Online Sales of Kratom Spike Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

The notorious COVID-19 pandemic has opened up a pandora box of all kinds of true and false claims of ‘cure’ coming from people belonging to virtually any industry. In the middle of this worldwide coronavirus outbreak, coupled with a global crisis, some industries seem to have golden days with sky-high sales. The demand for products like sanitizers, tissues, masks, towels, and even food-stuff is spiking exponentially. Herbal remedies are not spared either. Sales of herbal products, like Kratom, is on fire!

The lack of a definitive cure for corona has encouraged people to look for alternate curing remedies, herbal products like Kratom being one of those. Therefore, the outbreak of coronavirus has resulted in an indirect positive effect on the sales of Kratom.

Recently, with the rise in coronavirus incidents, a statement of Professor Usman Thamrin has gained popularity and social media’s attention. Pontianak Post, an Indonesian newspaper, has published the statement by Dr. Thamrin Usman, who is a professor at the Tanjungpura University of Indonesia, in which he recommended the use of Kratom to enhance the immune system.

Dr. Usman’s advice was directed towards the use of herbal supplements like Kratom to polish one’s immunity in the absence of curative medicine and vaccination. He stressed upon the fact that even if sanitizers and other such products are blown off the shelves, people of West Kalimantan shouldn’t be anxious about it as they have access to a great variety of tropical plants that can aid in protecting against coronavirus by improving one’s immunity.

This statement attracted more and more customers towards kratom-products, resulting in spiking sales.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a newer strain of coronaviruses, which emerged from China in December 2019. Coronavirus is a family of viruses that are common in humans and animals such as cattle, bats, etc. Previously, some of you might have heard the names of other coronaviruses such as the epidemics caused by Middle East respiratory syndrome, MERS-CoV, and severe acute respiratory syndrome, SARS-CoV.

This novel COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2, like the other two, has been observed to originate from bats. This is a respiratory virus; therefore, it affects the respiratory system and can result in lung fibrosis necessitating ventilatory support. To date, it has no definitive cure; hence prevention is the only hope.

What is Kratom?

Mitragyna speciose, more commonly known as Kratom is a tropical Southeast Asian tree, grown in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. The coffee tree and the plant from which Kratom is extracted belong to the same family. Kratom is also known by some other names such as Biak, Ketum, Kakuam, Ithang and Thom. It is sold in raw form or as dietary supplements to function as an alternative pain managing remedy. It has also been used to boost immunity, energy and mindfulness.

The popularity of Kratom has crossed borders, and during recent years it has become a popular product in the United States too. The secret constituents imparting the effects of Kratom are the two alkaloids that it contains, mitragynine, and 7-hydroxy mitragynine. These two alkaloids in lower concentrations boost energy, increase stamina, relieve pain, and cause euphoria. Higher concentrations may have toxic effects too.

Effect of Kratom on the immune system?

Immunity is what stands between us and the pathogens that attack us. Depending upon the strength of our immunity, we either get affected by the attacking pathogen, or the immune system overcomes the attack by a successful elimination of the pathogen. Kratom happens to be one of the herbal products that strengthen this defense mechanism of our bodies.

Kratom products that are available as powdered dried leaves, capsules, or pastes with extracts of Kratom, when taken with water or warm tea shields against numerous viruses such as the common cold. The constituents of Kratom strengthen the overall immune system of the body in an integrated fashion.

The immune-boosting property of Kratom is attributable to the alkaloids contained in the leaves of its plant. Besides the two potent alkaloids (mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine), it also includes more than 25 such alkaloids that synergistically impart their positive effects on the immune system. Some of these alkaloids are

  • Isomitraphylline
  • Isopteroprodine
  • Mitraphylline
  • Isorhynchophylline

Apart from these alkaloids, Kratom also contains powerful antioxidants like epicatechin, which is also found in cocoa and grapes, accounting for the antioxidant effects of dark chocolate. Although some alkaloids like mitragynine also have antioxidant properties, with the amalgamation of epicatechin, the beneficial antioxidant effects become two-fold.

Kratom owes its anti-inflammatory properties to rhynchophylline and epicatechin. With the merger of all these alkaloids, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory substances, Kratom imparts the immune-boosting effects and helps in improving the quality of life.

How does COVID-19 spread?

Respiratory droplets carry the virus; hence are the primary mode of transmission. If an infected person coughs or sneezes, the respiratory droplets can infect people in a radius of approximately 6 feet. Some people might be affected by the virus but haven’t developed symptoms yet, such people may also act as carriers and play some role in the spread of the disease. Therefore, social distancing is highly recommended.

Similarly, some of the spread is also attributable to contaminated surfaces. When an infected person comes in contact with a particular surface or objects, it gets contaminated. After that, if any healthy individual touches that object or surface, then rubs his nose, eyes, or mouth can get the infection.

How to prevent coronavirus?

Its high time COVID-19 should be taken seriously. Few simple steps can help decrease the transmission of infection:

  1. Social distancing.
  2. Wash hands regularly with soap and water or uses a sanitizer with a minimum of 60% alcohol.
  3. Don’t use unwashed and unsanitized hands to touch the mouth, eyes, nose, and ears.
  4. Avoid contact with the sick, and if you are ill, self-isolate yourself.
  5. Cover your mouth and nose if sneezing or coughing, throw the used tissues ASAP followed by washing hands.
  6. Use a face mask if you are sick; if you aren’t ill, please let the supply of masks serve the sick ones. Healthy individuals don’t need it much.
  7. Disinfect commonly used surfaces and objects.
  8. Don’t eat with unwashed hands.
  9. What do we carry with us most of the time?
    Our phones! Wipe your phones with a disinfectant as phones can be a harbor.

Why should we wash our hands?

Here is a video with all that you need to know about handwashing and its benefits and alternatives.

Kratom Buying Tips during the Coronavirus Outbreak

Buy Kratom Online

To avoid social contact, order from your couch. Place an order online. Many countries across the globe have shut down physical businesses, so if you want Kratom, go online. That will maintain the social distance, keep you indoors and give you a doorstep kratom package. Some vendors even offer samples of Kratom for a smaller price, so that you can test before you place your desired order.

Contactless Delivery

Many sensible vendors are taking this precautionary measure. The package is left at your doorsteps to avoid sharing the breathing space between the courier and the receiver.

Wash Hands

After handling the kratom package, the next most crucial step is to sanitize or wash your hands. You may also disinfect the packaging, although careful suppliers must have taken steps to clean and sterilize the packaging.

Contactless Cards

Currency notes are frequently exchanged between buyers and sellers. Banknotes and coins being carriers of the virus is a thought many of us would ignore. The WHO has stressed upon the use of contactless payment cards by merely tapping the card or inserting the card yourself in the machine card terminal. This minimizes contact.

Avoid False information on the internet about Kratom and coronavirus

The outbreak of COVID-19 unleashed thousands of internet users. Here we will bust some myths about coronavirus/COVID-19!

  • Coronavirus won’t be able to sustain hot weather

There is no evidence so far to believe it. Evidence shows that the new Covid-19 can survive in all climates. Take preventive measures, no matter where you live.

  • Colder climate kills coronavirus

Even with external colder temperature, the core temperature of the body remains the same; therefore, don’t rely on the myths.

  • Spray chlorine and alcohol over your body to kill coronavirus

It’s a myth. Spraying over the body surface doesn’t kill the viruses that are inside the body. Instead, it can damage skin, eyes, mouth, clothes, etc. Such sprays can be used to disinfect surfaces instead.

  • Eating garlic protects from coronavirus

Though garlic has antimicrobial properties, it hasn’t been shown to relieve any of the symptoms of coronavirus nor prevents infection during this outbreak.

  • Drinking or gargling with acid/ bleach/essential oils protects against coronavirus infection

This maneuver won’t save you from coronavirus; in fact, drinking bleach would kill!

  • Hand dryers are effective in killing coronavirus

This is false information. Hand dryers do not kill the 2019-nCoV.

  • A mosquito bite can transmit coronavirus

There isn’t any evidence to support this yet. The primary mode of transmission is respiratory droplets.

Role of media in spreading the news about coronavirus

The power of media is often underestimated. It can either create mass hysteria or can create mass awareness. It can release false and baseless myths, or it can equip nations with useful precautionary steps. Word of mouth and picture on the TV screens can create panic or put sense into hundreds of minds. A knowledgeable nation can protect itself from the adversities at least better than a herd of people chasing myths and fantasies.

Not only media, every vendor, consumer, journalist, activist, medical personnel, or any influential individual carries a heavy responsibility for creating honest awareness.

How coronavirus can affect the kratom industry?

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry of virtually every product will be affected sooner or later. This is mainly attributable to the disruption of the supply chain. With major lockdown and sealing of countries’ borders, raw materials and products will not be transported. Southeast Asia is the hub of kratom raw material; therefore, if borders are closed for trade across this region, it will cause an imbalance in the demand, supply, and production ratio.

Apart from the trading hurdles across borders, if the local authorities issue curfews or self-quarantine laws, the workforce at the kratom factories and the distribution centers would be restricted, hampering the overall production.

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Dr. Arsia Parekh has been a meritorious Healthcare professional with a proven track record throughout her academic life securing the first position in her MCAT examination and then, in 2017, she successfully completed her Bachelors of Medicine and Surgery from Dow University of Health Sciences. She has had the opportunity to apply her theoretical knowledge to the real-life scenarios, as a House Officer (HO) serving at Civil Hospital. She is currently studying with the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) and aspires to be a leading Neurologist someday. Alongside this, she has taken up medical writing to exercise her skills of delivering a comprehensible version of the otherwise difficult medical literature.


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