The use of Botanicals (Mitragyna Speciosa) goes back several thousand
years, but it was first formally documented growing abundantly in Thailand by Dutch botanist Pieter Willem Korthals in the early 19th century. The leaves of a Botanicals tree were used for generations by rural peasants in that section of the globe as an herbal remedy to battle pain, fatigue, diarrhea, and as a substitute for opium. We also find it was used by natives in religious ceremonies and to relax after working in the uncompromising heat outside on the farms. But even though the tree’s leaves were known as a folk remedy to inhabitants in the area for centuries, it never gained any traction in western civilization until Peter Willem Korthals—a botanist with the Dutch East India Service—discovered its existence in 1839. Korthals originally coined the tree with the name Stephegyne speciosa. The scientific name and classification went through several iterations throughout
the years until George Darby Haviland, a British surgeon, gave it the name in 1859 that we still know it as today: Mitragyna speciosa. The plant would soon fade into obscurity afterward until we see a resurgence of interest in the alkaloids found inside the plant at the beginning of the 21st century, played in part by the ongoing opioid epidemic prevalent in American culture.