Kratom has been used as a natural treatment for thousands of years, but is fairly new to western countries. People have turned to the leaf for its sedating effects, as well as to treat opioid withdrawal and as a painkiller for chronic pain. The effects of Kratom on blood pressure have not had much scientific backing, however some users have found it to have an effect.
An overview of Kratom
Kratom originates from Southeast Asia, countries like Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia have a long history of using Kratom for medicine, to treat ailments such as diarrhea, fatigue and coughs. Others used it as an energy boost, especially laborers who had to work long hours.
So what makes Kratom so effective? There are two alkaloids in Kratom, mitragynine and 7- hydroxymitragynine, and they affect the opioid receptors in the brain, creating stimulating, or sedating effects. Kratom leaves are generally crushed and ingested by drinking tea, and many users take it in the form of powder, mixing it with drinks or taken in capsule form.
Kratom isn’t yet FDA approved, and although it is available to be bought in some shops and online, the full long term effects haven’t had as much research conducted compared to other natural treatments on the market.
Kratom and blood pressure
High blood pressure is also commonly coined ‘hypertension’, and sufferers are always on the lookout for ways to reduce their blood pressure. Diet, weight, age and genetics all contribute to having high blood pressure, so could Kratom, a natural substance, lower blood pressure?
One of the many chemical compounds which can be found in Kratom is called Corynoxine. This alkaloid decrease blood pressure by acting as a calcium channel blocker.
Some studies have found that Corynoxine, which is used in chinese herbal remedies, can reduce hypertension when combined with other treatments.
A sufferer of high blood pressure has blogged about the effectiveness of Kratom to treat hypertension. After researching online, the user decided to experiment with Kratom, and claims that he is now free of all prescribed BP medication, and hasn’t needed to visit the doctor in over a year since taking Kratom.
The strain ‘Red Sumatra’ has been listed as a substance which is known to decrease blood pressure, as well as stimulating tactile pressure. There are many differing strains of Kratom, each with its own effects and benefits. Users who wish to take Kratom for high blood pressure should first research into safe dosages amounts, as well as the different variations of the herbal treatment.
Does Kratom have negative side effects on blood pressure?
In contrast to the opinions above, some believe that it’s the very same chemicals in Kratom which can actually increase blood pressure. One theory is based on the knowledge of Kratom being an adrenergic substance; it affects the users adrenaline, which causes users to feel energetic and enhances their mood. Adrenergic substances can also cause extra pressure on the heart, which could cause the blood pressure to spike. People with mild hypertension might not even be aware that they have it, so a high dosage of Kratom could cause them unexpected health issues.
Other users on Reddit have shared their experiences with Kratom and hypertension. Some found that their blood pressure did increase when taking Kratom, however others found ways to work around it, such as eating before ingesting Kratom rather than taking it on an empty stomach. Other users commented on the dosage amount as a factor which increased (or decreased) their blood pressure. As Kratom is a stimulating substance, beginners should be cautious with the quantity they consume.
A study into the effects of Kratom also found that when the substance was mixed with amphetamines, there was an increased chance of hypertension in the user. This study found that many users experiencing negative side effects also used other substances. 
Whilst Kratom may help some hypertension sufferers, there are undoubtedly a number of factors which could affect how each individual reacts to the effects of Kratom. As it is currently illegal for consumption, users should take extra precautions, especially if mixing Kratom with other medication for high blood pressure.
Kratom, whilst offering many benefits, also has its own limitations. It can cause dependency when taken over a sustained period of time, and if users are looking to solve the medical issue of hypertension, they should take into account that prolonged use of Kratom could add to their list of problems.