Kava Anxiety Depression Spectrum Study (KADSS): A mixed methods RCT using an aqueous extract of Piper methysticum

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Journal Article
Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 2009, 17 (3), pp. 176 - 178
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Objectives: To report on the design, significance and potential impacts of the first documented human clinical trial assessing the anxiolytic and thymoleptic efficacy of an aqueous mono-extract of Piper methysticum (kava). The significance of the qualitative element of our clinical trial is also explored. The Kava Anxiety Depression Spectrum Study (KADSS) is a 3-week placebo-controlled, double-blind, cross-over trial involving 60 adult participants (18-65) with elevated stable anxiety and varying levels of depressive symptoms. Aims: The aims of KADSS are: (1) to determine whether an aqueous standardised extract of kava is effective for the treatment of anxiety; (2) to assess the effects of kava on differing levels of depression; and (3) to explore participants' experience of taking kava via qualitative research. The study also provides preliminary assessment of the safety of an aqueous extract of kava in humans. Conclusion: If results reveal that the aqueous kava preparation exerts significant anxiolytic effects and appears safe, potentially beneficial impacts may occur. Data supporting a safe and effective kava extract may encourage a re-introduction of kava to Europe, UK and Canada. This may provide a major socioeconomic benefit to Pacific Island nations, and to sufferers of anxiety disorders. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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