A tropical evergreen tree in the coffee family, kratom (mitragyna speciosa) is native to Southeast Asia, where the leaves have been chewed and brewed as a tea for centuries. Reported benefits, aside from as a mild recreational, include relief from chronic pain and opioid withdrawal.
Despite its growing popularity (or because of it), now the DEA wishes to ban this plant, for “public safety”. I guess that's what we can expect these days for plants which dare interfere with sales of pharmaceutical painkillers.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration plans to name a new Schedule I drug: a Southeast Asian plant known for its opiate-like effects called kratom. The move may slow down medical research into a promising painkiller, or discourage it altogether. Schedule I is the DEA’s most restrictive classification, and places kratom alongside heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and marijuana, which the agency says have no acceptable medical uses. The reason is “to avoid an imminent hazard to public safety,” the agency says.
The Kratom Ban: Shedding Light on Misinformation: