Materia Medica

Herbal Medicine Resource


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Botanical Name: Piper methysticum

Common name: Kava

Family: Piperaceae

Parts Used: Root

Active Constituents:

  • Kavalactones
  • Methysticin
  • Dihydromethisticin
  • Kavain
  • Dhihydrokavain
  • Desmethoxyangonin
  • Flavonoids – flavokavains

Qualities: Cool, grounding


  • Anxiolytic
  • Hypnotic
  • Anticonvulsant
  • Mild sedative
  • Skeletal muscle relaxant
  • Spasmolytic
  • Mild analgesic Topically
  • Local anaesthetic
  • Antipruritic
  • Mild analgesic
  • Antifungal


Nervous System

  • Anxiety / restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Stress
  • Neuralgia (toothache, earache, ocular pain)
  • Headache
  • Muscle tension
  • Menopausal NS sx
  • Withdrawal from benzo’s


  • Inflammation and infection
  • Cystitis, urethritis, dysuria, renal colic


  • Sore throat
  • Tooth ache


Relief of nervous tension and sleeplessness.

Relief of stress.

Relief of sore throat, headache or muscular tension.


  • Pre-existing liver disease
  • Not recommended in pregnancy or children
  • Discontinue 7 days prior to general anaesthesia


  • Long-term or continuous use should be monitored
  • Caution with Parkinson’s disease
  • Caution in elderly


42 – 84 ml/week (Bone)

250mg kavalactones per day


Use with Valerian for insomnia with components of stress, anxiety or muscle tension

References & Links to Articles:

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