The Vine

An exploration of wellness + plant based medicine

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The Vine featuring Kratom

By: Elizabeth Sheldon

Friday, September 3rd

Kratom, a natural plant supplement, is used by nearly 15 million Americans and yet the FDA wants to make it a scheduled drug. On episode #47 of The Vine, PMP features Mac Haddow, Senior Fellow on Public Policy with the American Kratom Association, a consumer advocacy organization dedicated to preserving the right of consumers to have legal access to kratom and their freedom to use kratom to maintain their health and well-being.

Kratom comes from the mitragyna speciosa, a tropical evergreen tree in the coffee family native to Southeast Asia whose leaves have been used for centuries as an herbal supplement in traditional medicines.

 This naturally occurring safe herbal supplement behaves as a partial mu-opioid receptor agonist and is used for pain management, energy, even depression and anxiety. Kratom contains no opiates, but it does bind to the same receptor sites in the brain. Chocolate, coffee, exercise and even human breast milk hit these receptor sites in a similar fashion.

 According to The American Kratom Association, a comprehensive analysis by Dr. Jack Henningfield, Ph.D, found kratom’s potential for abuse and dependence is no greater than such widely used and unscheduled substances as “nutmeg, hops, St. John’s Wort, chamomile, guarana, and kola nut."

It is important for all of us who support the use of this plant medicine to visit and fill out the form for public comment to help champion this alternative healing tool, and visit to learn more.