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Kava kava: properties and side effects

Kava kava is a remedy used in case of anxiety and sleep problems. The abuse of kava kava has side effects for the liver

Kava or kava kava, also known as Piper methysticum, is a plant that grows in the regions of Polynesia and Oceania. Kava kava has anxiolytic and sedative properties known for more than 3000 years. Given the anti-stress action, the kava kava is useful in case of anxiety and sleep problems, by promoting a natural sleep. It can be taken in the form of tablets, at a dosage of 50-70 mg three times a day for no more than three months, or as herbal tea, in the supermarkets or specialized shops you can find tea ready to drink. Be careful if you want to use this plant, it is not recommended during pregnancy and lactation and, in general,  don’t exceed the recommended quantity, ask always your doctor for advice, because abuse may cause liver problems, especially if you take other medications with potential liver toxicity. Avoid if you suffer from liver diseases. Note that the remedy, although it can be easily found on the Internet, has been withdrawn from the market in some countries, including Italy, as a precaution because of the reports received from Germany and Switzerland of certain cases where the kava seems to have caused liver problems. We report all the information on kava kava, although further studies are needed to confirm the safety, because kava can be found without too much difficulty and, in any case, the people of Polynesia are using it from centuries.

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