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Planta Med. 2004 Mar;70(3):193-6.

Kava Hepatotoxicity: Are we any closer to the truth?

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University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.


In recent years, kava kava ( Piper methysticum, Forst. f., Piperaceae) has been implicated in a number of liver failure cases. Ever since this has kept the scientific world busy. Even though, on closer inspection, the majority of the case reports are probably not connected to kava intake, hepatotoxic effects of kava cannot generally be ruled out. In this article the major theories as to the mechanism of kava hepatotoxicity are summarized. But in spite of all these hypotheses, there is still no satisfactory answer. In any case, further studies, that might hopefully restore the reputation of kava, are required.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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