Time for a reassessment of the use of Kava in anxiety?

Churchill Livingstone
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Complementary Therapies In Medicine, 2009, 17 (3), pp. 121 - 122
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Seven years after the ongoing ban of Piper methysticum (Kava) by the EU, UK and Canada: Where are we at? In December 2008, articles by the Fiji Times reported that the Kava ban was over-turned. This statement was subsequently revealed to be erroneous and is indicative of the controversy and confusion sometimes surrounding regulatory, safety and efficacy issues associated with Kava. Cases of hepatotoxicity purportedly caused by European Kava products may have been due to a commercial costmotivated preference for injudicious Kava cultivars or plant parts, and the use of non-traditional solvents (ethanol and acetone).1 Conversely, traditional use of Kava (<100 g per week) is associated with remarkably few adverse effects in Pacific Island communities,2 and public health concerns instead centre on issues of abuse by heavy users.2 5
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