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Kava Kava Root Review – Is it Effective?

By Sasha de Beausset Aparicio, MSc

Reviewed by Rebecca Williams, MD, MA, MB, BChir

Last Updated:

Evidence Based | Synopsis | Ingredients | Health Benefits | Precautions | Price | How To Take | Bottom Line

Kava Kava Root features an extract of the Kava Kava herb and is advertised to promote emotional well-being, muscular and nerve relaxation and offer support from tension associated to everyday stress.The formula is manufactured by a reputable U.S based company called Gaia Herbs. The company manufactures and markets a wide spectrum of herbal supplements and claims to use organically grown herbs. Gaia Herbs owns its own plant farm and operates a comprehensive website which offers complete details on company principles and products (including label information).

Given that Kava Kava has been associated with potentially serious safety issues, the producer advises consumers to use the formula for a maximum 1 month period. Additionally, the formula should not be used by certain categories of patients such as pregnant and nursing women, people drinking alcohol, those who suffer from liver conditions, or are already under treatment.


1) Kava Kava Root at a Glance

Kava Kava Root is a liquid formulation base on a single active ingredient, the Kava Kava plant.The plant native to the Pacific Islands has been traditionally used as a ritual ceremonial relaxant. Today, together with St John’s Wort, it is one of the most popular and used anti-anxiety herbal remedies. Additional benefits include ailments such as ADHD, especially in children, where its tranquilizing effects are used to address the hyperactivity component of this ailment. The herb may also assist with relieving menstrual cramps and other PMS related symptoms due to its analgesic effects.

There are numerous reports of it being effectively used against generalized anxiety disorder, depression symptoms, headaches and insomnia. Kava Kava however enjoys a bad name, due to several case reports of patients in Germany and Switzerland who after using the herb suffered serious liver problems. The plant was declares unsafe; however an exact connection between the condition and Kava Kava has not been established.

The manufacturer warns against the use of the formula for certain categories of people, and advises that if Kava Kava Root side effects consisting of liver problems (brown urine and jaundice) or any other symptoms occur (nausea, vomiting, unexplained tiredness, weakness, light-colored stools, stomach or abdominal pain, and loss of appetite), a healthcare provider is consulted.


2) Kava Kava Root Ingredients

Kava Kava Root includes the following ingredients: Kava Kava root (Piper methysticum) in pure grain alcohol USP (65-75%), and water.

Kava Kava is also found in more complex stress and calming blends like Happy Camper.

3) Does Kava Kava Root Work?

Kava Kava Root contains a single herbal extract of the Kava Kava root. Kava Kava is known for numerous health benefits and has been used successfully for thousands of years. Some of its most popular uses include muscle relaxation, soothing anxiety related symptoms and tension, and promoting overall emotional balance. Additionally, evidence indicates it may benefit migraine headaches, hyperactivity in children such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), insomnia and aids in the treatment of depression.

Additionally, Kava Kava seems to have analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects on the urinary system, especially for women. It can relax the uterus and may help alleviate symptoms of PMS. Safety concerns exist as the plant has been associated as a potential cause of some serious liver problems in 30 patients from Germany and Switzerland. However, reports did not clearly conclude that Kava Kava caused liver damage and did not rule out potential factors such as alcohol abuse, other medication treatment or other underlying conditions.

For optimum results, the manufacturer recommends taking 20-30 drops of extract in a small amount of water three times a day, preferably between meals.

Health Benefits

4) Kava Kava Root Health Benefits

  • Liquid formula, easy to ingest and be absorbed
  • Organically grown herbs used as ingredients
  • Complete details including label information posted on the manufacturer’s website
  • easy to navigate website

5) Precautions of Kava Kava Root Use

  • Safety concerns regarding the use of Kava Kava Root on the long-term
  • Lack of consumer reviews available online
  • The formula can be used for a limited amount of time (up to 1 month)
  • Relatively high price (approximately $45 for a month’s supply)

6) Kava Kava Root Price

Kava Kava Root is a liquid formulation available in bottles of 1, 2, 8, and 16 oz volume formats. A 1 oz bottle should last for approximately ten days. A month’s supply costs roughly $45, a price similar to other liquid formulations based on Kava Kava. However, more often than not price discounts or promotional packs are available with various retailers, and so you may purchase the formula at a lower unit price.

How To Take

7) How to Take Kava Kava Root

A dose of 20-30 drops of extract taken with water 3 times a day is recommended. There are no Kava Kava Root consumer reviews posted online.

Bottom Line

8) Our Bottom Line

Kava Kava is one of the most popular herbal ingredients used to relieve stress, despite the negative publicity it has received after certain cases linking it to serious liver problems have emerged in Europe. Many have dismissed it declaring it dangerous and unsafe; however there is a large amount of research which shows it has beneficial properties as well. Kava Kava Root has not been reviewed and so it is difficult to assess its effectiveness. However, we believe that if used as directed and under the conditions mentioned by the manufacturer, there is a high probability it will achieve the advertised results.

5/5 - (1 vote)
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I’ve read some negative things about kava Kava, but this supplement was recommended by a friend who was on it and was doing great. Worked for me too. I feel calmer and more confident in my own strength under stressful situations.

Paul James

This had a very subtle and positive effect on my mood. I used to get these semi-anxious episodes out of nowhere. While using Kava Kava root, I noticed I stopped having them and they didn’t appear for a long time after I stopped. I take this occasionally.