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What is Kava Good For?

Kava, or it is commonly referred to as Kava Kava is a bitter traditional herb associated with the communities residing in the south of the Pacific islands.

Originally, it was used to make a traditional beverage for use in merry making during ceremonies. The word kava stands for something bitter in the Tongan language.

The beverage has been known to give its users a ‘high’ or ‘relaxed’ feeling just like is the case with alcoholic drinks. In the recent past, kava has gained an immeasurable amount of popularity globally due to its many health benefits. Although most of these benefits have not been backed up by substantial scientific evidence, they are still sought after, for relief from several health issues.


Kava Benefits and Health Improvements

So many people struggle with the issue of insomnia, especially those with mental conditions such as bipolar. In addition, people going through stressful situations experience insomnia at some point. Insomnia in such group of people is caused by hyperactivity of neurotransmitters in their brains, hence little or no sleep at all. It is evident from scientific studies that kava has effects on brain activity. Some research findings show that kava provides drinkers with some sort of sedation and this makes them sleep a little more.

Anxiety Disorders

Just like with insomnia, people experience anxiety when their brain activity is increased and this makes them overly alert. People suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, GAD experience above normal brain activity. Upon consumption of kava, compounds known as Kavalactones find their way into the nervous system where they reduce the activity of the brain. With slowed activity of neurotransmitters and this makes the brain to relax thereby relieving the patients of anxiety.

Bearing in mind that the drink was originally used for relaxation during ceremonies, we can comfortably conclude that it replaces anxiety with an improved mood. It is also a good replacement for anxiety drugs since it does not pose of a risk of dependency. Some anxiety drugs such as diazepam usually come with adverse side effects like drowsiness. Kava on the other hand is said to fight anxiety and does not leave patients with any known side effects. The claim of kava helping with anxiety disorders can be backed up by the fact that those who chew the root in its natural form often experience some numbness in the tongue.

Reduced Risk of Cancer

Several studies conducted with mice have produced promising findings that kava helps in reducing the risk of cancer. Cancer is known to be caused by inflammation followed by the rapturing of body cells when exposed to carcinogenic compounds. The claim of kava helping to reduce the risk of cancer may be explained by its ability to reduce inflammation of body cells. However, it is important to note that these findings are limited to rodents only. No study findings point to this benefit on humans.


As previously noted, kava contains a chemical known as Kavalactones that act as anti-inflammatory agents. Although no enough scientific evidence this claim, this may explain how kava helps to reduce the effects of cancer

Alleviate Side Effects from Other Drugs

Most of the drugs used to treat the above-mentioned disorders come with several mild and sometimes serious side effects. For example, anxiety disorder patients often complain of drowsiness and sometimes nausea. Similarly, drugs used to treat serious cases of insomnia pose a risk of dependence on the drugs. This explains why such patients often have a problem with takin these drugs. However, thanks to kava, anxiety patients do not have to struggle with the adverse side effects of drugs. They can take kava and be assured of solution to their problems without any known serious side effect.

It is worth noting in all the benefits we discussed above, we have not failed to remind you that some of these uses have been backed up by very little clinical evidence. It is in this view that medical researchers across the globe continue to study the effectiveness of the herb. However, the benefits outweigh the little disadvantages associated with the herb. The supplement is used in many forms including capsule, tea and liquid. Kava tea is the most common way of consuming the supplement, while a good number of consumers dilute it to drink with several beverages. The best thing about Kava, just as most adaptogens is that it can be used for holistic treatment without the risk of adverse side effects. Kava must however, be used in the right dosages for one to make the most out of it.

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