Kava Kava Side Effects
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Name not given
Posted on: October 24, 1999

Can you tell me if kava is addicting and how long is it safe to take it?. Are there any serious side affects like liver damage?

Kava kava is not known to be addictive. It must not be used in pregnancy, breastfeeding, severe depression or in combination with alcohol or drugs affecting the nervous system. It should not be taken continuously for more than three months.

Studies with anxiety patients taking a normal dose have shown Kava to be quite safe: no kidney or liver abnormalities, and a small percentage (around 2%) with mild side effects. Large doses can cause depression of the nervous system.

There have been serious negative reactions to Kava reported: muscle spasms, impaired movement and allergic skin reactions. It is advisable to consult with your health care provider for advice.

More information on Kava, its benefits and contraindications, is available in Vincent Lebot’s book, "Kava: The Pacific Elixir" (available from Richters).

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