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Kava kava lowers the severity of anxiety symptoms

Researchers from Grand Valley State University in Michigan suggest using kava kava to reduce the severity of anxiety symptoms. In their review, which was published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, they sought to determine whether the plant could be a safe and effective treatment for improving symptoms of anxiety.

  • To assess the plant’s safety on the liver and effective on anxiety symptoms, the researchers gathered clinical trials on kava kava and its effects on anxiety.
  • They obtained a total of 11 articles that met the inclusion criteria.
  • Two trials looked at kava kava vs. another anti-anxiety medication, two detailed adverse events, and seven assessed kava kava against a placebo.
  • Based on the data that were gathered, kava kava was found to lower the severity of anxiety symptoms and appeared to be more effective in younger and female populations.
  • In addition, taking kava kava for less than eight weeks did not cause liver toxicity.
  • A long-term trial is needed to determine the safety of kava kava use longer than eight weeks, as liver toxicity is especially possible if taken longer than this time.

In conclusion, the findings suggest that kava kava can be used as a short-term treatment for anxiety.

To read more studies on natural medicines for anxiety, visit

Journal Reference:

Smith K, Leiras C. THE EFFECTIVENESS AND SAFETY OF KAVA KAVA FOR TREATING ANXIETY SYMPTOMS: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW AND ANALYSIS OF RANDOMIZED CLINICAL TRIALS. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. November 2018; 33: 107-117. DOI: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2018.09.003

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