||By Joe Holmes
||June 21, 2009
Kava is blamed for liver damage and other problems yet
actual scientific research disproves this if the dosage
does not exceed 250 mg a day. See report #5 below. This
is further verified by report # 2 below with a high dosage
over 310 grams a week that reports problems. One gram =
1,000 mg so report #5 of 250 mg a day times 7 = 1750 which
means the PUB MED research report #5 is 18% of the amount
in report #2.
This means that Kava is proved safe with no side effects
if the dosage does not exceed 250 mg a day or 1.7 grams
a week. As a collector of research I see this problem many
where the medical community bans a product because it is
being over used. Too often those in the natural health or
traditional medicine over use a compound. As a result Kava
is banned in several countries. Not because it is bad but
because too often it is over used. Too often people think
if a little is good more has to be better. Herbs are strong
drugs and must be respected and used in their proven safe
dosages. When over use of Tylenol, Aspirin or other prescribed
drugs cause problems they are never banned. The medical
community is quick to ban an herb that has been used improperly
and ignore the problems of altered drugs.
Again research reports 3, 4 and 5 show there are no problems
with Kava if used in its proper safe dosage. Reports 1 and
2 show the problems if it is used in excess.
1. "Genus; Species:
Piper methysticum CAM Type: biologically based. Common Names:
kava kava, ‘awa (Hawaii), ‘ava (Samoa), sakua
(Pohnpei), yaqona (Fiji) Introduction to Kava:
Kava is an ancient western Pacific crop related to the
black pepper – both having heart-shaped leaves and
flowers similar to the flower spike of the anthurium. Kava
also has a peppery taste, and has long been part of religious,
political and cultural life throughout the Pacific region.
The drink was the beverage of choice for the South Pacific
royal families. Learn more about combination herbal
therapies that include nutrients and herbs like Valerian
Root, St. John's Wort, Rhodiola Rosea, 5-HTP, and SAMe.
Natural Alternatives for stress, occasional anxiety, mood
balance, focus and sleep difficulties. Click here to learn
more. It is believed to have originated in Melanesia, and
grows abundantly in the sunny Polynesian islands. Drank
for hundreds of years by native islanders, it was only during
Captain Cook’s voyage to the Pacific in 1768-1771
that the white man first encountered the plant and its consumption
in sacred ceremonies. According to his account, natives
would chew or pound the root and mix it with water to produce
a brownish, often bitter brew which they then consumed for
its psychoactive properties. Common Uses: sleep, fatigue,
asthma, urinary tract infections, anxiety, insomnia, menopausal
symptoms. In the Western world, kava is used as an herbal
remedy to ease symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression.
The effects of drinking kava include slight tongue and lip
numbing due to the contraction of blood vessels in these
areas, milk talkative and euphoric behavior, calming, a
sense of well-being, clear thinking and relaxed muscles.
Sleep is restful and there are no after-effects the next
2. "High doses
are considered to be greater than 310 grams/week.
- Do not use if pregnant, nursing, or being treated for
- Higher doses and long term use can lead to hypertension,
reduced protein levels, blood cell abnormalities, liver
damage, muscle weakness, shortness of breath, visual impairment,
dizziness and dry and scaly skin.
- Alcohol consumption increases the toxicity of the pharmacological
- Can cause drowsiness. If this happens, lower your dosage
or discontinue taking kava.
- It is not recommended for those who intend on driving
or where quick reaction time is required
- May worsen Parkinson's disease and should not be used
by individuals with Parkinson's disease.
- Do not take if you are on any other prescription medication.
- Do not allow children to take kava kava.
- Some doctors have cautioned against use when driving.
- Ask a healthcare professional before use if you have
or have had liver problems, frequently use alcoholic beverages,
or are taking any medication. Stop use and see a doctor
if you develop symptoms that may signal liver problems
(e.g., unexplained fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite,
fever, vomiting, dark urine, pale stools, yellow eyes
or skin). (2)
3. "Kava is
a tranquilizer primarily consumed to relax without disrupting
mental clarity. Its active ingredients are called kavalactones.
In some parts of the Western World, kava extract is marketed
as herbal medicine against stress, insomnia, and anxiety.
A Cochrane Collaboration systematic review of its evidence
concluded that it was likely to be more effective than placebo
at treating short-term social anxiety. Safety concerns
have been raised over liver toxicity, although research
indicates that this may be largely due to the use of stems
and leaves in supplements, which were not used indigenously."
4. "Kava hepatotoxicity:
Regulatory data selection and causality assessment. Teschke
R, Wolff A. Department of Internal Medicine II, Division
of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Klinikum Hanau, Teaching
Hospital of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt/Main,
BACKGROUND: Kava hepatotoxicity in 20 patients from Germany
has been debated worldwide following a regulatory ad hoc
causality assessment and ban of kava, an anxiolytic herbal
remedy obtained from the rhizome of Piper methysticum Forster.
AIMS: We assessed causality with a quantitative structured
causality analysis in all 20 cases of patients with liver
disease, presented by the German regulatory agency that
assumed a causal relationship with the use of kava extracts.
METHODS: The quantitative scale of CIOMS (Council for International
Organizations of Medical Sciences) in its updated form was
employed for causality assessment and quality evaluation
of the regulatory data presentation. RESULTS: The regulatory
information is scattered and selective, and items essential
for causality assessment, such as exclusion of kava independent
causes, were not, or only marginally, considered by the
regulator. Quantitative causality assessment for kava was
possible (n=2), unlikely (n=12), or excluded (n=6), showing
no concordance with the regulatory ad hoc causality evaluation.
CONCLUSION: The regulatory data regarding kava hepatotoxicity
is selective and of low quality, not supportive of the regulatory
proposed causality; but instead, is an explanation of the
overall causality discussions of kava hepatotoxicity. We
are proposing that the regulatory agency reports data in
full length and reevaluates causality. PMID: 19477698 (4)
Note by webmaster. Hepatotoxicity
means liver damage. This research report and others on PUB
MED PMID: 19501269 indicate that the common assumption of
Kava causing liver damage may exist but is not the risk
being reported and may be from other compounds.
5. "The Kava
Anxiety Depression Spectrum Study (KADSS): a randomized,
placebo-controlled crossover trial using an aqueous extract
of Piper methysticum. Sarris J, Kavanagh DJ, Byrne G, Bone
KM, Adams J, Deed G. School of Medicine, The University
of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, email@example.com.
RATIONALE: Piper methysticum (Kava) has been withdrawn
in European, British, and Canadian markets due to concerns
over hepatotoxic reactions. The WHO recently recommended
research into "aqueous" extracts of Kava. OBJECTIVE:
The objective of this study was to conduct the first documented
human clinical trial assessing the anxiolytic and antidepressant
efficacy of an aqueous extract of Kava. DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS:
The Kava Anxiety Depression Spectrum Study was a 3-week
placebo-controlled, double-blind crossover trial that recruited
60 adult participants with 1 month or more of elevated generalized
anxiety. Five Kava tablets per day were prescribed containing
250 mg of kavalactones/day. RESULTS: The
aqueous extract of Kava reduced participants' Hamilton Anxiety
Scale score in the first controlled phase by -9.9 (CI =
7.1, 12.7) vs. -0.8 (CI = -2.7, 4.3) for placebo and in
the second controlled phase by -10.3 (CI = 5.8, 14.7) vs.
+3.3 (CI = -6.8, 0.2). The pooled effect of Kava vs. placebo
across phases was highly significant (p < 0.0001), with
a substantial effect size (d = 2.24, eta(2)(p)). Pooled
analyses also revealed highly significant relative reductions
in Beck Anxiety Inventory and Montgomery-Asberg Depression
Rating Scale scores. The aqueous extract was found to be
safe, with no serious adverse effects and no clinical hepatotoxicity.
CONCLUSIONS: The aqueous Kava preparation produced significant
anxiolytic and antidepressant activity and raised no safety
concerns at the dose and duration studied. Kava appears
equally effective in cases where anxiety is accompanied
by depression. This should encourage further study and consideration
of globally reintroducing aqueous rootstock extracts of
Kava for the management of anxiety. PMID: 19430766 (5) Webmaster
note: Kava in this report with a human double blind test
shows a dosage of 250 mg of kavalactones/day has no adverse
effects and positivally improved depression symptoms in
the test subjects.