Ketum is a plant which is grown natively in the south-east Asian countries. There are surveys which state that this herb is used traditionally to eradicate drug addictions and as an alternative medicine for relieving chronic pains. But there are also few surveys reported that it is being used as a traditional medicine in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar (Mostly grown in Tropical regions/Islands).
This herb is said to have properties like suppressing the pains and stimulate energy levels instantly according to the dosage but there aren’t any research or studies that prove it medically. Due to its properties, it is being considered as a drug to eradicate drug addiction in some places but in few countries, this is being sold as a cheaper alternative for heroin.
Being a natural alternative for suppressing the chronic pains or diarrhoea or instant energy boosters, it cannot be consumed regularly as a medicine. Depending on the dosage of the ketum its effects would take time to show the results. Though it is a natural herb we do have side effects as well if not used with caution.
Side effects caused by the herbs could range from minimal to severe depending on the quantity and frequency of consumption by an individual. Surveys revealed that its properties are similar to anaesthesia or sedative which contributes to psychological issues. Its regular consumption would result in addiction and act as steroids which could be harmful to human body. Although there is no substantial evidence for its severe effects on human body, governments had to impose restrictions due to its severe side effects when its consumed in high dosages.
Ketum is also being sold as an alternative and cheaper drug for heroin in some countries. Some countries were using this herb in dishes by the local vendors. Often times, Malaysia has unique and traditional recipes with the herb.
Plantation of the Ketum herb requires certain conditions to be met. Specifically, drought conditions would make the plant survival harder. It requires moist and should be grown under protected tropical environment as it could be sensitive to Frost. The growing ketum plants require supervision and using regular fertilisers to avoid any fungus infections. Due to its complexity of plantation and the human body reactions, these are restricted for commercial uses and closely monitored by government bodies.
Ketum is available in various forms for consumption. Following are few of them which is widely used and gaining momentum in various countries.
1) Powder form (Widely used form so far)
2) Tablets form (Derived version of Powder form which is gaining momentum)
3) Leaves (Traditionally used by natives from centuries and it is the purest form)
4) Recipes or Dishes available with this herb (This is mostly found in Malaysian markets)
They are available through local vendors since there aren’t any approved medical certifications on this herb to date. While research on this herb is underway, medical associations caution to keep it away from children as its strong effects could hinder their brain development. Adults can use it with the prescribed amount of dosages since they are immune to its stronger effects.