Herbal Remedies and Medicinal Cures for Diseases, Ailments, Sicknesses that afflict Humans and Animals
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The medicinal herb Kava as an alternative herbal remedy - Kava is native to the islands of the South Pacific and is a member of the pepper family.Common Names--kava kava, awa, kava pepper Latin Names--Piper methysticum
What Kava Is Used For
- Kava has been used as an herbal remedy and as a ceremonial beverage in the South Pacific for centuries.
- Kava has also been used to help people fall asleep and fight fatigue, as well as to treat asthma and urinary tract infections.
- Topically (on the skin), kava has been used as a numbing agent.
- Today, kava is used primarily for anxiety, insomnia, and menopausal symptoms.
How Kava Is Used
- The root and rhizome (underground stem) of kava are used to prepare beverages, extracts, capsules, tablets, and topical solutions.
What the Science Says about Kava
- Although scientific studies provide some evidence that kava may be beneficial for the management of anxiety, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning that using kava supplements has been linked to a risk of severe liver damage.
- Kava is not a proven therapy for other uses.
- NCCAM-funded studies on kava were suspended after the FDA issued its warning.
Side Effects and Cautions of Kava
- Kava has been reported to cause liver damage, including hepatitis and liver failure (which can cause death).
- Kava has been associated with several cases of dystonia (abnormal muscle spasm or involuntary muscle movements).
- Kava may interact with several drugs, including drugs used for Parkinson's disease.
- Long-term and/or heavy use of kava may result in scaly, yellowed skin.
- Avoid driving and operating heavy machinery while taking kava because the herb has been reported to cause drowsiness.
- Tell your health care providers about any herb or dietary supplement you are using, including kava. This helps to ensure safe and coordinated care.