i wanted to write about this plant and all. It set me free with mobility so i have a soft spot in my heart for it.... I understand it is controversial now, and have been "scolded" on facebook on it's "dangers", but i am just going on my experience here so...
On my trip i took a "tasters choice" container with some Maeng Da in it (figuring at the time i would only be in egypt maximum 9 days, so i did not fill it much as i take 2 teaspoons daily for the sciatica). I had no problem with it in travel what so ever. Not even asked about it.
I am happy i took it in my carry on as somewhere over the Atlantic around 2am i suffered an anxiety attack.. it was due to the plane being so crowded, full flight with many seats carrying one child and one mom in one seat... and then the cooling system malfunctioned (Turkish Airline). So it was a hot box. Plus i am 50.. so i get hot flashes anyway. Too much was too much and i was up against the window and had to have the men move so i could stand up and get some water in this plastic cup and knock down a tsp or so of the Maeng Da. A passenger commented "oh god that looks awful!" i said "it's just an indonesian tea, and it works on anxiety and in this coffin in a heat wave i need something that works"
Passenger agreed one needs to do what it takes, a few nodded in agreement also. By this time many people were complaining about the conditions in the flight, babies crying in frustration etc... the attendants turned off the lights and told passengers to sleep.
Once i got to Egypt, and the time went on i ran out of the tea.. in the meantime however i did share with a couple people who were interested in it for back pain relief. They were really bowled over by the result. ..... Since i been gone from Egypt the government there has come down on pain killers. One used to be able to go to the pharmacy and get an array... now they have been removed.
Health care in Egypt is really sad, to say the least. For the average Egyptian it is just a joke. (Ex: my brother in law had to go to ER for a hypertensive crisis, was so bad his nose started bleeding and there was significant chest pain.... he was prescribed an "herb" and a quran verse to recite every morning, his b/p was not even checked, neither was he put on an EKG, then sent home). When i made a complaint on his behalf, i was told he was the best cardiac doctor in Alexandria.. they acted insulted that i questioned his judgement.
After he had another episode i got OTC propranolol (it is not rx'ed there), and asprin... did b/p's to check the therapeutic level of the propanolol , and now he is managed with 20 mg propanolol 2x daily, and one asprin, with having regular b/p checks at the corner pharmacy after i left. As well as one cholesterol medication also OTC. So he has been thankfully stabilized. Nixing the kitchen herb and quran verse.
So when people get serious injuries to spine etc in the course of work, or many times hit by vehicle (if you been there you understand), they don't really get any care.. and many times minor procedures are done in the home without any anesthetic because that costs extra and people cannot afford it. So when pain killers were removed that left many in a bind. Also, some had addictions to it (reason it was pulled by government).
When i ran out of Kratom i was fine first three or four days... then the immobility crept back with the sciatica etc. I began to have to have help standing and raising legs to curbs and such. They just didn't want to move. So we went to "the best herbalist in Alexandria"... he wears a lab coat and has a stand in the main high end mall a few streets from the apartment. San Stefano.
For one, he claimed no such herb like "kratom" was in existence. That if it was he would be "the first to know about it"... and offered some of his fancy bottled "remedies"....... oregano in solution, standard olive oil in a fancy "medical" bottle. Sea salt. etc... i said "well now that we looked in my kitchen cabinet, where are you keeping the things that work?" Which didn't go over well.
For temporary measures we went to the brotherhood (who, with the bedouins are the primary go to's) and got hash. The problem with that is.. it does not really kill the pain, only improves some mobility, but i need (as i suspect so do others) something that doesn't zone me out..... so was only useful at night.
So i got ahold of a friend in Indonesia and they agreed to send out a couple kilo's or so (maeng da, and green maylay) stating they never sent to Egypt before, but they only accept US dollars as payment (on a much reduced rate however from here).... but it would not get there before i left. Fine.
In the meantime, I was hearing that many shipments have been stopped in the US, and i have two friends who had little herbal businesses that have had to stop selling Kratom due to pay pal holding funds disputes and then having shipments recently seized by the dea. Also, seems Utube has gone and deleted a few accounts of people speaking about kratom and/or psychedelics. .
I am not sure what is going on here in the US with Kratom? It seems conflicting reports.
My concern with this is that i do not have any alternative set up yet if it becomes unavailable. Not only did it work like a miracle for the RLS i had, which medications did not resolve.. one only made it worse... but also the mobility difference when i just take two teaspoons a day is the difference between maintaining normal activities freely, and having to have a four pronged cane for some (not all, but some) mobility assistance since my accident in 2016. Pain killers do nothing for the mobility aspect, plus they don't leave me clear headed.
The positive note is customs did say there is no restriction on the plant in Egypt and would be allowed with a slight handling fee (about 450 egyptian pounds, which is nothing). So at least we will manage to get it in there to help.
But i am very insecure about the plants future here.