Kava in the treatment of anxiety: A Cochrane review.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Anxiety (Care and treatment)
Anxiety (Research)
Kava plant (Health aspects)
Pub Date: 12/22/2006
Publication: Name: Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism Publisher: National Herbalists Association of Australia Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2006 National Herbalists Association of Australia ISSN: 1033-8330
Issue: Date: Winter, 2006 Source Volume: 18 Source Issue: 4
Topic: Event Code: 310 Science & research
Geographic: Geographic Scope: Australia Geographic Code: 8AUST Australia
Accession Number: 174817373
Full Text: Pittler MH, Ernst E. 2006. Kava extract versus placebo for treating anxiety (Review). Cochrane Collab 4. http://www.thecochranelibrary.com accessed 17 November 2006 (JS)

A 2006 update of the 2003 Cochrane review was performed evaluating randomised, double blind controlled trials of rigorous methodology using kava mono-preparation in anxious conditions. The review discovered 12 trials that met the inclusion criteria (total number of patients = 700), 7 of which were used in a meta-analysis using The Hamilton anxiety scale (HAM-A) as the outcome measure.

The results of the review documented a statistically significant anxiolytic effect of kava compared to placebo in all but one trial, with the authors concluding that kava is an effective short term treatment of anxiety. The meta-analysis of 7 homogenous trials demonstrated that kava reduced anxiety significantly over placebo as assessed via HAM-A (weighted mean difference 3.9 over placebo on the HAM-A; 95% CI: 0.1 to 7.7 p= 0.05; n=380). The average amount of kavalactones (the active constituent) used in the studies was between 105 mg-240 mg during a 5-7 week period, with no cases of hepatic toxicity reported in any of the trials.

Jerome Sarris

3 Widgee Place, Chapel Hill Qld 4069

Cara Barnes

20 Brendon Street, Tarragindi Qld 4121
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.