Does Kava Cause Liver Damage?

Posted by on May 5, 2007 in Ask Makaira | 3 comments

A Family Kava StoryThis is, by far, our #1 Frequently Asked Question, and the answer, plain and simple, is; “No, not when used properly.”

Now, before you dismiss any of what I’m about to tell you as “conspiracy theory” or the wild imaginings of some crazed victim of heatstroke in Hawaii, know five simple, verifiable facts:

1. We come from a long line of growers who have used this wonderful plant for thousands of years, and there is not one single case of liver disease in our family history. We also only consume the root of the ‘awa plant.

2. The study that started this devastating rumor was conducted in Germany, allegedly funded by a pharmaceutical company. In Germany, Kava Kava was gaining in such popularity as an alternative to Prozac, that many believe it was beginning to cut into the pharmaceutical industry’s profits on prescription medications. So, many also speculate,  this pharmaceutical company, with its unlimited funds, decided to put an end to kava’s rising popularity before it became too much of a problem.

3. The study has been unequivocally dismissed as misleading and false, and not only did the United States repeal their ban in early 2005, Germany is about to officially reverse its position, making kava legal in their country once again.

4. The study used the entire plant, rather than just the root of the plant. Nowhere in the long history of Kava Kava use has anything other than the root been consumed, but the study chose to ignore this simple fact, using the stems and the leaves of the plant, which can be harmful to humans.

5. The first report of any liver damage from Kava whatsoever came only from this study in Germany. Strange how an entire culture can safely make a drink out of the roots, enjoying large amounts of it throughout their lives, without any ill effects whatsoever, only to be told by a study in Germany that Kava can cause liver damage.

So, the study’s impact was obvious, as several countries like Canada and Germany clamored to ban Kava and it was pulled from store shelves around the world. Even if the study was proven to be false, the seed was planted into the mass consciousness, and people will have that lingering question in their mind for a long time, not quite certain who to believe.

We are amassing a large library of information on this website, and will present it in as simple a form as possible as we get it scanned and uploaded. One of the important articles to read is the actual Report from the BHMA that counters the German study.

Aloha no,


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  1. Hello ,
    Your link – Report from the BHMA – doesent seam to be working.

    Thanks Scott

  2. Most of our Kava products contain only Kava, some natral flavoring, stevia, and in a couple of our drink mixes, dehydrated cane juice. Things like our capsules and our powdered root contain only pure, root-only kava kava. Kava acts both as a depressant on the nervous system, while exciting parts of the brain, which is why it is great for relaxing, but being sociable. It is also why it can be very useful for sleeplessness and insomniacs…it can help one relax enough to fall asleep. – Aloha no, Makaira

  3. My husband has liver damage and suffers from sleeplessness. Will Kava be able to help him sleep? What ingredients are in it so we can watch for allergies? What does Kava do exactly? Thank-you.


  1. Yogi Kava Stress-Relief Tea | Get A Life - [...] KonaKavaFarm discusses this “Liver Damage” claim further. [...]

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