Is kava kava bad for you?

Answers:    It is also known as awa in Hawai`i.

The difficulties with Kava Kava are two that I know of:

1) Most people are not of the ancestry which has used it for generations. These are the polynesians who have benefitted from it. People of other ancestry can have mild allergic reactions to it. A native american friend living on Maui broke out into a rash for the first 3-4 months he was drinking it as part of Hawaiian ceremonies he was involved in.

2) The original growing & harvesting done in Tahiti - by what I heard in either 2001 or 2 when I lived on Maui - was that european companies jumping on the kava kava profit scale, did not bother to research what is truly the useful part of the plant. The top green/red parts are toxic. The root is what was peeled, pounded and then soaked in water by traditional people. The modern production companies just chopped the tops off, dried, ground them up and popped them in capsules. A carpenter friend on Maui ended up with one step back from liver failure because the kava (bought at a reputable health food store) he was taking for his nerves/sleep needs was not harvested properly. His condtion was treated in Honolulu and the medical staff there said they were seeing lots of this sort of problems. They traced it to the bad practices of improperly harvesting Kava.

I have consumed powdered dried awa root, prepared in a ceremony on Maui, and consumed with others, as a drink without much consequence to my body. General feeling of mellowness, nothing like being drunk. I am of european ancestry and lived on Maui for many years.
There is a lot of research that says steer clear of it and I'm inclined to agree. I noticed you asked about anxiety/depression. You could try 5-HTP, it has a lot of good press recently and seems to work for many people for depression. You could try Valerian for anxiety or Rescue Remedy. I've tried Skull Cap and it works very nicely. Be careful with the Kava Kava. Also B vitamins help with anxiety.
Best to you.
Kava kava has been consumed as a beverage in the south Pacific for around 3000 years. Now due to technological globalization kava kava drinking is spreading as far the United States . Sometime in the late 1990?s some consumers in European countries experienced liver problems while taking kava kava supplements. Doctors were quick to blame the kava kava naturally because it was easy. After many years of blaming kava for a handful of hepatotoxic reactions in Europe no real evidence has ever emerged that kava kava was the cause of the controversy and not the processes by which the herbal supplements were prepared. As a result of this media misinformation, kava kava was banned in several countries just to be safe. Was this justified? Based on personal experience and up to date information about the controversy, NO the kava kava bans of the world were unjustified and kava kava is a safe herbal supplement if used properly. Arguments follow.

Because no one was ever able to offer any real proof that kava was the culprit in the European liver scare a movement has started to lift the kava kava bans

In November 2003, the National Assembly of Wales reversed the ban on kava kava as reported by ?

Also an article in the Honolulu Advertiser on April 7, 2003 entitled UH Scientists may have Solved Kava Mystery escaped national headline news
A report entitled Kava Report 2003- In Depth Investigation into EU Member States Market Restrictions on Kava Products? surfaced in late 2003. Very few people have ever heard of this report much less read it. It can be viewed in entirety on the internet at:

The government has somehow allowed the nakamals all to remain open. Only the kava pills/extracts/pharmaceuticals have been banned.
Out of the 50 people worldwide that have had some type of problem, almost all of them had been taking kava kava pills and extracts and mixing them with alcohol and pills that are certainly bad on ones liver.

There has not been 1 case of kava kava pills harming anyone in America as of yet. Much less from kava beverage.

The health and medicine information post by website user , not guarantee correctness , is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions.
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