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Clinical trial shows kava reduces stress.

  A double-blind study conducted late last year investigated the effects of kava (Piper methysticum) on stress related to "daily hassles of life." The study involved 60 subjects between the ages of 18 and 60, of whom 29 took kava and 31 placebo. Subjects were assessed five times during the four-week study in five areas: interpersonal problems, personal competency, cognitive stressors, environmental stresses and varied stressors. In each of the four weeks after baseline, the group taking kava supplements showed statistically significant decreases in stress in every category, while the placebo group showed little variation. Authors Nirbhay N. Singh, PhD, professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at Medical College of Virginia and director of Commonwealth Institute for Child and Family Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, and Cynthia Ellis, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at Medical College of Virginia Commonwealth University, reported their findings during the Third Annual Alternative Therapies Symposium and Exposition at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina on April 4. The authors reported that overall stress continued to decrease throughout the study period and that no side effects were reported. Subjects were taking Kavatrol, a brand name product from Natrol Inc. Kava is a member of the pepper family and has been used for centuries in the South Pacific as a natural relaxant.  
  BW HealthWire, April 6, 1998.  
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