Do you know the name of Fiji’s national drink? It’s kava!
Kava regularly features in many religious rituals and celebrations. It is purpose was to soothe the attendees and break the ice between during meetups.
In the past couple of decades or so, medicinal practitioners gained interest in the leafy plant. They deduced that the plant has the ability to bring anxiety levels down. This, in turn, helps lower the frequency of panic attacks and keeps the stress at bay. Additionally, it also helps them sleep better.
As a result, you can now easily find packets of kava supplements and bottles of tinctures or extracts in the market. They have also gained access to the kava helps patients suffering from general anxiety disorder (GAD).
Therefore we think this herbaceous spicy brew might just be the cure to your restless mind!
The Basics: What is Kava?
Kava is an evergreen plant known for its distinctive heart-shaped leaves. As stated earlier the plant is native to the Pacific Islands, specifically the Fiji region.
The plant is a member of the pepper family. Therefore its scientific name Piper Methysticum can be literally translated to mean ‘intoxicating pepper’. Its other regional names include kava-kava, awa, yaqona, sakau, and malok. This depicts that it is widely popular in Fiji, Hawaii, Samoa and other Pacific Islands.
The roots of this tropical shrub are the core of its sedative powers. This is why natives use it in ceremonies and rituals for its soothing and calming effects on the drinker. The islanders traditionally chewed the roots and spat them out to make a paste. However, now they use their hands to grind the plant.
The grinding process is then followed by stirring and straining of the extract with water. After that, the kava is ready for consumption.
- Helps in overall wellbeing of the body.
- It helps in promoting sleep and aids patients suffering from insomnia.
- Decreases the felling of anxiety and stress
The Use: What Is It Used For?
Does your anxiety keep you up? Are you prone to meltdowns? Does your mind never shut up?
Experts advise their anxiety-prone patients to dig into a fresh brew of piping hot kava.
The kava tea has slowly become a medicinal niche. The practitioners claim that it is the solution to solve many of the on-going health issues that people suffering from GAD face.
- Nervous breakdowns
It works as an anti-anxiety agent that has the ability to calm the nerves and soothe the brain. This helps the patient to relax and fall asleep easily.
The reason for its popularity lies behind the fact that it is natural. This is the best medication for anxiety drugs has lesser side-effects; it is also not as addictive as other drugs. This means that it is safe to use and the patients do not have to fear any consequences of addiction.
Overall, kava looks like the perfect remedy to reduce anxiety and its related symptoms. It helps users to unwind and relax after a stressful day. They also seek it out to help them fall asleep at night.
You might think of it as an anti-coffee that helps soothe the jitters and nerves. This makes the person’s mind slip into sleep-mode effectively.
The short answer to this common question is: not that great!
First-timers find it hard to swallow up the bitter concoction handed to them. This is because kava is basically plain root water with no added preservatives or sugar to sweeten it. Yet, the veteran drinkers will say that this changes once you have acquired the taste. Many admit to craving the earthy drink after they have become used to it.
On the contrary, green kava found on the islands is completely different. It is fresh, spicy and has a rich earthy flavor that Fiji locals savor. This might be because the Islanders have easy access to the freshest and sweetest kava in the region.
However, no matter How KAVA bad it tastes you need it for your nerves. Therefore, instead of spitting every sip, swallow the whole glass in one straight shot.
In order to know what the kava does to a person. You need to know the ingredients that take an active part in its impact on the human body.
The main components of the tropical shrub are a group of compounds called the kavalactones. This group consists of six major players that work together to calm you down.
These are their names:
This well-blended cocktail benefits the drinker in several ways.
Some of them are as follows:
There are two types of anxious people:
- Those the suffer from regular bouts of anxiety
- Those that feel anxious prior to an event
Kava can help soothe both of them. It does so with the help of kavain that works as a muscle relaxant. When your muscles and nerves feel relaxed, they will by default stop you from feeling anxious.
To Combat Insomnia Using KAVA
Did you know that anxiety can cause loss of sleep?
Many times you lay awake at night because of the anxious thoughts that keep creeping up. Using kava helps prevent this as it helps decrease nerve excitability. This causes the brain to switch off and prevent you from over-thinking.
One of the reasons is the involvement of desmethoxyyangonin. The compound triggers the secretion of dopamine in the brain. This causes the mind to go numb, happy and calm enough to sleep.
Research has shown that taking kava on a regular basis may be more beneficial than most people think.
Here are the underrated benefits of kava that no one talks about:
Kava may not be the ultimate cure for cancer but it provides you with quite a bit of protection against it! The kavalactones present in the kava extracts help to inhibit the growth of many different cancerous cells. This is why doctors consider kava to be a good shield against cancer cells that cause colon cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and brain tumor.
The kavalactones basically latch on to the multiplying cells and reduce the speed at which they breed. This helps the doctors to control cancer through other treatments.
2. Brain Booster
Oftentimes our brain stops working because of the apprehensions and anxious thoughts clouding our mind. This is why when the kava elements work against anxiety, they are also indirectly helping you to think clearly.
Kava drinkers notice an improvement in their thinking process, the accuracy of performance, and their concentration. Therefore, it is safe to say that kava does fall under the category of nootropics for reasons other than the anxiety deactivator.
Other benefits include:
- Subduing early signs of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease
- Controlling epilepsy and seizures
- Reducing inflammation
These benefits show that kava is not a one-trick pony. It is not just for anxiety issues.
It is widely sold as an herbal tea. That cures anxiety and induces sleep.
However, it is also found in the two form of:
Tinctures and Extract
The liquid form of kava is highly concentrated and highly effective. They are usually blended with juices or infused in teas. It is advised to use only a drop or two for consumption.
Capsules and Powders
Many people find the bitter taste of kava intolerable. Therefore, the medicinal market came up with capsules and powdered kava. These were as effective as the natural form of kava but didn’t taste that bad.
Moderation is the key to living a healthy life. This same rule applies while you consume kava. The recommended dosage for an average person is between 200-300 mg per day. (The dose might exceed for GAD patients)
This means roughly three cups of kava tea a day!
Experts advise you to take the supplements at regular intervals. Like those using it to cure anxiety, they can take the supplement at three separate intervals between your meals.
Those who take in kava to battle with insomnia take the sleep inducer in one dosage. It is preferable if you do so 30 minutes before you wish to sleep.
GAD patients should take their supplement tablets and capsules according to their prescriptions. Or else they can refer to the back of the tablet boxes and follow the dosage instructions. This is to ensure that they do not accidentally overdose themselves. Doing so can cause adverse reactions to the patient.
This anxiety relieving supplement is also being called the happy drink. Maybe that is why a lot of kava bars have sprouted up all around the country. This is because drinking in the shrub gives you a nice pleasant sensation.
People who recommend the supplement say that it helps them after using the drug they feel a lot calmer than before.
You can actually feel its effects:
• It relaxes your agitated muscles
• Subdues anxiety
• Lowers the stress
• Relieves you from any fatigue
• Helps to clear your mind
• Reduces pain
Many users talk about how consuming the stress relieving supplement gives them a sense of peace. They also enter a state of euphoria. This feeling of ecstasy isn’t as mind-numbing as the effects of recreational drugs like marijuana or nicotine.
As a whole, the supplement has only good effects. It helps the user slip into a sleep-mode, where he can slow down and relax.
How can it affect your life?
Regular intake of this supplement will help you sooth your distress. It is also a highly effective way to unwind in the chaotic mess, we call life.
The fact that islanders have been consuming kava for centuries without dire consequences reflects that it is a safe drink. However, you must remember that everyone reacts to things differently. This is why you may encounter minor side effects after your dosage.
- A headache
- Lack of appetite
Other than that kava also hinders the thinking process. This is why it is better to avoid driving when under the plant’s ‘influence’.
Furthermore, some people have said that they felt a mild ‘hangover’ after a night of kava drinking. Nevertheless, they believe that it is a minor setback on the road to treat their anxiety problems.
In the past decade or more, the drink has invaded pantries all across America.
Let’s hear what the users have to say:
Tracy from Texas started using kava after becoming a mother, she said:
‘‘Kava helps shut down the ‘mental talking’ that usually kept me preoccupied during the day. I have definitely become much more relaxed and calm in stressful situations.’’
A person suffering from insomnia said:
“I used to stay up all night due to my anxiety. But not anymore! A cup of Kava is all I need to sleep.’’
When asked about the side effects of Kava a user said:
‘’ If you abuse coffee, you will have side effects too. Just drink Kava in moderations and you will be okay’’
The final verdict is that kava does help you keep calm and relaxed. It also helps you unwind at night. This proves that is a must-have cure for anxious minds!
Yes, it is. Over the years, the demand for kava has increased due to the American preference for seeking natural remedies. This is why it has become a common prescription for GAD and a regulated dietary supplement too.
Furthermore, the popularity in the market has made kava one of the top three drinks in the country. Pubs and cafes have started listing it down with hot beverages like tea and coffee.
We advise our anxious readers to keep calm and drink kava!
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