To be totally fair to science, an “herb” is technically defined as any of a family of seed-bearing plants without woody stems, which die down to the ground after flowering. And since kratom comes from the dried leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa tree, which does have a woody stem and can grow to heights far above the ground, the idea of “kratom herb” is somewhat difficult to reconcile. However, since kratom has long occupied a place of sacred spiritual usage among the Thai indigenous cultures, it’s not a terrible linguistic stretch for us to reference a kratom herb.
Herbs have traditionally had a variety of uses, including the culinary, medicinal, and spiritual. Usually, the green, leafy part of the plant is ground to a powder and consumed thusly. This differs from spices, which are drawn from the seeds, berries, bark, or other parts of the plants. Although, at times, herbal medicine will make use of the roots and flowers. This is the case with both Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s wort) and the Piper methysticum (kava plant), which are both used for medicinal purposes to relieve depression and stress.
Kratom herb, of course, comes to us from the large, teardrop leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa. As such, it can be obtained as either a full leaf or in powdered, extract form, both of which can qualify as kratom herb. And, unlike the apothecaries who dispensed herbal remedies in from the 15-19th centuries, today’s dispensers of kratom herb are retailers like Iamshaman.com. With this duty comes the responsibility of educating our customers about the kratom herb and other products like it, to ensure that it they are used in a safe manner.