[Many] call kratom [helpful]. The F.D.A. says it’s a menace.

…toxicology tests determined that other drugs were present [in recent deaths attributed to “kratom”]. Fentanyl, the powerful opioid, was listed as a cause of death in just over half of them. Other prescription opioids, heroin and benzodiazepines like Valium were each listed as a cause of death in about a quarter of those 91 fatalities.

In seven deaths, kratom was the only substance found, though the C.D.C. said that it could not rule out the presence of other substances in those cases. [Additionally, “kratom” is loosely defined here and does not necessarily mean “whole botanical plant kratom“.] Kratom has been widely used in Southeast Asia for years without reported overdose deaths, though there have been reports of users becoming more dependent and tolerant of it with increasing doses, said Oliver Grundmann, a professor of medicinal chemistry at the University of Florida who has been studying the supplement. While Dr. Grundmann said he fully endorsed the F.D.A.’s concerns about keeping unsafe products from consumers, he said it is not clear what actually caused many of the deaths attributed to [an undefined description of] kratom. “If somebody had a pre-existing condition or had been taking prescription drugs or illicit drugs, it is exponentially difficult to pull apart all of the substances and compounds they had been exposed to and determine what is actually responsible for that person’s death,” he said.

Original Article (New York Times):
Opioid Users Call Kratom a Godsend. The F.D.A. Says It’s a Menace.
Artwork Fair Use: Nevit Dilmen

The whole fungus : good