What is Kava Kava used for? How well does Kava work for anxiety?

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Many of us are victims of stress which is totally out of control. It is an unwanted friend who never leaves you alone once attached. Are you a sufferer of depression too? Are you fearful to try medicines for their side effects? If yes, there is a safe solution for you. Kava Kava naturally cures anxiety and depression. It is a traditional drink as an alternative to coffee and tea which works like magic. Sounds unbelievable right? This article will help you to know the secret benefits of Kava and how it works for reducing anxiety.

What Is Kava Kava?

Kava Kava also known as simply Kava is a traditional drink of South Pacific region. It is an herbal based formula which has many health benefits for you. It is long associated with to cure sleeplessness, anxiety, and depression yet it might not be suitable for everyone. It has also been a traditional element in various cultural and religious ceremonies. To avail the healthy benefits of it, the information and usage should be made available by everyone.

How does Kava work?

Kava Kava is an extraction from a plant named Piper methysticin (a plant from pepper family) which is used to make drinks. The name of this plant has a literal meaning of intoxicating plant that shows it has some hallucinating effect to makes you feel lighter. In ancient times, it was chewed to gain a temporary relief from tension, stress, and insomnia. Kava for anxiety has roots from history which later on proved to be a natural antidepressant according to medical researchers. Kava is available in the form of the herb, herbal extract, tincture tea and supplements in the form of pill and powder.

Cultural significance of Kava

Many cultural and religious groups prefer a nonalcoholic lifestyle. Yerba mate is a traditional drink in South America. Matcha is a popular similar drink of Japan. For South Pacific region, Kava is the most favorite drink of all times. Communities from Micronesia, Hawaii, and Polynesia share a common festive drink made of Kava plant root for thousands of years. The taste is unique, makes your mouth numb and creates a relaxed feeling similar to a modern day spa treatment. According to a research contributed on the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, the Kava helps for anxiety treatment since all the tensions are vanished by the last sip, and no side effects are caused since it’s an herbal product.

Kava – The natural Valium

The active ingredients of Kava are certain phytonutrients called kavalactones. These lactones attach to the receptors which are linked with mood swings, cravings, and addictions. Thus, the potential for abrupt behavioral changes is reduced to the minimum. It is even beneficial to overcome the harmful addictions of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. For its supportive and relaxing help, Kava is often called as natural Valium. It is part of daily intake for many people who use it in tea. It contributes to balance the hormonal elevations and behavioral changes in them.

Mental support by Kava

Many research groups worked to study the effective dosage for treating depression, stress, and anxiety by Kava. Kava dosage for anxiety has a mixed opinion, but a majority of the scientists agreed to an average intake of 210-240 mg.

However, a research group of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Guide from Maryland suggested it to be 300mg. Kava makes you drowsy, so the recommended dose is never higher. Also, it is advised to be taken in the evening so that it doesn’t hinder to the routine of any user. A misunderstanding with kava is that it elevates you in no time and disables you for doing concentration required tasks e.g. driving, which is not true.

A research published in Traffic Injury Prevention Journal (2013) shows that it doesn’t hider with a person’s mental abilities while driving. Kava, being the nature’s gift to us works slowly. Some people feel relaxed even after the 2-4 dose and others take a long time to feel a difference.

Is Kava safe to use?

The best thing about Kava is that it doesn’t interfere with your reaction time which is a common drawback of other antidepressant medicines.  A research study from 2015, published in Trails journal proved it to be a safe first line of choice for the treatment of general anxiety disorders (GAD). There are some side effects associated with standard antidepressants which are no more threatening if they are replaced with Kava Kava. Depression patients are often characterized as low self-esteem and low sex drive surfers.

A clinical study from University of Melbourne (2013) proved Kava to be aphrodisiac which increases the libido in its users. It shows that Kava is beneficial for boosting sex drive along with reducing stress.

Availability and warnings

Kava use for anxiety is banned in most of the countries due to rawness regarded with an extra high amount of toxicity. This toxicity is dangerously harmful to the liver and because of this, its usage is controlled and banned in some areas of UK, France, USA, Australia, Canada, Germany, and Switzerland. But only the raw form of Kava is banned, it is easily available as a dietary supplement in all commercial markets.

Kava’s dosage for dietary supplements was carefully determined. It is recommended to discuss the doctor before selecting a dosage for yourself because there are several situations where it should not be used.  Pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, underage children and liver patients are never allowed to use it. Since Kava has active chemicals in it, there are a lot of other chemicals to which it can interact and harm the body, for this reason, it is not advised to be taken with any other medication.

The bottom line

Even with a ban on its sale, it is popular in tribal communities, and it barely experiences any health concern. There is a particular recipe to use this plant in drinks which are less harmful as highlighted by the researchers. Even after all studies, Kava is a popular choice for a study to determine the toxicity levels of its parts and the methods to expand its medicinal values. As a traditional drink and dietary supplement, the accurate measure is to watch its dose along with the health status of the user. It should not be mixed with other supplements, antidepressants, alcohol or drugs. In the case of any side effect, immediate rush to the health provider is advised.

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