Kratom's Alkaloids Evolved In Order To Prevent Insects From Eating It's Leaves
It is undoubtedly a total miracle that Kratom’s alkaloids have a plethora of benefits including relieving chronic pain, drug addiction, and mental health issues, and some may ask the question, why did Kratom’s alkaloids evolve in the first place?
Essentially, alkaloids in general evolve due to symbiotic or antagonistic relationships with other organisms. Specifically in the case of Kratom, one major problem for a leafy tree growing in the middle of a jungle is that there are hundreds of species of insects that would eat the leaves, and if the plant has no defenses, all the leaves will be eaten and the plant will die.
Now imagine that over millennia the precursor plant to Kratom was getting eaten alive by insects, but eventually through a mutation one of these plants developed an alkaloid which the insects didn’t like so much, and that tree was able to retain some of it’s leaves and therefore was able to survive. Meanwhile, the other plants which did not evolve all died, leaving only this plant which had this new alkaloid.
As the millennia continued to roll by, Kratom began to build up more and more alkaloids in it’s leaves, since the plants which had the most alkaloids had the least amount of leaves eaten. Eventually, the alkaloids got to the point that the leaves were barely eaten at all, and that tree flourished into the Kratom forests of Southeast Asia.
Basically, through the evolutionary process, the Kratom tree developed it’s alkaloids as a defense against insects.
That being said, there has yet to be a scientific study to confirm this, although on the internet in the few places where Kratom evolution is discussed this is the common theory.
Further, I am growing a Kratom tree now, and it has lots of insects living in it’s soil, in-fact many species of insects, and one remarkable thing is that they do not eat the leaves at all. No pesticides have ever been sprayed on this Kratom tree, and the hundreds of insects that live inside it’s soil have no interest in the leaves, since the alkaloids are essentially undesirable for insects, and therefore not a good food for the insects.
Thus, although a scientific study is still needed to confirm why Kratom’s alkaloids evolved, it is clear that it was to protect the leaves from insects.
On a final note, although Kratom’s alkaloids developed through an antagonistic relationship with insects, Kratom now has a symbiotic relationship with humans, since humans are growing as much Kratom as possible. This symbiotic relationship will likely lead to Kratom’s alkaloids rising even further long term, as farmers select plants with the highest alkaloids, and cross-breed to increase alkaloids. Indeed, this is the same sort of symbiotic relationship that has caused Cannabis to have higher and higher amounts of CBD and THC over time.