Molecule of the Day

Kavain is a member of a class of compounds known as the kavalactones. (A lactone is a cyclic ester; click here for examples).

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Kavain is a species found in the kava plant, which is used by the aboriginal residents of some Pacific islands and has psychoactive activity. It’s attracted use as a dietary supplement lately. It’s also attracted some attention for possible toxicity, particularly to the liver.