Many people use herbal medicines in many parts of the world to cure insomnia and anxiety. One of the more popular herb remedies is the kava plant which is often available in grocery stores and online shops. They can be bought in powder form, capsules, and more.
The plant has euphoric and calming effects that many people think are similar to that of alcohol. Kava has a long history of being used in various traditional ceremonies, and it acts as a medicine in some cultures. Traditionally, this product is mixed in water, sifted, and made into tea. However, you can also get these in tablet forms.
According to the NIH, the kava plant can reduce anxiety, but it may have side effects in higher doses. Visit the U Calming Co for more information about these products and get more ideas about their benefits. You’ll also be able to know about another substance called kratom that’s often compared to a kava but contains different compounds.
In countries like the United States, it’s legal to sell kava as an alternative remedy. However, not all products are created equal, and there’s a warning from the FDA about consumers doing their own research and being vigilant when buying.
About the Kava Plant
The kava or piper methysticum plant is a native of the islands found in the Pacific Ocean. Many natives have made powders from the herb’s root so that they can mix this with coconut milk or water. This is one of their traditional teas and drinks that are thought to have anxiolytic effects.
During a religious ceremony or an important cultural event, the natives would drink kava to create a more altered state of mind. Some believe that this is better than drinking whiskey or beer. Many of them develop tablets or powder from the dried roots for medicinal purposes.
Consuming the powdered root will usually give a euphoric or relaxing effect. Many scientists may consider this as an anxiolytic drug that produces the same effect as alcohol. It can relieve stress, anxiety, and depression to many people, and others even consider this a recreational drug.
Other Possible Health Benefits and Uses
One of the primary uses of kava is to reduce an individual’s anxiety and stress. There are various studies about people wanting to ease their symptoms because anxiety disorders can be debilitating. It’s not surprising that so many are looking for ways to cure them.
In a study done by scientists in 2013, 74 participants experiencing anxiety disorders were given placebo drugs and kava-infused pills for six weeks. At the end of the research, there are findings where kava was found to have a significant effect on reducing many anxiety-related symptoms. The most reported side effect was a headache, but aside from that, there seems to be no liver damage or any other side effects associated with the kava plant.
This study suggests to the authors that the herb may be a valuable treatment for short-term anxiety. Review research done in 2011 also indicated that the plant can help improve anxiety and stress. But the authors also added that more studies are needed about the effectiveness and safety of this drug.
The plant is believed to be able to induce sleep because it has several anxiolytic effects. Because of this, individuals have used this as an alternative when they are experiencing sleep disorders. Many products in the market may even knock out an individual if given at a higher dose.
Safety and Precautions
Research suggests that too much consumption of the kava plant may result in liver damage, and it can have an adverse effect on the liver cells and may appear to be hepatotoxic. Get more info about the plant in this link here. This is one of the reasons why the plant has been banned in many countries like Germany, the UK, Canada, and Switzerland.
In the US, it’s still legal to have kava because of its various uses as possible treatments for many diseases/ However, if you have hepatitis, it’s better to avoid it and consult a doctor for more information. Other medical issues that are related to the plant are the following:
- Extreme fatigue
- Nauseating effects
- Rash if you’re allergic to the product
- Over the top levels of enzymes
- Yellowing of the eyes and skin or jaundice
If an individual is experiencing these kinds of symptoms, it’s better to stop using these products for now and get immediate medical help. Despite doing their best, many scientists are still unsure of how the plant causes liver damage. Long-term uses and high dosages may lead to eye problems, heart attacks, yellowish skin, and scaly dermis.
How to Use this Herb
If you’re going to consume this traditionally, you should turn the root into a paste then mix it with water. Boil the mixture and make a tea out of it. Some stores have pre-made kava tea, so it’s best to check them out.
This drug can also come in various liquid forms like juice and drinks. There are capsules and tablets that you can get, and the optimum dose should be no more than 250 mg. Know that there are no studies about taking this herb while pregnant, so it’s best to avoid it altogether.
Interactions with Medications and other Drugs
Consult your doctor if you’re taking other drugs for a medical condition. There can be adverse interactions, and these may increase your risk of getting liver damage. Interaction with anti-depressants and benzodiazepines is also possible and because of these, consult a physician to be on the safe side.
Herbal remedies like kava plants are used by many people around the world to have a more restful sleep and to relieve their anxieties. However, be careful when it comes to choosing products in the market because some may cause liver damage if taken at higher doses. Countries have banned this ingredient for a reason, and the FDA warns to apply extreme caution when using this. Other herbal remedies may help people with anxiety without the side effects for people who have other concerns.