An Australian study published in the May issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology claims that the kava works very well to reduce symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. They studied 75 people over 8 weeks and found kava hasa lesss risk for addiction and fewer possible side effects. They found that 26% of the kava group went into remission, whereas only 6% of the placebo group improved.
Years ago kava got a bad rap because preparations of the herb that were used were contaminated with the stems and leaves rather than just the root. Many people taking these preparations developed hepatitis.