Kava Coalition Celebrates Second Edition of Botanical Safety Handbook's Kava Update

(EZ Newswire)

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LONDON, United Kingdom -- The Kava Coalition, a leading advocate for the responsible use and understanding of Kava, celebrates the release on the updated entry for Piper methysticum (kava) root rhizome in the second edition of the American Herbal Products Association’s (AHPA’s) Botanical Safety Handbook (BSH). This update represents a significant milestone in the kava industry, providing the most comprehensive and scientifically backed information on the safety profile of the plant-based botanical.

The Botanical Safety Handbook is renowned as the industry-leading compendium with application for safe use of kava. The updates underwent rigorous review by an Expert Advisory Council of esteemed herbal and integrative medicine experts from the U.S. The inclusion of kava in the handbook underscores the importance of ensuring accurate and reliable information for consumers, practitioners, and manufacturers alike locally and globally.

The Kava Coalition praised the AHPA BSH update as a pivotal step in enhancing understanding of kava's safety profile. With the most up-to-date science as a foundation, it is evident that kava is well-tolerated, whether consumed traditionally or through modern extraction techniques, paving the way for its continued safe use. 

"This update reflects the advancements in scientific understanding of kava and dispels misconceptions surrounding its safety,” said Matthew Lowe, Executive Director of The Kava Coalition. “It reaffirms that claims of liver injury from kava are unsubstantiated and underscores the importance of quality control in product manufacturing."

The handbook update delineates between "traditional" kava, typically water-based extracts, and "contemporary" kava products, which utilize organic-based extraction methods. Importantly, it highlights that any association between kava-related liver injury and organic-based extraction methods is tenuous at best, with quality control issues often being the culprit.

Notably, the safety sections were updated to incorporate human clinical trial results demonstrating the rarity of liver injury associated with kava consumption. Additionally, the handbook now recognizes the historical use of kava as a food in the United States prior to 1958, further underscoring its traditional global use and safety profile.

"The Botanical Safety Handbook sets the gold standard for the herbal supplements industry,” said Simon Gellar, PhD, who teaches criminology at the University of Kent. “Its inclusion of kava and comprehensive review process provide consumers and practitioners with reliable information backed by scientific evidence."

Dr. Gellar's research on kava delves into the intricate interplay of cultural norms, economic dynamics, and external drug policies, offering a nuanced perspective on consumption across diverse contexts. Dr. Gellar will publish a major research paper, "Elixir of the South Pacific or Harmful Muddy Water: Examining the Consumption of Kava from a Cross-Cultural Perspective and the Lived Experience of Macro-Level Social Processes", later in 2024.

The Kava Coalition reiterates the importance of responsible consumption and adherence to safety guidelines. The required trade statement from AHPA remains unchanged, urging caution and advising consultation with healthcare professionals before use.

The Kava Coalition encourages its members and other stakeholders across the herbal products industry to utilize the updated information in the BSH to promote safety and transparency in the formulation, recommendation, and use of kava-containing products. 

For more information about The Kava Coalition and its advocacy efforts, please visit https://www.kavacoalition.org/.

About the Kava Coalition

The Kava Coalition is dedicated to promoting the responsible use and understanding of kava. Comprising industry professionals, researchers, and advocates, the Coalition strives to uphold the cultural significance and therapeutic potential of kava while advocating for safety and transparency within the herbal products industry.

Media Contact

Byron Johnson
bjohnson@kavacoalition.org
+1 202-680-8129

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SOURCE: Kava Coalition

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