kava kava

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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 kava

/ka·va ka·va/ a preparation of the rhizome of Piper methysticum, (kava plant), having muscle-relaxing, anticonvulsive, anxiolytic, and sedative effects; used for the relief of stress and restlessness, and for sleep induction; also used in homeopathy and folk medicine.


A broad-leafed shrub native to Oceania, which contains alkaloids, lactones, kawain, methysticin, mucilage, starch and yangonin.
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.

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.


, 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]

kava kava,

n See kava.
References in periodicals archive ?
NATURAL remedies and supplements aren't controlled, so serious side effects turn up out of the blue - as with kava kava.
The following chapter reviews current evidence for the impact of a number of nutrients and herbal ingredients on mood and cognitive performance, including herbs such as St John's wort and kava kava.
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Keywords: Kava kava extract; Piper methysticum; Hepatocellular toxicity; Apoptosis; Necrosis; HepG2 cells
Since the late 1990s the National Toxicology Program has conducted safety studies on a number of plants and botanical compounds, including echinacea, Aloe vera gel, Ginkgo biloba, ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), and kava kava (Piper methysticum), with nominations for more studies still coming in.
Tomorrow it all goes funky funky with festival faves Kava Kava dishing up brass-driven funk, soul and beats.
It appears that, at least for awhile, South of Market shoppers will have to continue buying their kava kava and organic amaranth flakes somewhere else.
Kava kava has been removed from pharmacy shelves in Germany and Switzerland after 24 reports of liver damage were attributed to the herbal supplement, Dr.
Kava kava is native to Polynesia, where it has been used as a social drink for centuries.
Try valerian tea or supplements, camomile, kava kava, passionflower or wild lettuce herb tea.