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Banned Kava Herb Update

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A group of Hawaii researchers may have discovered why some Europeans taking kava were reported to have suffered liver damage

A group of Hawaii researchers may have discovered why some Europeans taking kava were reported to have suffered liver damage. They believe problems occurred due to inferior products that contained not only kava roots, but also leaves and stems. Traditional kava drinkers avoid leaves and stems, which contain the toxic compound pipermethystine. Klaus Dragull, W.Y. Yoshida and C.S. Tang reported in the journal Phytochemistry that although indigenous cultures knew to avoid the toxic peelings, pharmaceutical companies cashing in on the soaring kava market in 2000 and 2001 bought up the discarded waste product.

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