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Piscopo G. 
“Kava Kava: Gift of the Islands”. 
Alt Med Rev. 1997;2(5):355-64.
Piper methysticum, also known as kava kava, is a highly esteemed medicinal herb that has been at the center of social and ceremonial life in the Pacific islands from before the time of written language. Recent scientific investigation indicates kava can be of value as an anxiolytic, myorelaxant, and analgesic. Unlike other substances used for these purposes, kava has been shown to have minimal negative effect, and possibly a positive effect, on reaction time and cognitive processing. Possible uses as an anticonvulsant, antimycotic, and neuroprotectant have also been described. Although kava has been found to be effective, well tolerated, and non-addictive at therapeutic dosages, potential side-effects can occur when very high doses are taken for extended periods. Use of extracts made from the whole plant have been found to be superior to the use of individual constituents. (Alt Med Rev 1997;2(5):355-364)
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