Despite its growing popularity in the United States and abroad, kava tea has been increasingly linked to a number of extremely serious kidney and liver injuries. The FDA is currently investigating a number of complaints related to kava ingestion. Kava tea drinkers who experience signs of illness should consult their physician immediately.
Free Kava Tea Case Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a serious kidney or liver injury after drinking kava tea, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.
What’s the problem?
For thousands of years, the kava plant (piper methysticum) has been used for medicinal and ceremonial purposes in Pacific Island cultures, but only recently has it garnered attention in the United States for its calming effects and ability to treat the symptoms of menopause. The kava root comes from a tall shrub that grows on the islands of the Pacific Ocean. Studies have shown that kava roots contain fiber, proteins and potassium. When kava tea is drunk, the chemicals acts as a sedative, relaxing the muscles and inducing sleep. Depending on the strength of the mixture, kava tea can also have a psychoactive effect. Unfortunately, some doctors are warning that there may be a risk of severe liver or kidney damage associated with kava tea.
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Kava Tea Kidney Damage
A May 2011 case study published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine contained a report about an avid kava tea drinker who was diagnosed with a rare form of kidney damage known as rhabdomyolysis. The individual eventually recovered, but was hospitalized for six days under close supervision. Signs and symptoms of rhabdomyolysis include:
- muscle cramps
Kava Tea Liver Injury
In 2002, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about the potential for liver damage in users of kava products. The agency reported that there had been more than 25 complaints of liver-related injuries including hepatitis, cirrhosis and liver failure. Four of these patients required liver transplants. Symptoms of kava-induced liver damage include:
yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice)
- light colored stools
- brown urine
- unusual tiredness
- stomach or abdominal pain
- loss of appetite
Because it is classified as an herbal product, the FDA does not have the authority to regulate kava. And despite the documented health problems associated with these products, kava use is on the rise around the country.
“With the increased use of herbal remedies, we in the medical field have become accustomed to asking patients about their use,” URMC Department of Emergency Medicine Chair Michael F. Kamali, M.D., said. “What concerns us is the lack of controls in producing and distributing these products as well as some lack of knowledge of the potential harm by those people using the product,” he stated.
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Do I have a Kava Tea Lawsuit?
The Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in kava tea lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new kidney and liver injury cases in all 50 states.