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Kratom Tea-Making – Brewing and Dosing Ideas for the Rest of Us
Because kratom is not tested or approved by the FDA, kratom can only be sold in the United States for burning as incense – it burns very nicely, with smells reminiscent of a crisp fall day. I can’t condone ingesting kratom or kratom tea, but for those looking for an all-natural, effective, legal means of chronic pain relief – say from Lyme disease or spinal cord problems, Kratom is an amazing leaf and can provide the relief you seek.
Kratom is the dried and crushed (or powdered) leaves from the species Mitragyna speciosa, a tree native to Southeast Asia. The kratom tree belongs to the same botanical family as the coffee tree. It has been used as a medicinal and recreational herbal remedy for thousands of years and offers stimulant (at low doses), sedative (at higher doses), analgesic and (yes) opiate-like euphoric properties. Kratom contains similar alkaloids to pharmaceutical, synthetic opiates, but is said to be much less addictive. In fact, kratom is sometimes used as a means of reducing the withdrawal symptoms of opiate addiction. However, if you are going to use it for pain relief, be careful and treat it with respect.
After 2 back surgeries and years of occasional, but severe discomfort, I realized that I needed a non-addictive means to control the spells of severe back pain that would creep in from time to time. Kratom fits that bill perfectly. Kratom is an all natural solution that really works for me. Honestly, I’m not sure if it actually reduces the back pain or if it makes me not care about it (because, honestly, it gives a really great opiate-like buzz that just feels PERFECT!). I guess it really doesn’t matter. I occasionally use kratom, I feel better… period. Life is beautiful!
Now, there are some who actually enjoy the age-old ritual of boil-steep-stir-strain-repeat in order to make a batch of kratom tea. Indeed, some also enjoy the alkaline-bitter, green taste of kratom tea… but personally, I don’t care. Don’t get me wrong, I love the smell of fresh kratom leaves and powder, and I love the pain-relieving and mood-altering effects of kratom, but that bitter alkaline taste – the very ingredient that makes kratom so special, just my stomach turns. Preparing Kratom tea is not a ritual for me, but rather a necessary evil, a real chore that hurts the edge that must be completed in order to enjoy the benefits of the leaf.
FRIDAY OF FRIDAY: I’ve found that using an old school coffee percolator takes the pain out of making kratom tea. I bought an old 8 cup Pyrex filter glass on eBay for $15 and it makes really great kratom tea. I would stay away from automatic, plug-in coffee makers or tea makers, because you’ll want to brew your kratom tea much longer than the standard automatic coffee percolation cycle. I really like my clear glass strainer for brewing kratom so I can watch the tea darken as I go. Find a reliable source of kratom… remember, kratom is usually sold as incense. Personally, I think it’s best to stay away from extracts and adulterated “enhanced” blends – I stick with standard, all-natural kratom leaves.
Here is my simple preparation technique, you will need: – Half an ounce of crushed leaf kratom. Some people use powdered kratom, but I personally don’t like it, because it makes a muddy kratom tea. – 2 liters of water (for two brewing cycles of 1 liter). – OPTIONAL, Lemon juice (see quantity below) – A hearth filter. – Another container – such as a 2 qt. jug, to mix both brewing cycles together
1- Place the kratom in the filter basket and pour 1 liter of water through the basket and into the filter before placing the top strainer, to wet the kratom leaves. Next, I like to make sure the kratom is evenly distributed in the basket after pouring. Some believe that adding up to 25 percent lemon juice to the water helps extract the alkaloids from the kratom leaf—that’s a judgment only you can make.
2- Once the water is hot and starting to percolate, start the clock – and let your kratom tea brew for at least 15 minutes… 20-25 minutes is more to my liking. Keep the flame as low as possible, a really hard boil makes awesome tasting kratom tea!
3- After the 1st drink, leave the kratom in the basket (you can press it with a tablespoon if you want, to get more liquid out, but it’s not necessary), pour your drink into a 2 liter container, then pour 2nd liter of clean water (or lemon-water) through the basket full of kratom and boil it as well as the 1st. prepare… again, 15 minutes or more.
4- You will notice that the 2nd brewing cycle brews a lighter tea because you have extracted all the good stuff from the kratom leaves, thus depleting them.
5- Once done, I discard the leaves (some people eat them – YUK!), then mix the 2 concoctions together in the 2 liter container to cool. Some people boil the mixture longer, to make a stronger tea… Not me.
6- After cooling a bit, I pour the kratom tea into cleaned plastic iced tea bottles, refrigerate what I will use in a few days and freeze the rest. Refrigerated kratom tea will only last about 5 days, frozen tea will last months.
COVERING THE TASTE: As I mentioned above, I hate the taste of kratom tea. While I’ve never been able to completely overcome the bitterness and aftertaste of kratom tea, I’ve found that a half teaspoon of commercial aromatics extract per 16 ounces of tea will really help. My favorites are raspberry and peach, but spearmint and peppermint also work quite well. I also add 2 teaspoons of sugar, Splenda or Stevia. I drink my tea cold (iced tea) and usually with a straw because I don’t like that mouth numbing sensation and the straw helps bypass the old taste buds.
OTHER OUTSIDE OPTIONS: I’m a big fan of capsules… because there are no tastes at all. “Toss-N-Wash” is another option… place a teaspoon (or tablespoon) of kratom towards the back of the throat and quickly wash it down with a liquid – a large swallow. I use orange juice, but others claim that there is actually benefit to using grapefruit juice – a reaction to the acids in the grapefruit juice.
Believe it or not, “toss-n-wash” can sometimes leave less of an aftertaste than tea, but the big problem with toss-n-wash is that occasionally, the kratom “sticks” in the throat – which not a pleasant experience ! I haven’t tried tossing-n-washing anything other than kratom powder – I can’t imagine trying to swallow kratom with leaves!
So here it is… an “easier, milder” method of using kratom. I certainly hope that my experiences and observations with this amazing ethnobotanical may help you and others gain the beneficial effects of kratom. Again, use kratom responsibly. Don’t drive while under the effects, make sure you give yourself the time you need to enjoy the benefits of kratom, count on the effects of kratom to last longer than 4 hours, and make sure you’re in a safe, relaxing environment before use kratom.
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