New killer drug is actually ancient

America’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that kratom – a herbal supplement derived from southeast Asian tree – has been found to have caused 91 overdose deaths in the US between 2016 and 2017.

Dried and shredded bits of the tree, Mitragyna speciosa, are thought to have opioid properties. The leaves are chewed to relieve pain and increase energy, appetite, and sexual desire. Kratom has been chewed in Asia since at least the 19th century. Already banned in Australia, Denmark, Germany, Malaysia, and Thailand, it soon will be across the USA.