Updated: Sep 2, 2019
Yellow kratom is different things to different people.
Some famers will tell you true yellow kratom is yellow on the tree. Like yellow leaves on most any plant, yellow kratom leaves have a lower nitrogen profile than green kratom leaves... give it some fertilizer and a yellow tree will generally turn green. Some kratom trees tend to be yellower than others, in spite of growing in the same soil conditions. This is interesting and suggests some kratom trees are better at nutrient uptake than others. Sometimes whole trees are yellow and other times only certain leaves on the trees are yellow. Harvest the yellow leaves, some farmers will tell you, and you have the original yellow kratom.
Other farmers admit they process their leaves to create yellow kratom. An outdoor red cure that is left in the sun too long will turn yellow. These yellows are essentially sun bleached reds.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Remember when we say "reds" that the powder colors are not necessarily indicative of the colors of the leaves on the trees, but rather the result of manipulation by man after harvest. A red cure can be done to any color leaf to oxidize the alkaloids, and this may or may not involve a red alkaloid bleed. To learn more about curing, be sure to read this blog for a breakdown of the fundamentals.
Another way to make yellow, according to one farmer, is to start curing leaves in a fermentation bag for three days to allow for alkaloid conversion and then remove and dry as a red. The fermentation allows for the more sedating alkaloids to form. His bentuangie, for comparison, is fermented for five days. He says nothing of his is fermented any longer due to the risk of mold.
For other manufacturers, yellow kratom is a blend of whatever they have on hand that can be combined to have the right look and elicit the right feeling.
Still other kratom manufacturers mix their powder with turmeric, a kratom alkaloid potentiator, to create their brand of yellow.
Do you think the first Indonesian kratom farmer to offer yellow kratom was scientifically exacting in developing an intentionally new curing recipe, or do you think someone left their leaves in the sun too long one day and decided to call the sun bleached batch "yellow" and sell it as a new strain?
We may never know, but we do know a few ways to make our own yellow kratom at home.
If you are looking to grow your own kratom, we encourage you to cultivate genetically diverse specimens to most closely mimic the variety found naturally in the rainforest. Become a beneficial contributor to the evolving frontier of American kratom. Find out where to get high quality plants and how to grow and cure your own kratom by clicking this link.