Herbal supplement poses a ‘public health threat’
Kratom, which is a plant-derived supplement, is growing in popularity.
Kratom is an extract from the tropical tree Mitragyna speciosa, a relative of the coffee plant.
Historically, manual laborers in Southeast Asia have used the compound — either chewing the leaves or making them into tea.
Kratom is not illegal in the United States, and people can easily purchase it online. It is most commonly available in the form of a green powdered supplement.
Scientists have carried out limited studies on its effects, but it appears to act as a stimulant at lower doses and has a sedative effect at higher doses. Over recent years, usage in the U.S. has increased sharply.