The leaves of the ketum tree have been found to be effective painkillers based on a study conducted by scientists from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and Yale University, USA, as reported by Bernama.
26 volunteers took part in a randomised double-blind, placebo-controlled study, led by Professor Dr B.K. Vicknasingam, director of the Centre for Drug Research (CDR) and Professor Dr Marek C. Chawarski from Yale University’s School of Medicine.
The study by USM, which has been evaluated objectively, “has confirmed or given preliminary support to the efficacy of ketum as a pain reliever, which previously was only reported anecdotally based on personal experiences through observational studies”.
“However, a more in-depth study on the efficacy of ketum as a pain reliever and on its profile safety is needed,” the statement said.
The ketum tree is native to Southeast Asia and is used traditionally as medicine. However, it has since been prohibited to harvest, possess and sell the leaves. Those who are caught smuggling this narcotic will be charged under the Poisons Act.
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