June 2000 Issue

Anti-Anxiety Herb Kava Passes Tough Scrutiny

British researchers recently conducted an extensive review of the hot-selling herb kava. They scrutinized seven well-designed studies—all controlled clinical trials in which subjects with anxiety disorders were given either kava (typically 300 milligrams daily) or a placebo. The findings were reported in the February Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology. The researchers concluded that kava extract is superior to placebo for symptomatic treatment of mild anxiety. The kavapyrones (also called kavalactones) in the herbal extract are thought to work in the central nervous system

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