New research shows kava, a medicinal plant originating in the South Pacific, significantly reduced the symptoms of people suffering anxiety.

The study, led by the University of Melbourne and published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, revealed kava could be an alternative treatment to pharmaceutical products for the many people who suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorders (GAD).

Unlike some other pharmaceutical options, kava has less risk of dependency and less potential for side effects.

During the eight-week study, 75 patients with clinically diagnosed GAD were given kava or placebo, and anxiety levels were regularly assessed.

Results showed a significant reduction in anxiety for the kava group compared to the placebo group at the end of the study.