Mitragyna speciosa (commonly known as kratom) is a tropical evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia. It is a member of the Rubiaceae family, which means that it is genetically related to coffee! Kratom trees are indigenous to Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Papua New Guinea, where Kratom has been used in traditional medicines for hundreds of years. It is usually prepared as raw powdered foliage, tea, or in capsule form.
Users of kratom have reported that it has both sedative and stimulating properties, which can vary with the amount and genetic variety used. The main varieties or “strains” of Kratom are red vein, green vein, and white vein, referring to the color of the central vein on the underside of the leaf. Users often report that red vein varieties are associated with Kratom's more sedative effects, while the green and white varieties are associated with Kratom's mood-boosting and energizing effects, respectively.