Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Med J Aust. 2003 May 5;178(9):451-3.

Kava: herbal panacea or liver poison?

Author information

1
The Fiji School of Medicine, Private Mail Bag, Suva, Fiji. r.moulds@fsm.ac.fj

Abstract

Following reports of liver toxicity, including liver failure, associated with extracts from the Pacific islands plant kava (Piper methysticum), these have been banned from sale as a herbal anxiolytic in many Western countries, to the detriment of Pacific island economies. Pacific Islanders have used kava extensively for centuries, without recognised liver toxicity. However, the population is small, and there has been no systematic evaluation of possible liver damage. For both economic and public health reasons, it is important to determine if kava is inherently hepatotoxic, and what the mechanisms of toxicity are. Such research could lead to safer kava extracts for sale in Western countries, or identification of a subpopulation who should not consume kava.

PMID:
12720513
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Australasian Medical Publishing Company
Loading ...
Support Center