Kava – is it the answer to cancer?

NEW research that found traditionallyprepared kava could be the answer in the fight against cancer has been welcomed by kava producers in the Pacific. Fiji’s kava species were singled out in this study by scientists at the New York Botanical Garden and the City University of New York last year, as “most effective”.

They found that squeezing the kava extract through sea hibiscus bark inhibited the growth of breast and colon cancer. Prepared in a form used by people in the Pacific, rather than filtered, scientists found kava was more active in inhibiting cancer cells. One of the leading scientists in the research team, Linda Saxe Einbond, told Islands Business the results were encouraging.

“We have benefited from the expertise of author Dr Michael Balick who has studied the ethnobotanical uses of kava in the South Pacific islands. Dr Balick suggested that we study kava in the form that people consume it. “So we prepared kava the way it’s prepared traditionally, as a water extract high in particular content and we did it … squeezed or strained through hibiscus bark, in traditional preparation.

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