alexa Kava as a Pharmacotherapy of Anxiety Disorders: Promises and Concerns
ISSN: 2161-0444

Medicinal Chemistry
Open Access

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Review Article

Kava as a Pharmacotherapy of Anxiety Disorders: Promises and Concerns

Zachary Rivers1, Chengguo Xing2 and Sreekanth Narayanapillai2*

1College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota, 308 Harvard St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

2Department of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota, 2231 6th St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Sreekanth Narayanapillai
Department of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy
University of Minnesota, 2231 6th St SE
Minneapolis,MN 55455, USA
Tel: 612-626-5543
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: January 23, 2016; Accepted date: February 05, 2016; Published date: February 09, 2016

Citation: Rivers Z, Xing C, Narayanapillai S (2016) Kava as a Pharmacotherapy of Anxiety Disorders: Promises and Concerns. Med chem 6:081-087. doi:10.4172/2161-0444.1000329

Copyright: © 2016 Rivers Z, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.




Current standard pharmacotherapies for anxiety management come with a host of side-effects that may deter the patients from utilizing them. Kava, a traditional beverage from the South Pacific region, has been used as a natural medicine for centuries and has been hypothesized to contain anxiolytic properties. There are a few well-designed, randomly controlled trials that have evaluated the effectiveness of kava or its constituents against anxiety disorders. They have generally shown kava to be effective in managing the disease. However, there has been a serious concern about the hepatotoxic risk of kava, which greatly limits its anxiolytic development and application. This review attempts to summarize the recent anxiolytic trials using kava, the associated hepatotoxicity risks, the potential responsible chemicals for these two activities, and the mechanisms of action. Overall, kava has a great potential to be developed as a natural anxiolytic agent through a systematic approach, but the present form should be used with caution.


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