Finally, some Good Kava News!

Posted by on Sep 30, 2011 in Kava News | 5 comments

Finally, some Good Kava News!Aloha everyone!

The last few months have seen an incredible number of articles on the potential dangers of kava and other natural herbal supplements. These articles (which mostly seemed to repeat the exact same information over and over again with no particular evidence to back up their alarmist claims), informed readers that kava could cause liver damage and possible death, ignoring the fact that most pharmaceutical medicines prescribed by doctors for anxiety, physical pain, and depression have much higher rates of potentially deadly side effects than kava has ever had in its thousands of years of use. You can read more about these articles, and why they are flawed in one of my recent blog posts.

Fortunately, it seems that the tide of public opinion is turning once more! In just the last couple of days, I have stumbled across two articles praising the merits of kava! I was so happy to see this that I decided to share these articles with all of you! I’m really hoping that we are seeing the beginning of the end of needlessly alarmist press about the ‘dangers’ of natural plant medicines here!

The first kava article that I found was actually posted to Fox News (which certainly was a pleasant surprise)! The article actually comes along with a video of an interview with Michael Balick, the president for botanical science and philecology curator of the Institute of Economic Botany and the New York Botanical Garden. The video has lots of great images of kava, and the tone of the piece is incredibly positive! Both the author and Mr. Balick really seem to enjoy the relaxing effects of kava, and they emphasise the community-building properties and uses of kava by native peoples! Bailick even notes that kava is just as effective as benzodiazepene-class anti-anxiety drugs, but that it does not come with any of the nasty side effects of those drugs!

The article finishes by warning individuals that kava should be used with caution, and that you wouldn’t want to drive a car under the influence of it, because ‘everything would just seem funny and happy.” This statement did make me giggle, but he has a good point – kava and driving don’t mix, and it IS good for people to know that they should use kava respectfully in a place where they can really relax and enjoy themselves. It was refreshing to see a sensible and well-placed caution about kava use, at last! The incredibly positive and respectful tone of this article was really inspiring to me, and I was overjoyed to see it! Here is a mainstream media news article talking about the benefits of kava and its history as a social bonding medicine without any unmerited hype about its ‘dangers’.

Interestingly enough, this same author wrote another article commenting on a study in which an herbal extract that combines Boswellia serrata and turmeric root extracts actually demonstrated superior efficacy compared to a prescription drug, Celebrex, in relieving osteoarthritis pain of the knee. I know this has nothing to do with kava, but it’s another mention of the ways in which traditional plant medicines can be as effective, if not more effective, than prescription medicines!

I was happy enough to find these articles, and then, on the same day, I found ANOTHER article discussing the merits of kava! This one was written by a pharmacist and discusses the best natural alternatives to prescription muscle relaxants. The article not only mentions the potential for nasty side effects and addiction in prescription muscle relaxants, it also discusses how kava and other natural supplements can support muscle health and lead to relaxation. The mention of kava in this article is pretty short, but the article is nevertheless remarkable in that it actually acknowledges the dangers inherent in prescription muscle relaxants and suggests that patients might try natural plant alternatives!

Of course, those of us who have been using kava and other traditional plant medicines for years will already be familiar with the information in the articles I posted above. However, these articles are remarkable in that they have been posted in mainstream media outlets on the web. This means that lots of people, many of whom most likely read articles about how dangerous herbal supplements are just a few months ago, will be exposed to this positive information on kava! Hopefully, this will help people to gain acceptance and interest in traditional plant medicines, and perhaps it will inspire people to try them for themselves and feel their healing benefits! I certainly hope so. Kava has taken a beating from the mainstream media in many respects, so I’m thrilled to see a different view represented here! May this trend continue!

Aloha no,

Be Sociable, Share!


  1. Aloha Dr!

    Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment! 🙂 It’s great to hear from people who have benefited from the wonderful effects of kava! May it continue to bring you peace and joy!

    Aloha no,

  2. I have had a person who had massive anxiety due to overuse of caffeine the effect of Kava has been nothing short of amazing and I hope this information gets out to as many people as possible as a plant with this effect should be known by everyone.

  3. Aloha Serene,

    It’s important to keep in mind that I’m not a doctor and cannot provide medical advice. However, I can let you know that my young nephew was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and mild depression and that he found kava much more beneficial than the prescription medication he was recommended. You can read more about his experience in my blog post.

    As for where to order kava – since I grow and sell my own kava, I’m definitely biased towards our own product – you can order it here:

    There are many different kava preparations for your son to choose from, and our Hawaiian kava is said to be the sweetest in the world! I definitely encourage you/your son to explore other kava products and retailers, though – everyone’s system works a bit differently, so he may find that he enjoys Fijian or Vanuatu kava more – reputable websites are just a Google search away 🙂

    Also, please make sure your son does not combine kava with alcohol or any medications which have an effect on the liver (benzodiazepines such as Xanax and Ativan, pain killers like Vicodin, any medication which says not to have it with grapefruit juice). These combinations can be extremely dangerous!

    All the best to you and your son 🙂 I’m glad you are considering natural treatments – many people find them very beneficial!

    Aloha no,

  4. Hello,
    My 20-year old son has been diagnosed with depression mixed with anxiety. Do you think that Kava might help him?

    And, where do you think is the best place to order kava?

    Thanks a lot for the informative blog,

  5. Man, there is so much disinformation out there but it is nice that at least some of the truth is getting out to the people. Like you said, hopefully this trend continues!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *