Kava May Help Alleviate AnxietyKava May Help Alleviate Anxiety
August 16, 2006
EXETER, England--Kava (Piper methysticum) may help treat anxiety, though the effect appears to be small, according to the new update of the Cochrane review of the herb (3:CD003383, 2006). Researchers from the University of Exeter identified 22 potentially relevant double blind, placebo controlled, randomized clinical trials for their review; 12 met the inclusion criteria, and included 700 patients. Seven of these trials were included in a meta-analysis that found a significant treatment effect for total score on the Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAM-A) in favor of kava extract; the five studies that did not use the HAM-A scoring did also have outcomes that supported kava's efficacy. Few adverse events were reported in the trials, and the treatment appears to be relatively safe for short-term (one to 24 weeks) treatment. The researchers concluded further rigorous, long-term trials with larger sample sizes are needed to clarify kava's efficacy and safety.
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