Our personal journey to Kratom

Things happen for us, not to us. This tenant can be found in most of the world’s spiritual traditions. It means to say that whatever people, places or circumstances we are faced with in our lives, we should view them as though we had chosen them, no matter how unpleasant they may look. Underlying this is the understanding that challenges are catalysts for personal growth, discovery and learning and not random events where we’re a victim of unfortunate circumstance. Jani’s story exemplifies this principal in so many ways.

Here’s Jani’s story in her own words.

I was 18 and my baby sister was having a birthday party. My parents were busy blowing up a jumping castle which I decided to run and do a forward flip onto. I landed badly in one of the seams and injured my neck seriously. My mother however, brushed it off, insisting that I was fine and did not need medical attention.

In hindsight, that accident was the catalyst for so much of what was to direct the rest of my life.

From that point on, I suffered continual stiffness and chronic pain in my neck and shoulders. This eventually began to affect my mental well-being, suffering a deep depression and severe anxiety, and I began to self-medicate with whatever I could get my hands on. As you can imagine, that didn’t go well. After 8 years of substance abuse, I finally took the decision that I did not want to die, and so I cleaned up my act, found my life partner and we had 2 kids. Still to this day, looking back, the fact that I carried 2 babies with a spine broken in 2 places blows my mind! Needless to say, it was very uncomfortable.

Whilst so much was going right in my life, I was still dealing daily with chronic pain. By the time I was 38, the pain had become unbearable. I couldn’t function past 1pm, anxiety and fatigue were at an all-time high. At least twice a week, I would have the most violent migraines, and I lost all feeling from my knees down. I couldn’t sleep because unbeknownst to me I had tiny bone spurs growing into my spinal cord. It took me a while…Like 22 years, but I finally realised that something was seriously wrong.

After visits to a GP and various specialists, I ended up with an orthopaedic surgeon who, after MRI scans, picked up that I had two very badly herniated disks in my neck. I was then referred to a neurosurgeon which led to me having emergency surgery in the form of a double spinal fusion.

It was during the months between my first visit to the GP and the surgery that I picked up an unpleasant, and very unexpected addiction. I was prescribed Tramacet (later changed to Tramadol as the Tramacet wasn’t strong enough) and Trepiline (an opiate and a benzodiazepine) by the GP to manage pain after my first visit. I had been assured by both the GP and subsequently the neurosurgeon that Tramadol was a perfectly safe, non-addictive medication.

I was on these meds for roughly 3 months before going in for the surgery. It was during my post-op recovery that I discovered I was experiencing withdrawal from my medication. The withdrawals were hideous. Even the morphine I was receiving for pain management after the surgery wasn’t able to mask the Tramadol withdrawal. In my experience, Tramadol withdrawal was 100 times worse than heroin withdrawal. I went straight back onto the Tramadol – I had to.

This surgery was not the end of the story. The fusion failed due to dodgy hardware that the surgeon implanted, and further surgery followed. All the while I was trying to manage pain, hold down a job, look after two children and try to wean myself off the Tramadol. It wasn’t working. I had to find a way to get off the Tramadol and yet remain functional.

It was through my research on the internet that I came across kratom. I read story after story about how people in the US had managed to get off opiates comfortably, using Kratom. I ordered some online. And was completely blown away! I was expecting it would help somewhat, but it took the withdrawals away completely! I was able to start a new job on day one of being off Tramadol. I used Kratom to get me through the first 3 months and then weaned off without an issue, except that the Tramadol and Trepiline had messed up my brain so badly, I now suffered severe debilitating anxiety, and I still required a third surgery to implant a titanium disk into my lumber spine, so again, in serious pain. So, I went back onto the Kratom, and once again, it changed my life, managing all these issues in one safe, natural plant.

It was this experience that fired a very passionate interest in Kratom and other natural plant-based medicines, but for the severity of my symptoms, Kratom really was the only thing that worked whilst still being able to manage my very busy life. I dedicated over 3 years to researching and educating South Africans about Kratom, which ultimately led me to creating the successful business I have today. It’s a truly wonderful thing to be able to help others who share stories similar to my own. So, there you have it, there was definitely purpose to all the ‘challenges’ I’ve faced since that jumping castle accident all those years ago.

On a final note, I’m well aware that there is a good deal of negative press about kratom. This doesn’t come as a surprise when one considers that it is not controlled by the pharmaceutical industry. I like to remind people how marijuana was, until very recently categorised as an illegal, potentially dangerous substance. It’s now being touted as a new wonder drug. One just has to read the testimonials (or watch YouTube videos) of the many, many people who have successfully come off multiple addictive and dangerous substances with kratom.


Plant medicine Vs. Big pharma

Chronic pain, anxiety & stress disorders

Kratom, a natural alternative to pharmaceutical drugs

Chronic pain, anxiety and stress disorders are among the top medical disorders globally. It’s safe to assume that the 2020/21 COVID-19 pandemic will only go further to exacerbate stress and anxiety levels. The cure? For many, it will be the prescription of pharmaceutical drugs.

The irony of this is, that prescription pharmaceuticals are one of the biggest contributors to substance use disorder, one of the top 10 medical disorders in the US*. The abuse of prescription drugs globally has become a serious problem and it’s on the rise. But the issue goes beyond drug abuse – there’s the substantial negative health side effects of many pharma drugs.

It’s becoming ever-more apparent that the big pharmaceutical companies are not always acting in the best interests of peoples’ health. In the USA, “only 28 percent of Americans have a good opinion of Big Pharma. In fact, Big Pharma is the second most hated industry in America. It’s right behind the tobacco industry and the oil, gas and chemical industry.”** Just visit the Wikipedia page of List of largest pharmaceutical settlements (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_pharmaceutical_settlements) to get an idea of the pervasive lack of honesty and integrity prevalent in the pharmaceutical industry.

People are becoming increasingly aware of the negatives surrounding the pharmaceutical industry and recent years have seen a marked and growing ‘push-back’ to the use of synthetic pharmaceuticals world-wide. In 2018, it was estimated that more than 60% of the global population were using some other form of traditional/alternative medicine, the use of natural botanicals contributing the lions share. The sector has been growing at an ever-increasing rate in recent years and the trend is set to continue.

Rudolph Steiner famously stated: “For every human illness, somewhere in the world exists a plant which is the cure’’. Our ancient ancestors knew this well and we’re just beginning to rediscover this important truth now in the 21st century.

Returning to chronic pain, anxiety and stress disorders, there is a growing list of natural alternative remedies becoming available. Kratom is one such natural alternative.

Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a tropical evergreen tree in the coffee family native to Southeast Asia. It is indigenous to much of South East Asia where it’s been used in herbal medicine for centuries. It has a powerful effect on stress, depression, anxiety and energy levels. It alleviates anxiety and lifts your mood. The general feeling is happy, energetic and motivated. Kratom is unique in that it treats anxiety without drowsiness, rather enhancing and improving energy levels. 

The most pronounced effects of Kratom are similar to opiate medication, in that it provides pain relief, but also increases energy levels and alleviates anxiety and depression. The strength of Kratom is comparable to Tramadol and Codeine.

Kratom treats pain in many different ways. It blocks the pain signals to the brain in the same way that opioid medication does, it acts as an anti-inflammatory, and it and  relaxes the muscles. Kratom also treats the emotional and mental symptoms that often accompany chronic pain such as depression, anxiety, sleeplessness and fatigue.

Kratom is undoubtably an excellent and healthier alternative to synthetic pharmaceuticals, however, it’s always a good idea to do one’s own research and take responsibility for what you put into your body. There is a great deal of information online about kratom, not all of it positive but it’s worth bearing in mind, with many of the negative articles, where their allegiance lies – are they a part of the medical establishment/pharmaceutical industry? Marijuana and its extracts were also demonised until only recently.

For more information and where to purchase Kratom, go to buykratomsouthafrica.co.za.



*USA Today 24th Oct 2018