Stressed and sleepless? Don’t count on kava. In March, the FDA issued a warning that the natural sedative may be linked to serious liver damage, especially in those who already have overworked livers or are taking potentially organ-grinding meds such as HAART. The fed’s investigation was triggered by the sudden liver transplant required by an otherwise-healthy woman who took the big-selling herb. Europe has reported 25 cases of liver toxicity related to kava, while Canada has issued safety alerts. Until the kava question is settled, you may want to reach for alt chill pills or sign up for an exercise or yoga class.
July 1, 2002 • By Cindra Feuer