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Looking At Kratom’s Ethnobotanical History

Jemi Fischbach

Throughout all indigenous cultures worldwide, some customs and traditions heavily rely on the land’s natural resources. Various flowers, herbs, and trees in many areas worldwide have served a purpose in these indigenous histories for centuries, their role being pivotal to daily life. When you take a substance like Kratom, which indigenous peoples initially used, you must understand its role as an ethnobotanical substance to truly grasp its significance as a potentially therapeutic substance in Western medicine.


Ethnobotany is the study of plants and their relation to people. This field of study combines various domains to analyze how plants served people throughout history and the effect of their history in modern settings. Plants were the first medicines of human civilization, and you still see many of them as components in Western cures and medications. The people who first incorporated these plants into their daily lives are the ones who discovered the therapeutic properties. Still, the credit is often not given to the indigenous but rather to large corporations throughout the USA and other Western countries.

Kratom As An Ethnobotanical

Kratom comes from the mitragyna speciosa tree, which is native to Southeast Asia. The tree grows primarily in rainforests, where the soil is moist and warm. The people that are native to these areas have long been using Kratom in their daily lives, but only within the past several decades have Westerners started to see Kratom’s therapeutic potential. Initially, word spread by soldiers returning from the Vietnam War, who claimed to have used the plants’ leaves to relieve anxiety and enhance focus in tumultuous battle conditions.

There are active compounds within Kratom, which is why it has long been coveted by the communities in Southeast Asia and other places where it is grown. While the leaves from the tree were chewed on to reap the benefits, now with modern processing technology, the alkaloids are harnessed and extracted using industrial methods. As the profit potential is immense, many people are interested in becoming Kratom sellers, but not all of them have good intentions.

Many shady Kratom businesses around the world are not dedicated to sustaining the communities in Southeast Asia and do not provide the farmers with fair compensation. As a consumer, you have a role in ensuring that Kratom’s ethnobotanical history is protected and preserved.

Support, Protect, and Preserve

As Kratom has vast potential to be therapeutic for many individuals worldwide, consideration must be put into the methods used for farming. These considerations are critical, so the supply does not diminish, and the communities where it is grown are not wiped out in the process.

These communities often are stripped of their crops and land resources because of large companies who come in, set up processing plants, and degrade the soil, while discarding chemical waste responsibly. These companies continue to operate like this because of consumers purchasing their product.

If you want to help support, protect, and preserve the communities and land where Kratom is grown, you must ensure that you choose the right Kratom vendor. It would help if you always were heavily researching your potential vendors to ensure that they are distributing pure, fresh, and sustainably sourced products.

These companies should be compensating the farmers fairly while ensuring that production preserves the resources and the livelihood of these communities for generations to come.

You can trust that all the products have traveled an ethical journey to get on the shelf at a reputable dealer’s store. From growing and processing to selling, the experts at these stores understand Kratom consumers and Kratom farmers’ needs. Choosing the wrong vendor can affect not just the quality of your product but people across the globe.

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