Anxiety Home > Kava Kava

Kava kava is a pepper-like plant from the South Pacific that is often used to help treat insomnia, anxiety, stress, and other conditions. While some evidence suggests that the ingredient may be effective for treating anxiety, there is less information regarding its effectiveness for other uses. Side effects of kava kava may include drowsiness, dizziness, and severe liver damage.

What Is Kava Kava?

Kava kava (Piper methysticum) is an herbal supplement often used to treat anxiety, stress, insomnia, and menopausal symptoms. It is a pepper-like plant native to the South Pacific islands, where it is used to prepare a traditional beverage.
 
(Click Kava Kava Benefits for more information on what kava kava is used for, including additional uses.)
 

Side Effects of Kava Kava

Many people believe that natural products, such as kava kava, have no side effects. However, many natural products cause side effects, some of which can be quite serious. This supplement can cause side effects, such as:
 
  • Severe liver damage
  • Stomach upset
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Abnormal muscle movements or spasms
  • Dry, scaly, yellowed skin.
     
(Click Side Effects of Kava Kava to learn more, including potentially serious side effects that you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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