An herbal supplement called kratom has resulted in over 100 people becoming sickened by salmonella, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The supplement was initially linked to 87 cases in the CDC’s last report from March 15. Since then 45 more people have been reported ill and three more states – Connecticut, Iowa and Idaho – reported cases, bringing the total number of states affected to 38 and people affected to 132.
The Washington Examiner reports: No one has died as a result of being infected with salmonella, a type of food poisoning that causes stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Forty percent of affected people have been hospitalized.
Not every person who was infected has admitted to taking kratom, an herbal supplement that can be smoked, sipped in tea, or taken as tablets. People who take it have said it helps relieve chronic pain and depression, and it can work as a replacement for opioids. Some people take it for its stimulating effects.
Kratom is legal and has not been scheduled by the Drug Enforcement Administration, but the Food and Drug Administration has encouraged people not to take kratom, and has published studies detailing deaths associated with its use. Supporters of keeping the drug legal for research purposes note the death certificates often mention the possible involvement other drugs.
The FDA has now ordered a mandatory recall of kratom products by Triangle Pharmanaturals.