Tags: Health Topics | Natural Sleep Supplements | Side Effects | Health | Kava

Natural Sleep Supplements: Risks and Side Effects of Taking Kava

By    |   Monday, 30 Mar 2015 05:03 PM

Kava is promoted as a favorite among natural sleep supplements, but some studies show it really doesn't have any effect on sleep and it can potentially hold some serious long-term risks.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Kava is native to the Pacific Islands and has been used for centuries as a ceremonial drink. Kava grows as a tall shrub with green heart-shaped leaves. When the root of the plant is traditionally prepared, it is said to be relaxing and can improve mood.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a 2002 consumer advisory against Kava-containing dietary supplements. Kava, which was sold under claims that it could relax and ease insomnia, was shown to have a risk for liver damage. The FDA issued the advisory after getting reports of several people with liver damage and one person who required a liver transplant after taking Kava. Among the potential problems are hepatitis, cirrhosis and liver failure.

Herbal medicines as a whole are not found by scientists to be good natural sleep aids. According to a meta-analysis of research on the issue, Kava did not help people fall asleep any better than a placebo. It did have fewer side effects than the supplement valerian.

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Minor side effects reported include dizziness, tremors and upset stomach. Some people may have an allergic skin reaction. Others using Kava long-term may notice hair loss, loss of appetite or loss of hearing.

While herbal supplements are usually safe, they can interact poorly with other medications or supplements taken by a patient. The University of Maryland Medical Center advises, even though the product may be purchased over the counter, it is wise to only take Kava under the supervision of a doctor.

This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.

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Kava is promoted as a favorite among natural sleep supplements, but some studies show it really doesn't have any effect on sleep and it can potentially hold some serious long-term risks.
Natural Sleep Supplements, Side Effects, Health, Kava
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2015-03-30
Monday, 30 Mar 2015 05:03 PM
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