Also known as
Mitragyna speciosa, Nauclea speciosa, IM, Indigo Malay, Indigo Vein Malay
Mitra is the current name given to the leaf harvested from a large tree in the Rubiaceae family originally named Nauclea speciosa. Mitra is native to Southeast Asia and commonly harvested from Malaysia and Indonesia in regions such as the Kalimantan jungle in the island of Borneo, the wild forests of Sumatra, and the traditional regions of Malaysia and Thailand. Mitra first became known to the locals of Thailand as a traditional ethnomedicine used to treat opium addiction and manage pain.
Mitra's primary alkaloids are the opioid agonistic 7-hydroxymitragynine, mitragynine, & mitragynine pseudoindoxyl. Other constituents of mitra include ajmalicine and mitraphylline, both of which have circulatory stimulating, anti hypertensive, and muscle relaxing properties. Mitra also contains the opioid antagonistic yohimbe alkaloid corynantheidine, which is more present in the stem than the leaf of the plant. Mitra also contains the green tea anti-oxidant compounds catechin and epicatechin, as well as the NMDA antagonist rhynchophylline, all three of which can be found in the close relative of mitra, Uncaria rhynchophylla (Chinese cat's claw). In addition to these compounds, mitra also possesses the calcium channel blocker corynoxeine, the partial opioid receptor agonist 9-hydroxycorynantheidine, the potent immune stimulants isomitraphylline, isorhynchophylline & isopteropodine, high concentrations of the smooth muscle relaxing paynantheine & speciogynine, and the alpha-2 adrenal blocker, tetrahydroalstonine.
Mitragyna, like white sage is commonly used for natural aromatherapy in modern times, releasing a powerful, rich scent when burned, gifting the air with an aroma that provides a sense of ease and relaxation. Mitragyna from different regions often has it's own distinct scent, most likely due to it's complex & varied chemical makeup.
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