Even though Kratom has been around for a while and is currently used by nearly 5 million Americans, it is still considered a fairly new phenomenon. Many people are not quite sure what this tropical tree really is, where it originates from, what it looks like, nor how it is pronounced.

To find out the answers to these and some other questions you might have about Kratom, you’ve come to the right place.

First thing’s first – how to pronounce Kratom?

How the word Kratom is actually pronounced greatly depends on the area you live in. 

The pronunciation ranges from Kray-tom (with the long “a” sound), Krah-tom (with the distinct “ah” sound, not so typical for the English language), Ketum, Key-tum or Keh-tum (with the silent “r”). The last one is considered to be the native pronunciation of the word, used in the countries Kratom originates from. 

Other common ways of pronunciation are Kra-Tome, mostly used in Britain, with the American English variant Kray-Tome, and Krah-Tome, which is the local way of pronouncing the word. 

With so many options available, no wonder we are faced with various online debates on how to correctly pronounce the name of this plant. While many people believe that the pronunciation should depend on the speaker’s mother tongue, others insist on a more standardized approach. There are also those who believe that the right pronunciation should correspond to the way the name of the plant is pronounced in the country of its origin. The problem with this theory, however, lies in the inability to determine which of the tropical paradises – Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Borneo, and Papua Nova Guinea – we should take as Kratom’s homeland. 

Although it seems that a unanimous decision on how to pronounce Kratom is yet to be reached, you can’t go wrong with saying Kra-tum, as this pronunciation is widely accepted by the majority of people worldwide.  

What is Kratom?

Originating from Southeast Asia and Thailand, Kratom (also known as Mitragyna speciosa) comes from the leaves from the tropical evergreen tree that belongs to the coffee family. The tree can grow to a height of 25 m, with dark green, glossy leaves that can grow to over 20 cm long and 12 cm wide, and flowers at the end of each branch.   

Kratom plant has been consumed as a traditional medicine for a long time, mostly by farmers and manual workers who were looking for a way to relieve pain and increase their energy levels in order to be able to perform their everyday duties. The first formal mention of this herb was by Pieter Korthals, a botanist who gave it its name in 1839. It was then renamed and reclassified a couple of times until 1859 when George Darby Haviland made its name and classification official. 

It should be mentioned, however, that there are some other (albeit less common) names for the Kratom herb, such as Biak, Ketum, Kakuam, Ithang, and Thom. 

What are the different Kratom strains and classifications?

Kratom strains are typically classified either by the color of the vein that goes straight through the middle part of the Kratom leaf or by the country or area where the plant is cultivated. 

Based on the color of the leaf vein, Kratom strains include:

  • Red vein Kratom strain
  • White vein Kratom strain
  • Green vein Kratom strain
  • Yellow vein Kratom strain (also known as golden Kratom)

Based on the region they originate from, as well as the differences in the process of drying and mixing the herb, the best-known Kratom strains are:

  • Maeng da Kratom, which is native to Thailand, but can also be found in Indonesia and Malaysia. This strain is available in red, green, and white color.  
  • Indo Kratom that originates from Indonesia, and can be white, green, and red.
  • Bali Kratom, also originating from Indonesia, but usually reddish in color.
  • Thai Kratom, which comes from Thailand and is available in green, white, and red color.
  • Borneo Kratom, which is cultivated in Borneo and includes red, white, and green strains.
  • Malaysian Kratom, grown in Malaysia and can come in red, green and white vein varieties.

How to take Kratom?

In the countries of its origin, people usually chew on dried Kratom leaves or combine them with a sweetener to mitigate the bitter taste. 

The plant leaves can also be dried and then crushed or turned into a powder and combined with other plants’ extracts. Due to its strong taste, Kratom powder is usually taken together with a fruit juice (pineapple, orange, and cranberry juices are considered the best choice), tea or yogurt, but it can also be taken with water, by using a quick and simple “toss and wash” method. 

Another way of taking Kratom is through Kratom capsules or tablets which are quite easy to take and enable you to completely avoid tasting the powder. 

Regardless of the consumption method, just make sure to first check whether Kratom is legal and allowed to be used in a country or state you live in. 


We hope that this article managed to shed more light on some of the basic information about Kratom, such as its classification, pronunciation, and consumption.

If there’s anything else you’d like to know about Kratom, just let us know in the comments below!

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