Have you ever heard about kratom?

This tropical tree, scientifically called Mitragyna speciosa, is native to tropical areas of Southeast Asia and certain parts of Africa.

People from these regions chewed its leaves or took them as powder to fight off fatigue, boost energy, relieve stress and increase alertness.

Active ingredients in this plant were found to connect to opioid receptors and influence on the neurotransmitters' pathways, located in the spinal cord.

Effects depend mainly on the consumed dosage. Thus, lower amount of kratom causes stimulant effect, while higher dose can have analgesic and opioid-like effect.

In the US, you could find kratom in capsules, tea, powder and pills. It was used as alternative method for treating opiate addiction and withdrawal, diarrhea and to alleviate muscle pain.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

However most evidence about this supplement come from people experiences, as only a few of controlled clinical trials reports were published.

Nowadays powerful federal agencies, the CDC and the FDA, recommend against taking kratom and all kratom-contained products because of its possible link with salmonellosis.

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Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

According to the CDC data, 40 individuals in 27 states have been announced infected with rare strain of Salmonella.

Specialists asked ill people about products they consumed and other possible illness-causing exposures. It was found that 17 of 24 infected patients took kratom supplements in the week before becoming sick.

Experts collect leftover and unopened products, contained kratom. The Utah and North Dakota Departments found outbreak strain of Salmonella I in the samples of opened kratom products from sick people in their states.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

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Thirteen of 17 people, who became ill after using kratom, remembered where they have bought it. 10 patients ordered products on the websites and 3 individuals got it from retail locations in different states.

Further investigation is carrying by specialists. To date, it is most likely that multiple kratom products are contaminated with Salmonella infection.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

There are several ways, bacteria can enter herbal supplements. It may be situated on the plant or in water, used for them. It's also completely possible that Salmonella spread to the supplements during manufacturing process.

Salmonellosis usually manifests in profuse diarrhea, fever and abdominals spasms, which last four to seven days. Although in the majority of cases patients recover without special treatment, sometimes symptoms may be so severe that people need to be hospitalized. Occasionally, bacteria can spread from the gut to the blood flow and other body areas, leading to life-threatening consequences.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

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Credit: BetterMe