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The Kratom Family: Rubiaceae

Jemi Fischbach

Across the globe, all plants and animals can be categorized into different species. When it comes to plants, there are often thousands of species, and these species are grouped into plant families. Families of plants often have similar characteristics, whether it is their leaf structure, the patterns on their bark, or the types of flowers that they create. Some even have to do with the insects that live within them. When it comes to Kratom, it is a member of the Rubiaceae family. Many members of this botanical family are used by cultures worldwide as tons of their plants have medicinal and pharmacological applications.

Rubiaceae Family Background

The Rubiaceae is host to nearly 14,000 different plant species. While most of these flowering plants are shrubs, there are also some trees included in the mix, like the mitragyna speciosa. Some people often refer to the Rubiaceae family as the coffee family, the madder family, or bedstraw. It is also a family with a ton of claims to fame in herbal medicine, with some of the plants being used for centuries by cultures and communities around the globe. From the worldwide love for coffee to the niche uses of Rubiaceae plants for the treatment of bacterial infections in Africa, these plants have been making waves for years. When it comes to Kratom, there is often some skepticism around its use, but this is beginning to change. As it is a member of the Rubiaceae family, it is also highly effective as a holistic treatment.

Including Kratom or the mitragyna speciosa tree, almost all Rubiaceae family plants thrive in tropical and subtropical climate zones. These have the perfect amount of heat and humidity for them to grow their best. While most Kratom is sourced from Southeast Asia, many other members of the Rubiaceae family can be found across Venezuela and Columbia.

Well-Known Rubiaceae Family Members


To understand a bit about where Kratom originates from, one should look at some of the other plant species in its family. The plant that provides the beans for coffee is one of the best examples. The Coffea family has several different plants, but the ones that make the beans the world loves are the Coffea canephora and Coffea arabica. The stimulating effects of the Coffea berries was originally met with criticism, but over time it has enmeshed with cultures worldwide.


Another plant in the Rubiaceae family is the Cinchona, which has a claim to fame in homeopathy. The man who founded homeopathy chewed on this bark and found himself sick with the symptoms of Malaria. He then used this concept as a treatment for the disease, discovering plants that can cause the symptoms of a disease may also be able to cure the disease.

Carapichea Ipecacuanha

The Carapichea ipecacuanha is most notably known for producing ipecac syrup, which causes vomiting. Doctors around the world have prescribed ipecacuanha in scenarios that require the person to empty their stomachs, like if they have been poisoned.

Breonadia Salicina

One plant in the Rubiaceae family that has played a critical role in African cultures is Breonadia salicina. The herbal medicine extracted from this plant is extremely useful in taking care of bacterial infections, especially concerning the gut and intestinal tract. Common sickness treated with this plant are diarrhea and E.Coli infections.

The Emergence Of Kratom As An Herbal Medicine

While many of the plants within the Rubiaceae family have been well known and used for thousands of years, Kratom, on the other hand, has not made nearly as large of a name for itself within the Rubiaceae family history. While there is evidence that this family of plants has been around for almost 50 billion years. The earliest mention of Kratom in history was in 1836 when cultures throughout Malaysia were using the substance. This information was discovered by the botanist Pieter Korthals in 1839.

While coffee has significant claims to fame and is one of the most popular drinks worldwide, creating an industry worth 20 billion dollars, Kratom has remained in the shadows. It is not until recent decades that a real market has opened up for Kratom, which is why there are plenty of vendors and suppliers making partnerships. A primary reason why news of Kratom is not more ubiquitous is because of the skepticism it has received from legislators.

However, as regulations change and Kratom gains popularity as herbal medicine, consumers can purchase high-quality products at several vendors across America. Many of these vendors ensure that their products are processed with the utmost care guaranteeing a high-quality final product.

It is critical that when you are buying Kratom you make sure it is from a reputable dealer in a city and state where Kratom is legal. As popularity continues to grow, legislation may be quick to change so that more people can utilize Kratom’s magical properties per solid research that is currently underway.


Katie says:

Thank you! That was incredibly informative and worthy of sharing to my skeptical friends. More more more please!

Mitch says:

I have no doubt that this is clear enough.

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