Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Location: Cleveland, OH
|Posted: Dec Fri 15, 2006 1:32 pm Post subject: Kava Kava Facts
|Kava Kava Facts
"The only credible documentation of side effects from recommended kava use to date were cited in The Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry. Reportedly, there have been 4 cases where individuals taking various kava preparations have developed involuntary movements (extrapyramidal side effects), indicating the possibility of kava being a dopamine antagonist."(1) "Long-term use of high dosages of kava can lead to a reversible dry, scaly skin condition known as kava dermopathy.(2) Pregnant or nursing women, as well as individuals with depression should avoid taking Kava Kava.(2) This supplement should also not be taken in conjunction with alcohol or other medications.(1,5) Furthermore, due to its documented anesthetic effects, kava use should be avoided if receiving anesthesia prior to surgery."(5)
(Source: HART Toolkit, 1998)
(1) Kilham, Chris. "Kava For Anxiety and Insomnia." Nutrition Science News; May 1997.
(2) Reichert ND, Ronald G. Kava Kava. New Canaan, CT: Keats Publishing, 1997.
(5) Singh, Yadhu N. and Blumenthal, Mark. "Kava culture, then and now."
Herbs For Health; Vol. 2, No. 6.
I have found no detailed information as of yet regarding contraindications between Kava Kava and prescription medications, even though the above references suggest avoidance. The only advice I can offer if you are concerned, is to find out if medications for reducing anxiety or nervous tension are contraindicated for the high blood pressure medication.
Having said this, how applicable this type of information is may be questionable. Since kava is a natural substance, not chemical, and since it actually helps reduce anxiety and tension (which can lead to an increase in blood pressure), simple logic suggests that kava may helpful. Unfortunately, prescription meds don't operate on simple logic. -Laura Clement