NOTE: Products containing kava have caused serious liver problems in previously healthy people. Health Canada has not licensed any kava products for sale in Canada.
Kava is the dried root of a plant found on islands in the western Pacific Ocean. The roots are ground and steeped in water, which is then strained and served as a relaxing beverage.
Some scientists believe that kava significantly reduces some types of anxiety and depression with very few side effects. But its safety and effectiveness have not been thoroughly tested. Kava is best used with a doctor's advice and medical checkups, because kava may be linked to liver problems.
Medical Review:Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Brian O'Brien, MD, FRCPC - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine