug” used for a “legal high.” Red pill-aware men know that the FDA’s approval (or lack thereof) means nothing in and of itself; chances are, you take at least one weightlifting supplement that isn’t FDA-approved, either. GNC is full of them.
What does science say about kratom? Are there any published, peer-reviewed studies that show it DOES have legitimate medical uses, and more importantly—do any of them aid in physical fitness?
The answer is a resounding YES.
Here are a few studies in the past 30 years that show kratom to be quite effective as a treatment for joint pain (e.g. “lifter’s shoulder”), muscle soreness, as well as an aid in weight loss and preventing water retention.
1. “Ethnopharmacology of Kratom and the Mitragyna Alkaloids” (1988)
ABSTRACT: An investigation into the pharmacology of kratom.
SUMMARY: This study aimed to describe kratom in detail, including its most common alkaloids. It concluded that “published experimental results were positive for use as an analgesic (pain reliever), antitussive (cough suppression), and hypothermic agent in animals.” The study also pointed out that kratom may be a natural substitute for methadone in treating opiate addiction.
2. “Evaluation of Analgesia Induced by Mitragynine, Morphine, and Paracetamol on Mice” (1998)
ABSTRACT: An investigation to compare the antinocieptive activity of morphine and paracetamol to that of mitragynine, a major constituent of fresh leaves of Mitragyna speciosa. All substances were administered to mice orally.
SUMMARY: All three substances produced significant analgesia (pain reliever) when tested. The researchers concluded that mitragynine may be a potential new analgesic that requires further study.
3. “Acute and long-term effects of alkaloid extract of Mitragyna speciosa on food and water intake and body weight in rats” (2004)
ABSTRACT: Acute administration of Mitragyna speciosa extract significantly resulted in dose-dependent decreases in food and water intakes (P < 0.05) in rats. Prolonged suppressing effects were observed following administration of the MS extract for 60 consecutive days. Moreover, the long-term administration also significantly suppressed weight gain.
SUMMARY: The purpose of this study was to find the long-term effects of the isolated Mitragyna speciosa alkaloid in kratom. The study found that water intake and retention of rats was reduced, and there was also a suppression in weight gain. That points to the possibility of kratom being a powerful tool in fighting obesity.
4. “Pharmacological Studies on 7-Hydroxymitragynine, Isolated from the Thai Herbal Medicine Mitragyna speciosa: Discovery of an Orally Active Opioid Analgesic” (2006)
ABSTRACT: Substances derived from natural products have been utilized since the beginning of time for various medical purposes including the treatment of pain. Opium, for example, has been mentioned in the earliest historical records, some 7000 years ago. In fact, research in the area of pain management and drug addiction originally focused on natural products exclusively. Our research group has studied uniquely structured, nitrogen-containing compounds isolated from the traditional Thai herb Mitragyna speciosa. We have been investigating the pharmacological properties of this herb, individual components of its extracts, and structurally related compounds since the 1980s.
SUMMARY: The purpose of this study was to determine kratom’s medical potential as an orally-active pain reliever.
5. “Total Synthesis of (-)-Mitragynine and Analogues” (2012)
ABSTRACT: Besides use as a drug, the plant has found application in medicine in the treatment of coughing, diarrhea, muscle pain and hypertension. Interestingly, mitragynine has a stronger analgesic effect than morphine, so that it has been suggested as a useful compound in the treatment of opiate addiction in replacement therapy. About the biological activity of paynantheine and speciogynine there are very little studies reported.
SUMMARY: The purpose of this medical study was to demonstrate the far-reaching possibilities for kratom’s medicinal value and properties. This study concluded that there IS medical potential for kratom, including its use as a powerful analgesic as well as an aid in opiate addiction treatment.
If you lift weights (and you should), anything that can help you maintain intensity and focus is worth checking out. Clearly, the research shows the myriad of benefits kratom can provide and that there is much more to it than meets the eye.
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