Source: Vientiane Times
Police across the country are cracking down on the cultivation and sale of kratom, a form of herbal medicine which is illegal in Laos but is sometimes processed into liquid form and taken to relieve pain.
Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a tropical evergreen tree in the coffee family native to Southeast Asia. It is indigenous to Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar, where it has been used in herbal medicine since at least the 19th century. It has been used for chewing, smoking, and to make tea.
Kratom has opioid properties and some stimulant-like effects and is sometimes taken as a recreational drug.
As part of the crackdown, on Monday police in Xaythany district, Vientiane, apprehended a homeowner in Nathom village for selling and processing kratom tea.
Police discovered 43 bags of kratom leaves inside a truck, which they say were brought into Laos from Thailand. Police also confiscated two motorbikes from the homeowner.
Last year, police from the Inspection and Drug Control Office in Sangthong district uprooted 110 kratom trees that had been planted illicitly.
The cultivation and distribution of kratom is illegal in Laos because of its drug-related properties.