Kratom has been taking a lot of heat in the news media lately, as they have compared it frequently to synthetic designer drugs like herbal incense and bath salts. While kratom is sometimes sold in highly refined concentrations, it is hardly a dangerous synthetic substance. In fact, it has a myriad medical applications, including aiding in drug withdrawal. Studies in countries with controls on kratom use, like Malaysia, have had interesting results.
In a recent study, research staff at University Sains Malaysia found that “Longer-term users (use >2 years) had higher odds of being married, of consuming more than the average three glasses of ketum (kratom) a day and reporting better appetite. Short-term users had higher odds of having ever used heroin, testing positive for heroin and of using ketum to reduce addiction to other drugs. Both groups used ketum to reduce their intake of more expensive opiates, to manage withdrawal symptoms and because it was cheaper than heroin.”
In a nutshell, this means that the majority of long-term users consumed the kratom regularly but with few negative side effects, while short-term users were frequently using it to assist in withdrawal from stronger, more expensive opiates. Because kratom binds to some of the same receptors that opiate pain killers do, it prevents the worst of withdrawal symptoms and some significant pain relief as well.
The conclusions of the study are startling, especially when contrasted with the furor brewing in the United States over this natural treatment. “No previous study has shown the use of ketum to manage opioid withdrawal symptoms except for a single case reported in the US. Ketum was described as affordable, easily available and having no serious side effects despite prolonged use. It also permitted self-treatment that avoids stigmatization as a drug dependent. The claims of so many subjects on the benefits of ketum merits serious scientific investigation. If prolonged use is safe, the potential for widening the scope and reach of substitution therapy and lowering its cost are tremendous, particularly in developing countries,” the report concluded.
The scientists are finally confirming what we have always known: that kratom is safe, all natural, and has no long-term harmful side effects.
Source: The Kratom Association