What is Kratom and why won’t the FDA approve it as medicine?


U.S. Marshals seized more than 100 cases of health products containing the unapproved ingredient Kratom from a Grover Beach-based distributor, Nature Therapeutics, which does business as Kratom Therapy

Kratom is legal under federal and California law, but the FDA has not approved it as medicine.

Consumers use Kratom to treat a variety of ailments, including diarrhea, pain and addiction.

In the U.S., Kratom is becoming more popular as an organic substitute for addictive opioid painkillers.

But the National Institute on Drug Abuse website states: “There is no scientific evidence that kratom is effective or safe for this purpose.”

And, says Levine, “there is certainly some addiction potential with Kratom. Just because it’s available online doesn’t mean it’s safe.”

Kratom has some staunch defenders. The American Kratom Association says on its website that it was founded in 2014 in part to combat “misinformation, both scientific and anecdotal,” and to lobby lawmakers and regulators.

The Association claims Kratom “has been used for hundreds of years to safely alleviate pain, combat fatigue and help with the effects of anxiety and depression.”

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