The US health authorities have issued an alert about the risks of the widespread use of a plant called kratom, which has similar effects to powerful drugs. An overdose is fatal. Kratom has already killed 36 people in the United States.
What is Kratom?
Kratom is something natural and it is sold as an herbal supplement. It can also be found under the names of Biak, Ithang, Mambog, Ketum, Thang or under its scientific name which is Mitragyna speciosa.
It is a beautiful and tall tree, related to the coffee tree and gardenia, which grows in Southeast Asia. From Thailand to Malaysia, the stimulating and relaxing effects of its leaves, containing lots of alkaloids, have been known for centuries.
The FDA warns about the kratom’s side effects
The plant is dangerous to health, confirms the US Federal Agency for Drug and Food Control (FDA), which in its latest alert bulletin states that at least 36 people have died because of it in the United States.
According to the FDA, kratom’s leaves contain opioids which has effects that are similar to the narcotic substances in the powerful drugs. Kratom overdose has proven to be extremely dangerous. On the other hand, the FDA considers it a substance that has a high potential for addiction.
Some people say they feel good with the kratom herbal supplement
The New York Times reported in 2016 that there was a group of 2,000 consumers who were fighting against a possible ban.
“Kratom has all the potential for an extraordinary drug. It has changed our lives,” said in 2016 a resident in Norfolk, Virginia.
Those who support Kratom’s benefits emphasize his ability to substitute for opiates, especially in heroin addicts. Additionally, it gives energy, relieves pain, and improve the mood.
Tha FDA can’t ban the drug
Unfortunately, the FDA does not have the power to ban kratom because this plant is in a kind of a “gray area” at the border between illegal drugs and dietary supplements.