Table Of Contents
What is Kava?
Kava or kava kava is a crop derived from the Piper methysticum plant, which is indigenous to the Pacific Islands. While there are no proven medical benefits of kava, powdered and gel capsule forms of the substance are sold by GNC and other vitamin retailers in the U.S. The sedative effects of kava have been used to treat anxiety, stress, ADHD, epilepsy, depression, psychosis, and migraine headaches.
What’s the Problem?
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has been warning consumers about the potential effects of kava since 2002. There is potential that many kava supplements contain adulterated substances which, when combined, can increase the risk of negative side effects including liver damage and even death.
Kava Side Effects
- Liver disease
- Liver failure
- Muscle weakness
- Reduced breathing
- And more
FDA Warning on Kava
The FDA in March 2002 issued a warning which stated that kava products had been linked to adverse effects on the liver . The agency found more than 25 reports in other countries regarding liver effects including hepatitis, cirrhosis and liver failure. These reports prompted regulatory efforts in Germany, Switzerland, France, Canada and the United Kingdom. However, kava is still legal and widely available in the U.S.
Should I Take Kava?
Even though kava is legal in the U.S., the FDA warns not to use it if you have liver problems or are taking medications that affect your liver. Additionally, kava may interact with drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine . Taking kava long-term may also cause your skin to turn yellow and become scaly.
Man Sues Maker of Kava “Wellness Drink” for Causing Him to Relapse on Alcohol
In April 2023, a class action lawsuit was filed against Botanic Tonics by a man who claimed that one of the company’s drinks caused him to relapse into alcohol after 7 years of sobriety. The lawsuit alleges that Botanic Tonics’ Feel Free Wellness Tonic contains a powerful ingredient that has similar effects on the brain to opioids.
Plaintiff Romulo Torres, who is a recovering alcoholic, alleges that he began receiving targeted ads for Feel Free Wellness Tonic in 2020. It was marketed as a beverage featuring kava and “other ancient plants” to aid productivity, focus and relaxation.
However, the drink wrecked Torres’ life and sobriety after he bought Feel Free at a 7-Eleven in Dec. 2021, according to the lawsuit. Within 3 months, Torres developed a “strong addiction” to the product, drinking 10 Feel Free Tonics a day and spending $3,000 a month on the drink, the complaint states. After attempting to quit the beverage, Torres suffered withdrawal symptoms and began drinking alcohol again in 2022 to lessen the effects of Feel Free’s withdrawal.
The lawsuit is ROMULO TORRES vs. BOTANIC TONICS, LLC; 7-ELEVEN, INC. Case No. 3:23-cv-01460. UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
See all related dietary supplement lawsuits our lawyers covered so far.
Do I Have a Kava Lawsuit?
The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at Schmidt & Clark, LLP law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in kava Lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.
If you or a loved one was injured by kava side effects, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.