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Kava

Kava
Source / Wikipedia

Kava or kava-kava is an ancient crop of the western Pacific. The name kava is from Tongan and Marquesan; other names for kava include ʻawa, ‘ava, yaqona, and sakau. The word kava is used to refer both to the plant and the beverage produced from its roots. Kava is consumed throughout the Pacific Ocean cultures of Polynesia, Vanuatu, Melanesia and some parts of Micronesia and Australia. Kava is sedating and is primarily consumed to relax without disrupting mental clarity. Its active ingredients are called kavalactones. In some parts of the Western World, modern kava extract is used as an effective nausea remedy. A Cochrane Collaboration systematic review of its evidence concluded that it was likely to be more effective than placebo at treating short-term social anxiety. Safety concerns have been raised over liver toxicity largely due to the use of stems and leaves by supplement makers, as opposed to solely the root of the plant as dictated by traditional uses.

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