A small double-blind study has demonstrated that kratom—a southeast Asian herb traditionally chewed as a stimulant to combat fatigue—has analgesic properties in regular users. Twenty-six men in their early to mid-20s who had used kratom regularly for several years received kratom or placebo in a randomized, blinded order after a 10- to 20-hour discontinuation period. Pain tolerance was measured in an ice bath, with time from pain onset to withdrawal as the primary endpoint.
One hour after kratom ingestion, pain tolerance increased significantly from a mean of 11.2 seconds immediately before kratom ingestion to 24.9 seconds 1 hour after kratom ingestion (P=0.02), versus no significant change after placebo ingestion.
According to the authors, these study findings provide the first objective evidence obtained in a controlled study that preliminarily supports or confirms previously published observational reports that kratom has pain-relieving properties.1
1 Vicknasingam B, Chooi WT, Rahim AA, et al. Kratom and pain tolerance: A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study. Yale J Biol Med. 2020;93(2):229-238https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32607084/