A newborn went into drug withdrawal due to the controversial herbal tea his mother drank during her pregnancy. According to a new case study, the woman drank kratom tea to try to combat her opioid withdrawal symptoms and help her sleep, CNN reported.

The infant craved drugs, and was jittery, screaming and requiring an infusion of morphine to stay alive. Many wondered why the baby was showing signs of drug withdrawal, and then it came to light that mother had drunk tea made with kratom, an herb that has opioid qualities. The boy's doctors said the infant had grown dependent on the controversial herbal supplement.

Kratom, which was native to Southeast Asia, was typically used to treat pain and curb opioid cravings. However, United States health officials have warned against its use.

The mother had been addicted to oxycodone for seven years, but she told doctors in Tampa, Florida, she had gone to rehab, and completed the program two years prior. The mother denied using any substances during her pregnancy.

"I fear that women making genuine commitments to overcome their dependency may develop a false sense of safety by using a substance that is advertised as a non-opioid alternative," said Dr. Whitney Eldridge, a neonatologist for BayCare Health System in Florida who was lead author on the case report.

Doctors said as tests showed no other drugs in the mother or the infant, kratom probably caused her son's condition, known clinically as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).

NAS has been on the rise across the U.S. as more babies have been born to opioid using mothers. Between 2000 and 2011, the number of babies born with NAS has increased by five times. In 2014, 6.5 out of every 1,000 women who delivered their babies in hospitals were addicted to opioids.

Kratom In this photo illustration, capsules of the drug Kratom are seen on May 10, 2016 in Miami, Florida. Photo: Getty Images/Joe Raedle

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a statement "this case is not unique" but was rare. He said the FDA "is aware of four other cases involving neonates exposed to kratom while in utero who experienced neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome after term delivery."

Eldridge said more research will help lawmakers better regulate kratom but physicians today "need to counsel women who are pregnant about the risk of kratom such as they would any other legal substance that can have ill effects on their newborn."

Despite the FDA's warnings, kratom can easily be purchased and was sometimes sold as a tea in cafés. The nonprofit American Kratom Association estimated 3 million to 5 million Americans use the substance. 

"We believe that, as in many supplements, there should be a warning that pregnant women shouldn't take this," Dave Herman, the association's chairman, said. "That's not because we think it's detrimental. It's because it's a safety measure."