Kava consumption and its health effects.Pac Health Dialog. 2006 Sep; 13(2):131-5.PH
Sakau or Kava is a psychoactive beverage used ceremonially for thousands of years by Pacificans Kava beverage is made from the root of the pepper plant, Piper methysticum. It contains herbal ingredients for reliving anxiety and tension. The Kava's biological effects is due to a mixture of compounds called kava lactones which are reported to include sedative, anxiolytic, anti-stress, analgesic, local anaesthetic, anticonvulsant and neuroprotective properties. A skin disorder or dermopathy, occurs with prolonged use of large amounts of kava and reversible on reduced intake or cessation. Heavy kava drinkers acquire a reversible ichthyosiform eruption, known as kanikani in Fijian. Rare cases of interactions have occurred with pharmaceutical drugs that share one or more mechanisms of action with the kava lactones Kava was banned in the United Kingdom, after concerns that the product can cause liver toxicity. The US Food and drug Administration is still investigating kava's continued use in United States.