Records say the world has nearly 400,000 plant species. Of the number, humans employ about 15 percent for purposes,including medicine, tools, and food.
The use of herbs for recreational, spiritual, and medical concerns dates far back in history.
Fast forward to the early 20th century, researchers’ interest in these natural potentials had soared remarkably. This birthed the extraction of several chemicals from the plants, especially for medical experiments. Indeed, the results were promising.
In response, lately, there’s been an increasing shift from conventional applications to herbal extractions.Although these more-natural options can also be addictive and with some dreaded sideeffects, they are generally thought healthier than synthetic administrations.
Among the numerous plant-based therapies, this article looks to explore three – Kratom, Kava, and Khat
Quickly, let’s discuss them:
Also, Kava, is a relative to tomatoes and pepper, all members of the nightshade family.
For long, Kava has been common in Pacific Island nations, particularly for cultural and religious events. The herb is mostly known for its ability to induce calm and relaxation as alcohol and opioids do.
Kavalactones, the dominant chemical in Kava, contains as much as 20 percent of the plant’s dry weight. This compound is thought helpful in managing:
- Cancer symptoms
- Neuron damage
Although there’slittle research on Kava’s medical benefits, indications show the drug may act on GABA – Gamma-aminobutyric Acid, a network of receptors in the brain. Sedatives like alcohol and benzodiazepines also activate them.
While anecdotal evidence claims Kava may help manage anxiety and insomnia, as with other sedatives, it can be addictive.
Currently, there are [yet] no legal barriers to Kava and its products. Kava products are available as supplements in stores across the US.
You can dose Kava as tincture, liquid, capsules, or infused in a tea. The drug has no universal prescription, which makes staying within safe limits somewhat tricky.
Besides, research suggests Kava may cause liver toxicity. For this, Kava is widely prohibited across some regions, includingCanada and many EU regions.
Kratom originates from Southeast Asia. Based on dosage, the plant-based drug may serve as either a depressant or stimulant.
The herb is common among those who seek less high than obtainable with opioids or those looking for a less addictive way out of Opioids and its troubles.
Kratom’s consumption is flexible. They are commonly ingested or smoked. The herb may be mixed with tea or water, or dosed as pills/ tablets.
Kratom contains two notable chemicals7-α-hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine. These chemicals trigger sedation, pleasure, and reduced pain. Mitragynine’s stimulant effect is similar to caffeine’s.
Although no laws prohibit Kratom in the US, the DEA and FDA haveissued warnings about the supplements and powders. These bodies have also made moves to restrict Kratom’s use by placing it within the drug schedule.
Here are commonly reported undesirable effects of Kratom:
- Increased urination
- Dry mouth
- Reduced appetite
More acute side effects may include seizures and hallucinations. These more-severe effects are commonly reported with highdoses.
While a handful of Kratom overdose deaths have been reported, the cases mostly occurred when dosed with other drugs like opioids.
Also known as Chat or Qat, this plant originates from the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa. The plant is well recognized in regions including Somalia, Yemen, Ethiopia. Chewing Khat is a common practice in these places.
The evergreen shrub is commonly used as a stimulant due to its rich cathine and cathinone content. These compounds increasethe supply of serotine to the brain and may trigger subtle euphoric sensations.
Across most of the Western World, Cathinoneis presently considered a controlled substance – same in the US. Although Khat has been reportedly abused for recreational purposes, it’s far less than synthetic cathinone.
While these plant-based options are excellent natural alternatives, and technically legal, abuse can be dangerous.
No doubt, these plants may have shownpromising effects on medical concerns. But without a doctor’s supervision, it may be abusedandcould cause some healthcomplications.
Fact is, just as synthetic options, plant-based drugs are not entirely safe. They also pose psychoactive and addictive tendencies.
When chewed, the active compound causes an effect which equates about 5 mg of amphetamine. The resultant impacts include euphoria, anorexia, hyperthermia, increased respiration rate, blood pressure, and heart rate.
So far, there are no fatality records with consuming khan-only. However, extensive usage may cause adverse, including depression, organ damage, and related neurological disorders, as witnessed with cocaine and amphetamine use.