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What Are Other Names for Kratom?

What we in America call kratom is a plant that has been used for generations in Southeast Asia. It’s been used to improve concentration and productivity, while also helping relieve pain.

Some pronounce the word “kray-tum”, while others pronounce it “kra-tum” (rhymes with “atom”).

Physical laborers in Indonesia, Malaysia, Borneo, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, and other places where kratom is grown for centuries have used kratom to increase energy and endurance. With such a long tradition of use, kratom is known by several other names. Its scientific name is mitragyna speciosa.

Indigenous Kratom Farmers

Often “Korth” is added to the name, to indicate the name of an explorer who discovered natives using kratom. Pieter Willem Korthals (September 1, 1807, Amsterdam– March 1892, Haarlem) was a Dutch scientist in the field of botany and ethnobotanical analysis. Korthals was the official botanist with the Dutch East India Service from 1831 to 1836.  Korthals is credited with the Western world’s discovery of kratom. He also wrote the first tropical pitcher plants monograph entitled “Over Het Geslacht Nepenthes” which was published in 1839.

Pieter Willem Korthals

But Korthals actually named kratom “Stephegyne speciosa“. Kratom’s official botanical name was changed several times before it was finalized as mitragyna speciosa, which George Darby Haviland provided as the settled, approved name and classification in 1859.

Some speculate that mitragyna speciosa may have been used in Mithraite religious rituals, hence the “mitra” in the terminology.

Mithra was the Iranian god of the sun, justice, contract, and war in pre-Zoroastrian Iran. Known as Mithras in the Roman Empire during the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD, this deity was honored as the patron of loyalty to the emperor.

Mithra, also spelled Mithras, Sanskrit Mitra, in ancient Indo-Iranian mythology, the god of light, whose cult spread from India in the east to as far west as Spain, Great Britain, and Germany. (See Mithraism.) The first written mention of the Vedic Mitra dates to 1400 bc.

As for today, kratom goes by many names, including:

tea (an alternative term that is often used in kratom forums to avoid algorithms that hunt down words like kratom and penalize the forum for promoting a substance that the FDA has not yet approved, and it a financial threat to Big Pharma)


the K


green powder




thang / ithang


kakum / kakuam

herbal speedball

Other times, kratom is referred to according to a particular strain. Thus, you might hear someone say, “Have you tried the Dark Green (or Chocolate Bentuangie or Red Borneo or Aceh Gold, etc.) yet? It’s really potent, but not so bitter!”

No matter what you call it, kratom has proven itself to be a real blessing to many people, whose reports tell us of wonderful benefits provided by mitragyna speciosa!

What do you call it? Please leave us your comment below. Thank you for reading and learning about Kratom


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. johnm1971

    Great article. Very informative. As always, the Streight man has written another great article!

  2. steven.streight

    Thanks very much johnm1971.

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