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Australian researchers find kava is safe

ABC RADIO AUSTRALIA - Updated Thu May 14, 2009 10:40am AEST

An Australian research team has found that kava can be a safe and effective treatment for anxiety. The news has been welcomed by kava-producing Pacific countries which are trying to overturn international import bans on the product.

Presenter: Barbara Heggen
Speaker: Jerome Sarris, University of Queensland's School of Medicine
Listen:Windows Media


**Kava is currently banned for import into Australia for commerical purposes.

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Comment by Stacey King on May 15, 2009 at 2:19pm
This is an interesting one Roba, as we use to import Kava here (OZ) and had an import license. It has always been a listed item when sold for commercial purposes and limited amounts (1kg) are still allowed for personal use (cultural purposes) and much of the kava was going into the Aboriginal communities, but our market was the natural health industry. We also make a Kava-virgin coconut oil soap.
But what happened here and through out most of the European countries accept for US (I think) was that there was suppose to be some reported deaths due to live cancer or disease which they attributed to kava. So then this big cancer scare went out and permanent liver damage was the other warning.
What makes this interesting is that when Ken came to live in Australia and changed his diet to include a lot more meat instead of fish he used to suffer a rare form of gout in his face whenever he tried to drink kava. Also what they believe is the reason for the liver problems when te I-Matang start to use kava is that they eat a lot more processed foods and of course much higher levels of alcohol. Then when kava is introduced it overloads the liver. A similar thing happens when te I-Matang start to drink a lot of noni juice. The Tahitians who traditionally use noni juice daily as a tonic only take a small amount daily.
Ken has a theory on when traditional medicines gets ‘discovered’ by te I-Matang companies who see it as some new discovery that they see it very differently to the way indigeious peoples use it. In traditional medicine every part of these plants are used, especially in the case of noni, and that we (te I-Matangs) think that they can use technology to extract and concentrate these plants into extracts. As Ken said all they end up doing is making the good things that indigenous people utilize into something that is toxic. I think Ken has a very valid point.
In the case of Australia the Aboriginal communities, they were also using kava on top of strong alcohol and even methylated spirits and not eating properly as well.
Kava has some wonderful properties and let’s hope that this new report will allow for the bans to be lifted. I know the ban into Germany has been lifted.
Let’s face it – it wouldn’t matter what it is – EVERYTHING IN MODERATION!
Comment by Roba on May 15, 2009 at 1:06pm
This is a good medicine and should be introduce to people who have not tasted kava esp now when the economy is down ..Might helps alot..
Comment by Roba on May 15, 2009 at 1:03pm
Awesome.... goodnews for Kava drinkers...its just my opinion that banning kava by Australia is becoming a political issue now.I believe Australia is trying to punish Fiji because of the government status but what was really the key issue here for banning kava to Australia? how about the NZ ?..anyone had a similar or different opinions?Maybe some are addicted to it?

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