Kava Kava

Botanical  Information

Kava is a tall shrub that grows on the islands in the Pacific Ocean. The root and rhizome (underground stem) containing the active ingredient kavalactone are used in medicinal preparations. Kava has been used as a ceremonial drink in the Pacific Islands for hundreds of years. The roots are chewed or ground into a pulp and added to cold water.

Features & Benefits

  • Used primarily to treat symptoms associated with anxiety
  • Help to induce sleep and improve sleep quality
  • May help to improve mood and cognitive function
  • Topically, kava can be used as a numbing agent

Suggestions & Precautions

  • People with liver damage or signs of liver damage (such as jaundice, fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and joint pain) should not take kava
  • Do not take kava before surgery as it can prolong the effect of anesthesia
  • Do not drink alcohol and take kava
  • Reports have been documented in the US and Europe linking kava with severe liver problems
  • Kava may interact with many drugs, including those used for Parkinson’s disease, sedatives and antidepressants
  • Avoid driving and operating heavy machinery while taking kava

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