kava kava


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me·thys·ti·cum

(mĕ-this'ti-kŭm),
The root of Piper methysticum (family Piperaceae), a plant of the Pacific islands, used by the natives as an intoxicant.
Synonym(s): kava (1) , kava kava

kava

A broad-leafed shrub native to Oceania, which contains alkaloids, lactones, kawain, methysticin, mucilage, starch and yangonin.
 
Ethnomedicine
Kava plays a central role in tribal life of Oceania; it is ground and fermented to produce a hallucinogen, which is used to celebrate birth and marriage, mourn death, placate the gods, cure illness and remove curses.
 
Herbal medicine
Kava is antiseptic and diuretic; it is used by Western herbalists for prostatitis, urinary tract infections, rheumatic complaints, gout, anxiety, depression, insomnia and muscle spasms.

Toxicity
Chronic use is associated with dermal, hepatic, ocular and spinal cord damage.

kava kava

Toxicology Kava kava's use as an herbal antidepressant has been linked to fulminant liver failure, accompanied by jaundice, fatigue, weight loss, concomitant renal failure and progressive encephalopathy, requiring a liver transplant. See Liver failure.

ka·va

, kava kava (kah'vă-kah'vă)
Agent derived from Piper methysticum; purported antiseizure properties; used to treat anxiety disorders, as a sleep aid, and for its suggested value in therapy for muscle spasms and sexually transmitted diseases. Adverse effects reported include hepatitis, cirrhosis, and parkinsonian syndrome. Some studies of this potentially dangerous product suggest that it may have clinical value as an anticarcinogenic. Reports have also been made of skin discoloration with long-term use.
[Tongan and Marquesan, Litter]
References in periodicals archive ?
The kava kava roots purchased from Meetex Fiji, Ltd., were a mixture of fibrous and tap roots.
AMERICAN BEAUTIES: Huddersfield's finest, Kava Kava, heading Stateside
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Kava Kava are in good company on the series soundtrack with other featured artists including Muse, Peter Gabriel, David Byrne, U2 and Kasabian.
The plant parts used of Piper methysticum (kava kava or kava as it is commonly known) are the root and rhizome (Braun 2007).
Kava kava (Piper methysticum Forster) is a plant originating from Oceania (Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia).
In the United States, the most commonly used herbals and botanicals are garlic, ginkgo biloba, soy, melatonin, kava kava, St.
KAVA KAVA: A supplement used to relieve stress, and aid with anxiety and depression, kava has been linked to liver damage.
The demand for alternative sleep treatments has led suppliers and retailers to put more emphasis on such products as kava kava, valerian and melatonin, three alternative therapies proven to be effective--and usually safer than mainstream sleep drugs--at treating insomnia.
Try a natural remedy to de-stress - Kava Kava is now no longer available but there are other alternatives, L-Theanine and Rhodiola, pictured above.