Kava

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Kava or kava-kava (Piper methysticum) (Piper: Latin for 'pepper', methysticum: (Latinized) Greek for 'intoxicating') is a crop of the western Pacific.

The name kava(-kava) is from Tongan and Marquesan;[1] other names for kava include ʻawa (Hawaiʻi), 'ava (Samoa), yaqona (Fiji), and sakau (Pohnpei).

The roots of the plant are used to produce a drink with mild sedative properties. Kava is consumed throughout the Pacific Ocean cultures of Polynesia (including Hawaii), Vanuatu, Melanesia and some parts of Micronesia. Kava is sedating and is primarily consumed to relax without disrupting mental clarity. Its active ingredients are called kavalactones. 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.[2] 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.[3][4] The root has not been shown to cause liver problems. [5]

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