The Food & Drug Administration warns that popular supplements used as an alternative to opioids could contain large amounts of heavy metals.
Kratom (pronounced CRATE-um), is a supplement made from leaves of trees native to southeast Asia that have been traditionally been used as way to relieve pain, increase energy and ease opioid withdrawal. The leaves are traditionally brewed as a tea or chewed raw.
But in recent years — especially in light of the opioid epidemic — kratom has become a popular alternative to treat pain. In the United States, it is often sold in as kratom capsules at smoke shops, holistic medicine shops and even gas stations.
However, according to a health department fact sheet, kratom products are not regulated or required to be tested — meaning the risk of contamination by toxic substances or other drugs is high.
Read more at wkbw.com.