Depression is a growing problem globally with an estimated 264 million people being afflicted. In the U.S. alone about 7.1% of the adult population have had one major depressive event each year. Classified as a mood disorder, it comes with an array of symptoms including low energy, lack of appetite, and listlessness. If left untreated and at its worst, it can lead to suicide with about 800,000 people dying this way each year around the world.
There are many reasons this condition can go untreated. The most common being:
- Lack of financial resources to seek treatment amongst poorer demographics
- Lack of sufficient mental health professionals and facilities
- Social or cultural stigma
There are many types of depression and disorders that have depression as a symptom. These include conditions like anxiety, postpartum depression, catatonia, and bipolar disorders. In treating such conditions, a combination of psychotherapy and medication is often used. Some of the prescribed medications can have serious side effects.
This has encouraged many people that suffer moderate forms of depression to seek out more holistic and natural remedies. Kratom is one such alternative that comes with beneficial effects for those suffering symptoms of depression.
What Happens in the Brain During Depression?
Research has shown that certain biological and chemical changes occur in the brain when someone becomes depressed. Brain inflammation is often seen amongst people with depression. When this occurs, the sufferer will often experience deeper feelings of depression, become less able to regulate their mood, and struggle with learning and memory difficulties.
Another effect is the overproduction of the hormone cortisol from the hippocampus part of the brain during periods of high stress. When the brain is flooded with cortisol for prolonged periods, it can cause new neurons to stop developing, leading to memory problems and shrinkage of the hippocampus.
Flooding of cortisol in the brain can also cause another part called the amygdala to enlarge. This part of the brain affects emotions and when enlarged can lead to insomnia and changes in moods.
Hypoxia is a condition where the brain receives less than normal amounts of oxygen. This is another common effect seen in people with depression that is often paired with brain inflammation. There is an increased death of brain cells that can lead to memory, learning, and mood problems.
How Does Kratom Work for Depression and Anxiety?
Kratom is a traditional herb from Southeast Asia that contains multiple medicinal benefits. Many make it ideal as an alternative treatment option for depression. It is best known for being a natural pain reliever. Many people that suffer from depression and anxiety will have pain conditions. Kratom works well in relieving chronic pain conditions by binding pain receptors.
Another reason people consider kratom for depression is its euphoric effects. It can relieve anxiety and elevate a person’s mood. It brings about a more positive mindset and boosts motivation. Its effects are similar to opioids like morphine and codeine but is in itself not an opioid.
Kratom also boosts energy levels driven by changes to certain metabolic processes and increases blood circulation. It also promotes the production of certain neurotransmitters that enhance focus and attention span.
How Is It Used and Is It Safe to Ingest?
Kratom leaves are typically dried and crushed into powder form. You find the product available as loose powder or in capsule form. The powder can be swallowed as is and washed down with some water or juice.
But is more popularly added to drinks like juices or made into tea. The capsule form or compressed tablets are however favoured by those that prefer a more precise dosage, and quick and easy ingestion.
While it is a natural product, it can be potent, hence the need to be careful about dosage and sourcing. Stick to providers that ensure pure kratom extracts have been used to ensure safety and quality control. Also, make due consultation if already taking other medications to avoid dangerous interactions.
Are there Different Types of Strains?
Yes. There are different strains of kratom with each having different effects on the body and mind. However, even within each category, there are different varieties of kratom. The main strains include:
- Red Vein Kratom – Offers a sedative and relaxing effect. It can also help relieve insomnia and has pain-relieving effects.
- White Vein Kratom – Gives a stimulating effect that enhances mood and focus. At low doses, it also boosts energy and concentration.
- Green Vein Kratom – This is a blend of red and white vein Kratom. It helps relieve pain and anxiety. It can also enhance mental clarity and give a mild energy boost. It is recommended for beginners.
Are there Any Dosage Guidelines Available?
Start with low doses of about 1-1.5 grams. You can go even lower if you are of low weight. Give it about 30 minutes after ingestion to determine if there is an effect. If there is no effect, you can ingest another 0.5 grams at a time with a limit of 2.4 grams. Try a sample pack that includes the different strains to figure out what will work best for you. The best suppliers will include dosing instructions on the product packaging.
Kratom is a natural alternative remedy for depression that can have varying effects. Be sure to consider what symptoms you have when choosing a strain to try. Match up your symptoms with the effects of the strain and start slowly to test what effect it will have. Choose a reputable provider that safely sources and processes this medication.