Kratom Liver Toxicity

Kratom Liver Toxicity

Kratom Liver Toxicity

Does kratom damage your liver? Absolutely. Kratom is a tropical plant (Mitragyna speciosa) that’s originally grown in Southeast Asia. Its leaves contain compounds that can produce mind-altering or psychotropic side effects when abused. Because kratom is legal at the federal level in the United States, many people can easily purchase it online. It’s often sold as a green powder in packets labeled “jewelry cleaner” or “not for human consumption.” Despite the belief that it’s safe because it’s technically legal, kratom liver toxicity is just one of the many side effects that users may experience as a result of abuse. 

What is The Role of The Liver?

The role of the liver is to regulate chemical levels in your blood and excrete something called bile, which helps carry waste from the liver. All of the blood that leaves the stomach and intestines passes through the liver. The liver then processes and breaks down this blood, balancing and creating nutrients that metabolize drugs into forms that are easier for the body to use.

Some other common functions of the liver include: 

  • Production of bile, which helps carry waste from your liver and break down fats in the small intestine for digestion<
  • Production of proteins for blood plasma
  • Production of cholesterol and special proteins to help carry fats through your body
  • Conversion of excess glucose into glycogen for storage (glycogen can later be converted back to glucose for energy) and to balance and make glucose as needed
  • Regulation of blood levels of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins
  • Clearing drugs and other toxic substances from your blood
  • Blood clotting
  • Fighting infections by developing immunity and removing bacteria from the bloodstream

As a rehab in Boca Raton, Florida, we’re familiar with the effects of drugs on the liver. When the liver is heavily impacted, other areas of the body begin to suffer. As with other drugs, kratom and liver problems go hand in hand as a result of long-term use.

What is Kratom Liver Toxicity?

Kratom is sold online and in smoke shops. In small doses, it acts as a stimulant, and in high doses it produces opioid-like side effects, making it a popular substance of abuse. Among its many dangers is liver toxicity. Kratom and liver toxicity has recently become a more common topic. While there was a lot of back and forth about the risks of kratom abuse, its impact on the liver has confirmed this drug’s dangers. 

Kratom liver toxicity occurs when someone takes too much kratom, to the point where their liver is unable to do its job. Despite being a legal herbal supplement, the truth of the matter is that kratom is a toxin, which means that it can cause damage to both the liver and kidneys when taken in high doses. If you or someone you know is taking kratom, being able to recognize the signs of kratom liver damage can increase the likelihood of early detection and treatment. 

Kratom Effects on The Liver

One study noted that a 47-year old male with no history of drug use experienced symptoms of lethargy, abnormal liver tests, and pruritis after drinking kratom tea for 21 days. He was ultimately diagnosed with drug-induced liver disease as a result.1 Another study found that acute hepatitis can even be induced by drinking kratom herbal tea regularly.2 Kratom-induced liver toxicity usually occurs gradually in regular users, causing more serious symptoms as the person’s condition worsens.


Side Effects

The most common kratom liver effects include dark urine, toxicity, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). Toxicity occurs when the liver is flooded with more drugs than it can metabolize, causing it to shut down. When kratom liver failure occurs, the person may experience symptoms like jaundice, abdominal swelling, abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, and more. These symptoms can reappear if the person starts taking kratom again after they’ve stopped. Those who experience negative kratom liver effects should avoid it at all costs. 

Does Kratom Liver Toxicity Go Away?

Yes, kratom liver toxicity does go away when the person stops taking kratom. However, those who experience liver problems from taking kratom should not take it again after they’ve stopped. In the first study we talked about earlier, the man experienced the same symptoms immediately after he started taking kratom again. If you’ve suffered from liver problems as a result of using this herbal supplement, we advise that you stop taking it immediately (if you haven’t already) and avoid it in the future.  There is still so much to learn about kratom and its impact on the body, making it a concern supplement. Because it produces side effects similar to other addictive drugs – such as cocaine and opioids – those who begin abusing kratom are likely to develop an addiction as well. There’s also no telling what kratom can do to your psychological health. If you’ve begun using kratom and find yourself struggling to quit, our Banyan rehab in Boca Raton can help. We offer dual diagnosis treatment and other services to assist individuals with drug and alcohol use disorders recover from the physical and mental impact of addiction. 

Call Banyan Treatment Centers Boca today at 888-280-4763 to learn more about our addiction services and inpatient mental health treatment 

Related Reading:

Kratom Salmonella Recalls 

  1. Sage Journals - Drug-Induced Liver Injury Caused by Kratom Use as an Alternative Pain Treatment Amid an Ongoing Opioid Epidemic 
  1. American Journal of Therapeutics - N-Acetylcysteine for Acute Hepatitis Induced by Kratom Herbal Tea 


Alyssa who is the National Director of Digital Marketing, joined the Banyan team in 2016, bringing her five-plus years of experience. She has produced a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. Through strategic marketing campaign concepts, Alyssa has established Banyan as an industry leader and a national household name.