By Alex DaleyCNNHealthEditorNovember 19, 2017The plant kratom has been used by Chinese doctors, herbalists and even Chinese military personnel for centuries, with the botanical’s name derived from the Thai word for “green leaf”.
But the botanist behind the plant, Dr. Dong Gu, said in the late 1980s he started to use it for pain and as a mood booster, and eventually expanded his company to make it into a dietary supplement, with a market worth millions.
But now kratom is a hot topic.
And, more than a year after its import into the US, a federal investigation found the company was violating federal law by marketing the herb to customers who were not medically qualified to prescribe it.
Dr. Dong, whose real name is Lai-Hsiang Zhang, is in his 70s and retired from the National Institutes of Health, but has since gone on a mission to raise awareness about karmacine and the herbal supplements that contain it.
In his latest book, “Natural History of the Kratom Plant,” he calls kratom the most widely used medicinal plant on Earth and says the herb is safe, and can help people with various ailments.
“We’ve got people who are in pain for pain, who have an anxiety disorder, people who have cancer,” he said.
“I’ve been talking to a lot of doctors, and they’re saying it’s good for them.
I’ve had some very good, very positive comments from doctors.””
But I’m not here to tell you how to use this, I’m here to explain what the risks are,” he added.
The DEA’s investigation found that the company had not disclosed the risks of its kratom products to the FDA, and that it did not comply with its labeling requirements for the herb.
A spokeswoman for the DEA said in a statement that the agency is reviewing the results of the investigation.
The DEA, which was not involved in the investigation, said it would take the company to court if it continues to make misleading claims.
The investigation also found that in 2013, Dr Zhang had used the plant for more than 200,000 doses of the herbal supplement.
The DEA said it is reviewing Dr Zhang’s work.
“There are many different compounds in kratom,” said Dr Zhang, who also worked as a research scientist for pharmaceutical companies.
“So it’s really important to understand all of the different compounds and their different effects.”
He said kratom should be used as a supplement and not as a substitute for prescription drugs.
Dr Zhang said he is not against prescription drugs, but he said he was concerned about the long-term safety of kratom.
“Kratom is not a new plant, but we are starting to get more information and we need to get the data from different countries, including China,” he explained.
“It’s going to be a challenge because the DEA is a federal agency and we’re not a state agency, so we don’t have the same protections.”
He added: “The FDA doesn’t have a lot to say.
They just have a couple of guidelines, and it’s not very clear what the real risks are.”‘
It’s really dangerous’The DEA and the Food and Drug Administration did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment on the matter.
In the US alone, more people are dying from opioid overdoses than from any other cause, and scientists and health professionals are calling for an end to the use of opioids in the country.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are more than 1.5 million people who use opioids in their lifetime, and most of them are younger than 65.
According a study published last year, opioids are the leading cause of accidental overdose death in the US.
One in every 100 people has used opioids in some form, and an estimated 12.7 million Americans use opioids daily, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr Zhang, whose company manufactures kratom-containing supplements for people in pain, said his products were safe and effective, and he is working with doctors to educate them on the benefits of using kratom for the body and for treating chronic pain.
He said the kratom he sells in the supplement section of his stores is not labeled for use as a pain reliever, nor does he use kratom in any way as a dietary product.
He said he wants to educate people on the medicinal benefits of karmic tea, which is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine that is often used for its anti-inflammatory properties.
“There’s a whole bunch of different karmics and herbal medicines out there,” he told CNN.
“I want people to really know that this is a healthy herb, and this is an effective medicine.”
Dr Zhang is a board member of the American Kratom Association, which he says is the largest trade association