The Definition and Pronunciation of Kratom

Top view of Kratom powder in ceramic spoon and Kratom capsules on dark table

In recent years, the world of online herbal supplement sales has been rocked by the arrival of kratom, the southeast Asian herbal remedy that has begun to dominate the market. Many users are now buying kratom supplements in order to help with a wide range of health problems and mood issues, but its recent arrival in the western world means that many people are not actually entirely certain how to pronounce the word Kratom itself.

As it is not a native English word, but a loan word brought in from another language, it is not necessarily obvious how the word is pronounced, and many people are worried about how to pronounce kratom, in case they look like an idiot in front of others.

In order to save you from the potential embarrassment, we’ve put together a guide to kratom, covering what the plant is, what it does, and how to pronounce kratom. Read on below to find out more about the pronunciation of this word!

What is Kratom?

Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) green Is a type of drug

Kratom is a herbal remedy grown in southeast asia. The kratom plant is a tree, more properly called mitragyna speciosa. The kratom (or speciosa) tree is an evergreen plant, and part of the Rubiaceae family of plants, which you might know better as the coffee family. Kratom is related to the coffee plant, and its effects have a few points in common.

The word Kratom comes from the thai language, as thailand is one of the main areas where the mitragyna speciosa tree is grown, and it is native to the area. The word may be thai in origin, but the plant is actually grown across south east asia, covering countries such as Borneo, Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea as well as Thailand.

The first western account of the Kratom plant was made in 1839 by Pieter Korthals, a Dutch botanist and colonial scientist. He initially named it, but it went back and forth between a number of names before being finally scientifically classified in 1859 by George Darby Havilland.

The leaves of the kratom plant are dark green in color, and have a shiny surface. They grow to up to around 20 cm in length and 12 cm across, which is about the size of a very large man’s hand on average. These leaves have been used for centuries by farmers and other outdoor workers, as chewing kratom leaves can give a great energy boost to keep you going with physical activity for the rest of the day.

Different types of Kratom

There are several different strains of Kratom currently available, and they are generally classified by the color of the vein that runs down the middle. All of these varieties offer a great user experience, but some of them might take a bit more of a search in order to find them. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular varieties in the english speaking world.

Green Vein Kratom

Leaf of a plant close up

Green Vein kratom is well known for having balanced effects. It offers sedative properties that are great for soothing anxiety and calming the user down, but also offers an energy boost that people can use to help them complete the tasks of the day.

White Vein Kratom

The white vein version of kratom is known for being a very stimulating strain, giving a great energy boost to people and allowing them to work harder and faster for longer.

Red Vein Kratom

Red vein kratom is a sedative strain, and many people like to use it to help with anxiety and depression. As well as this, it can save the person taking it from insomnia and help them to sleep if taken shortly before going to bed.

Yellow Vein (or Golden) Kratom

Yellow vein kratom, otherwise known as golden kratom, is one of the rarer varieties that you might have to search for for a while in order to find. It is a particularly potent strain, with a strong smell and a very high level of certain powerful alkaloids in the leaves.

How to prounounce Kratom

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The pronunciation of the word Kratom is something that causes a lot of debate, as it is not a word that originates in the english language. Very few people can fully agree on how to pronounce kratom, although the definition of the word is relatively simple.

In Malaysia and Thailand, local users generally pronounce kratom as Ketum (Key- tum or Keh- tum), with the letter R left silent and not pronounced. This is the traditional local pronunciation, but it is not at all intuitive to the average english person who wants to know how the word is pronounced.

Many people use the pronunciation “Kray- tom”, with a long A like in “alien”, but not every person agrees with this attempt to pronounce the word in english. The other most common option is “Krah- tom”, with a long, flat A like in “arm”. These are not the only two english pronunciation options that people use, however.

Sometimes it is pronounced with a -tome ending rather than a -tom or -tum ending, and there are regional differences in pronunciation, even within the english speaking community. In general, most English people pronounce it “Kra-tome” with a short A, while many Americans prefer to pronounce the word as “Krah-tome”, with a long A.

There is no “correct” pronunciation, although many people are now arguing that kra-tum, with short vowels, is the closest thing possible to a correct pronunciation. Different people have different accents, though, so there is a great deal of variety in pronunciation. In general, you shouldn’t worry too much about the pronunciation, but it’s probably best not to try to correct the pronunciation of others, as you’re probably no more correct than they are!

What are the effects of Kratom?

Kratom has a wide range of different valuable effects that many users appreciate. This ranges from stimulating effects, useful to keep focus and energy up, to sedative effects, used for calming anxiety and helping with insomnia.

In general, lower dosages lead to stimulating effects that can keep your focus and energy up when you’re tired, while higher dosages can relax and calm you, and are probably better used later on in the day to help you to sleep.

Kratom legality and access

Brown Gavel Mallet

Kratom used to be legal across the globe, but because of the risk of addiction, it is increasingly becoming a controlled substance in many countries. As of early 2020, 16 different countries have classified kratom as a controlled substance, and the FDA has banned imports and manufacturing of kratom because of fear of addiction, dependence, and abuse, all of which are serious risks of this substance.


There is no “correct” english pronunciation of kratom, so you shouldn’t worry too much about it. If you want to be fully correct, then you can go for the thai and malay pronunciation of “ke-tum”, but people might look at you a bit oddly as this is

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Hey! I'm Jerry, a body and bio hacker who loves to try out new stacks to better my performance. I created this site to share my insights and to help others gain additional knowledge. If you like what you read, please leave a comment below.


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