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FDA Mounts War On Kratom

Philip Fairbanks

Posted on November 27, 2017 15:52

5 users

Southeast Asian herb kratom in regulatory crosshairs despite evidence of benefits.

Kratom is a Southeast Asian plant that has been used for hundreds of years in its native land and has showed up time and again in the Western medicinal and scientific literature beginning in the early 19th century. The herb has been used as a folk medicine and has gained some fame and notoriety in the West, as it is chosen as a substitute for dangerous and addictive opiates and opioids.

Considering the fact that we are in the midst of an opiate epidemic, you would think that the FDA and DEA would be thankful for anything that might reverse the situation. Despite dozens of studies showing it is safe, effective and possesses multiple medicinal and health benefits, kratom has had a hard row to hoe since the beginning. 

Last year, after bipartisan support in both houses of Congress was mustered, the voice of kratom was heard in the form of its many users. Studies suggest the plant, like cannabis, has wide ranging health benefits and could be used as a treatment for anxiety, depression, PTSD, fibromyalgia, neuropathy and either as a replacement of either chronic pain medications or illicit opiates. Despite its effectiveness, addiction and abuse expert Dr. Jack Henningfield and others feel kratom has an incredibly high safety profile and low potential for abuse. 

The DEA's attempted scheduling would have amounted to an extrajudicial ban of the plant. Having the DEA back down with their emergency scheduling was an unprecedented and historic occasion, not only for kratom but for the ethnobotanical and holistic health industries. As the opiate crisis continues to claim lives, some sort of a solution needs to be found. Despite kratom's favorable track record and support from legislators, researchers, medical professionals and scientists, the FDA has recently announced an advisory, warning people against using the plant, which is related to the coffee bush. 

Is the idea of replacing dangerous drugs with beneficial plants really so controversial? For some in positions of regulatory authority, the answer seems to be a resounding yes.

Philip Fairbanks

Posted on November 27, 2017 15:52

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Source: MedicineNet
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Title: FDA Warns of Herb Kratom's Opioid-Like Harms Category: Health News Created: 11/14/2017 12:00:00 AM Last Editorial...

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