In his book entitled Understanding The Miracle Power of Kratom (2018), Perry Young explained that kratom is a type of tropical plant that is widely found in Southeast Asia. Kratom belongs to the family Rubiaceae, such as coffee and gardenia, and is endemic to native Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, and parts of Africa.
Believed to be able to reduce pain, can increase energy, eliminate opium addiction, relax, etc. Kratom leaves have been a medicinal drug for a long time. The leaves or foreigners can also call it Bali Kratom, can be directly chewed, or can be ground first and then made tea. Also, kratom leaves can be extracted into capsules, tablets, until liquid.
The historical record so far has not been able to reveal when kratom was first consumed in Indonesia. However, many studies have found evidence that kratom has been a part of the tradition in Thailand and Malaysia for a long time.
According to the Pascal Tanguay journal entitled Kratom Thailand: Decriminalization and Community Control (2011), for example, around 70% of the total male population in Thailand is kratom users.
They usually start chewing kratom after 25 years or older and will continue to consume it throughout their lives. On average, they will even chew 10 to 60 leaves every day even though some eat more.
Meanwhile, the use of kratom in Malaysia is somewhat different. According to Burkill H, in one of his studies in 1935, kratom was more often used as a substitute for opium to relieve pain. At that time, opium was still very expensive and very limited in circulation and because kratom had the same properties, Malaysians also used the leaves as a substitute.
On the other hand, although its history is still vague in Indonesia, kratom is currently widely cultivated in the area of West Kalimantan. In Tembak village, Sintang Regency, for example, this plant has even become a source of income for around 300 thousand local farmers.
Each month, according to BBC reports, the villagers can on average export 300 to 500 tons of kratom, of which 80% is in powder form, and the rest is in the form of crumb leaves.