Court rules anti-stress herb must remain prohibited

A HERBAL remedy which is the national beverage in the Pacific islands must stay banned in Britain, the Court of Appeal ruled yesterday.

The actress Jenny Seagrove teamed up with the National Association for Health Stores to try to overturn the prohibition on kava-kava, which she used to cope with sleeplessness.

The Department of Health imposed the ban in January 2003 after controversial reports linking kava-kava, known for its anti-stress and soothing properties, to people who had suffered liver damage.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The appeal was over a High Court ruling last December that the consultation process which led to the prohibition on the sale and import of the kava-kava root was flawed.

The appeal judges ruled that the information available when the ban was imposed was adequate for the government to reach a conclusion and order prohibition under the Medicines Act.

The UK market for kava-kava products was estimated at 7.5 million a year before the ban.