Measuring the chemical and cytotoxic variability of commercially available kava (Piper methysticum G. Forster)

Amanda C. Martin, Ed Johnston, Chengguo Xing, Adrian D Hegeman

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35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Formerly used world-wide as a popular botanical medicine to reduce anxiety, reports of hepatotoxicity linked to consuming kava extracts in the late 1990s have resulted in global restrictions on kava use and have hindered kava-related research. Despite its presence on the United States Food and Drug Administration consumer advisory list for the past decade, export data from kava producing countries implies that US kava imports, which are not publicly reported, are both increasing and of a fairly high volume. We have measured the variability in extract chemical composition and cytotoxicity towards human lung adenocarcinoma A549 cancer cells of 25 commercially available kava products. Results reveal a high level of variation in chemical content and cytotoxicity of currently available kava products. As public interest and use of kava products continues to increase in the United States, efforts to characterize products and expedite research of this potentially useful botanical medicine are necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere111572
JournalPloS one
Volume9
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 3 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Martin et al.

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