Dept issues warning on kratom drinks

A vendor takes fresh kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) leaves out of a bag at Din Daeng market in Bangkok. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)
A vendor takes fresh kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) leaves out of a bag at Din Daeng market in Bangkok. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)

The Department of Medical Sciences has warned against overconsumption of kratom-mixed beverages, saying the drink may contain a higher level of mitragynine than the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) recommendation.

The department began collecting samples of kratom-infused beverages from various regions for safety testing in March. All 52 samples were found to contain a high level of mitragynine, from 22 to 352.6 milligrammes per litre, or 109.5 milligrammes per litre on average.

The level is above the FDA's recommended amount for daily consumption, which is 0.2 milligrammes per day.

Dr Yongyot Thammawut, the department's chief, said mitragynine is an indole-based alkaloid commonly found in kratom plants. Mitragynine is said to stimulate the nervous system, reduce pain and boost energy. It also has an anti-inflammatory property and helps reduce stress, advocates say.

Experts warn, however, people can become intoxicated just by consuming kratom. The substance likewise can become addictive if taken in large volumes for an extended period. It is possible to overdose on kratom, which can pose a threat to people's health.

Dr Yongyot said people must be careful when mixing other materials with kratom, even though there are few, if any, legitimate studies regarding its toxicity. In 2021, kratom was removed from the list of narcotics, allowing people to grow the plant for therapeutic purposes. However, it cannot be mixed with other drugs that affect the way the brain functions.


  • addictive (adj): of something, e.g., especially a drug, a game, an activity like gambling, which you cannot stop once you have started - ซึ่งทำให้ติดได้; ซึ่งทำให้ติดยาได้
  • advocates: people who strongly and public support something - ผู้สนับสนุนความคิด
  • affect: to produce a change in somebody/something - กระทบ, ส่งผล, มีผลต่อ
  • boost: to increase - เพิ่ม
  • inflammatory (adj): causing or involving swelling (becoming larger or rounder than normal) - ที่ก่อให้เกิดอาการบวม
  • infused (adj): soaked in liquid to extract the flavour or healing properties -
  • intoxicated: having had too much of an alcoholic drink, a drug, etc. - มึนเมา
  • kratom (n): a locally grown plant traditionally used as a stimulant and painkiller -
  • legitimate: reasonable and acceptable - ถูกต้องสมควร
  • narcotics: illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine or crystal methamphetamine - ยาเสพย์ติด
  • overdose: (v) to take too much of a drug at one time, so that it is dangerous -
  • stimulate: to make something develop or become more active; to encourage something - กระตุ้น, ส่งเสริม
  • therapeutic (adj): of or relating to the curing of disease -
  • volume (noun): an amount of something - ปริมาณ
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