Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program
 
healthy.net Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
 
 
FREE NEWSLETTER
   
   
   
 
Health Centers
Key Services
 
Medicial Mistakes?
How many people each year suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death after a hospital visit?
from 46,000 to 78,000
from 78,000 to 132,000
from 132,000 to 210,000
from 210,000 to 440,000

 
 
 Herbal Medicine: Kava: Is It Safe? 
 

Clarifying FDA Allegations

The Medwatch site contains numerous "kava toxicity" reports of cases due to a product sold at a 1996 New Years Eve rave (dance) event, alleged to contain kava, but in fact, contained a highly toxic industrial chemical, called 1,4-butane-diol -- and absolutely no kava. The Los Angeles police department toxicologists within weeks published a report to this effect. Nonetheless, these spurious claims against kava have remained on the FDA website ever since.

In general, anyone can report anything to Medwatch: no proof of actual content is required for a posting, which does not protect the public from the truly bad products, but may, as in this case, wrongfully malign others.

In conclusion: More thorough investigation is needed before we can draw any conclusions about kava's potential toxicity. The entire issue also points out the importance, and vulnerability of the liver, the chemical factory that is the site of metabolism of many of the essential body compounds, and the detoxification center for ingested chemicals. Ironically, while the topic here is the potential hepatotoxicity of an herb, the plant kingdom provides us with such life-saving liver-protective herbs as milk thistle. In fact, in my own clinical practice, I will add it to the regimen of those who are or have been on drugs that affect the liver, for protection and restoration of its vital function.

The current situation does point out that the liver is affected by many substances, including prescription and non- prescription drugs, as well as alcohol, which is a major cause of liver damage.

We must be aware that herbs are potent medicines, to be treated with the appropriate respect regarding potential interactions and toxicity, including to the liver. On the other hand, kava's margin of safety far surpasses that of it's pharmaceutical equivalent. Nothing would be gained by previously satisfied consumers of kava, out of fear of these potential side effects, switching to a more toxic prescription medication, such as a benzodiazepine, in the mistaken belief that they were making a safer choice.


Hyla Cass, MD
Author of Kava: Nature's Answer to Stress, Anxiety, and Insomnia

i Lichtwer Pharma AG Formulation data sheet, November 1998 Lebot V. et al.,Kava: The Pacific Drug, Yale University Press, 1992, Page 200

ii Volz et al., 1997, Kava Kava extract WS 1490 versus placebo in anxiety disorders - a randomized placebo controlled 25 week outpatient trial', Pharmacopsychiatry 30(1), p1-5.

  Previous   1  2  3    
 Comments Add your comment 

 About The Author
Hyla Cass MDDr. Cass is a board-certified psychiatrist, nationally recognized expert and frequent keynote speaker on holistic medicine, with a focus on enhancing mind, mood, energy, and weight loss. She appears regularly on TV......more
 
 From Our Friends
 
 
 
Popular & Related Products
 
Popular & Featured Events
Integrative Healthcare Symposium 2015
     February 19-21, 2015
     New York, NY USA
 
Wellness Inventory Certification Training (Level I)
     February 24-May 26, 2015
     Teleclass, CA USA
 
Additional Calendar Links
 
Stevia Products & Info
 
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness, Eating, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Healthy Products       Bookstore       Wellness Inventory
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Free Newsletter      What Doctor's Don't Tell You      Stevia.com      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar