Kratom, which is a plant-derived supplement, is growing in popularity. A new report provides further evidence of its adverse effects and calls for more research.

Kratom is an extract from the tropical tree Mitragyna speciosa, a relative of the coffeeplant.  Historically, manual laborers in Southeast Asia have used the compound — either chewing the leaves or making them into tea — to soothe aches and pains and boost energy levels.  As it stands, kratom is not illegal in the United States, and people can easily purchase it online.

 

Credit: iStock, Iryna Imago

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