Kava Kava – Safe And Works Well In Reducing Anxiety…

Researchers in Australia at the University of Queensland have discovered a traditional extract of Kava, an herb from South East Asia, to be effective and safe in reducing anxiety.

The results which are published in the Springer journal of Psychopharmacology show a clinical trial which found that a water-soluble extract of Kava was effective in treating anxiety and boosting mood.

Jerome Sarris, a PhD student from University of Queensland’s School of Medicine, said the placebo-controlled study found the herb Kava to be an effective and safe treatment option for people dealing with chronic anxiety and  varying levels of depression.

Jerome Sarris stated “We’ve been able to show that Kava offers a natural alternative treatment for anxiety, and unlike some prescription drugs, has less risk of addiction and less potential side effects,”

Participants in the study were given a clinical assessment as well as a self-rating questionnaire every week to determine their anxiety and depression levels. The research showed that anxiety levels decreased drastically for participants taking five pills of Kava per day as opposed to the placebo group which took sugar pills.

The study also found that Kava had a positive impact on reducing depression levels Jerome Sarris said. During 2002 Kava was banned in Europe, UK and Canada due to concerns over liver toxicity.

Jerome Sarris states, “When extracted in the appropriate way, Kava may pose less or no potential liver problems. I hope the results will encourage government agencies to reconsider the ban.”

An issue with liver toxicity can be that ethanol and acetone extracts, which sometimes use the incorrect parts of the Kava, were being sold in Europe. That is not the Pacific Islands way of prescribing Kava. The study used a water-soluble extract from the peeled rootstock of a medicinal cultivar of the plant, which is approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia and is currently legal in Australia for medical use.

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Journal Source:

Sarris et al. The Kava Anxiety Depression Spectrum Study (KADSS): a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover trial using an aqueous extract;. Psychopharmacology, May 2009.

Dr. Robert Galarowicz
New Jersey Anxiety Relief Expert

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