Herbal Supplements
Kava: Relief for the Anxious

Kava, or Piper methysticum, has been used for centuries. Once a wild plant, kava needs to be cultivated in today’s world for it no longer grows freely. Kava has its origins in the islands in the South Pacific.

Today, kava refers to both the plant and to the actual ceremonial drink that the natives once used. Kava is still used in many ceremonial occasions, especially in greeting honored guests from other countries.

The name, Piper methysticum, actually means, “intoxicating pepper.” The popularity of kava as a drink in the past is due to the sense of well-being that overcomes people as they drink. Despite this sense of carefree calm, kava does not have an intoxicating effect. It does not dull the senses. In fact, some studies have indicated that an individual using kava, may actually become more clear in their thinking. The active ingredients of the kava plant, methysticin, kavain, yangonin, demethoxy-yangonin, dihydrokavain, and dihydromethysticin, are kavalactones. As is common with many remedies using plants, the active ingredients of kava seem to work best when used together. Therefore, a less concentrated from of kava is often considered more effective in the treatment of certain conditions or symptoms.

In particular, kava has been effective in treating anxiety. Anxiety, a feeling of nervousness and apprehension, is a normal reaction to stress. However, if this reaction becomes persistent, then, it can have serious consequences on the person’s health.

Studies indicate that kava has been as effective as the prescription drug, oxazepam, when treating anxiety. Kava, unlike alcohol and prescription drugs, has no known detrimental long-term side effects.

Although taking large doses of kava may have an almost instantaneous reaction, taking smaller doses may require at least one or more weeks before any noticeable effect is seen. Someone, who is interested in taking a kava supplement, may need to try varying doses before they discover the one that works for them.

In fact, it may not be necessary for someone to continue taking kava on a daily basis. Many times anxiety may be a temporary part of our life and therefore, dealing with it will be just as temporary.

Kava is still used today in the South Pacific to relieve social anxiety. It tends to relax an individual so that he doesn’t worry about every little thing he says or does. In Western countries, people often turn to alcohol to relax and relieve the stress of social situations. Kava is a much better option since the side effects are negligible or non-existent.

It is important to note, however, that kava is not meant as a cure for chronic anxiety or depression. Individuals experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression over a long period of time should consult a physician.

Kava supplements are available in a variety of forms, including, capsules, liquigels, concentrates, powders, paste, elixir, and tinctures. The powders are available in several flavors, with the most popular being cocoa, spice, tropical, cinnamon, vanilla and banana. Quantity, sizes, and prices vary according to the supplier. This product is available in vitamin and supplement stores, as well as on-line.

Since this product is FDA regulated, specific dosages are recommended based on the potency of each individual product. As with any supplemental product, it is extremely important to contact your physician prior to incorporating this product into your health regimen.

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More About Kava Kava...

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The world is a two-facet coin: there are many things familiar to us, as we think; however, if we ...

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