Kava helps elevate moods

Kava helps elevate moods

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Kava helps elevate moods

Kava is a renowned ceremonial drink throughout the Pacific Islands. In addition to the ceremonial uses, it is known to elevate moods, well-being and produce a feeling of relaxation. Some people refer to its effects are similar to alcohol in providing contentment. Thus far, Pacific Islanders find it useful to treat anxiety, insomnia and relative nervous disorders.

Kava roots are pounded or ground into powder and mixed with cold water to prepare kava drink. It results in thick latte like brew ready to consume. Perhaps it may be likened to the social equivalent of wine. Kava brew is offered to guests and dignitaries visiting the Pacific Islands. Nowadays kava is well known as a ‘welcome’ drink throughout the Pacific Islands.

Health authorities

Despite its benefits in treating several ailments, it may cause harm with excessive consumption. It depends on the strength of the mix too. Therefore, one should drink kava in moderation. However, the benefits and euphoric experiences out way the concerns. For example, excessive kava drinking may cause liver damage. However, researchers have not been able to confirm that kava is toxic to the liver. Thus far, it is not clear if kava itself causes liver damage. Similarly it is not proven that drinking kava in combination with other drugs or herbs is responsible for liver damage. Furthermore, it lacks evidence to determine if kava is dangerous at previously recommended doses.

While some countries restrict kava availability in the market, the USA leads kava trend. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issues regular consumer advisory. In March 2002 it announced the ‘rare’, however, potential risk of liver issues.

Correct dose

It is rather impossible to determine the correct dose because of many variables. Some of these variables are person’s build, age, mood, strength and quantity of kava consumed. Therefore most health advisory is to consume kava under a doctor’s supervision. Particularly to the novice consumers. Furthermore, do not mix kava with alcohol. There are evidence that abusing the use of kava consumption may cause damage to your health.

Helping health problems

Kava is known to be helpful for several health condition too. A number if clinical studies suggest kava is helpful to effectively treat anxiety symptoms. For example, in a review of seven scientific studies researchers found that a standardised kava extract was substantially more effective than placebo in treating anxiety. Another study concluded kava had significant effect in improving symptoms after only one week of treatment. There are other studies that show kava may be as effective as some prescription antianxiety drugs. Thus far, according to one research, kava and Valium cause similar changes in brain wave activities. It suggests they may work in the same ways to calm the mind. However, research on using kava for anxiety has decreased since the reporting of liver toxicity.

Positive results

A 2004 research confirms that 300mg of kava may improve mood and cognitive performance. This is significant result as some prescription medication used to treat anxiety tend to decrease cognitive functions.

Preliminary evidence confirms that kava may help improve the quality of sleep. It also reduces the amount of time taken to fall asleep. However, due to concerns of kava safety and the fact that other herbs can help treat sleeplessness, kava is not the first choice to treat insomnia.

The main active ingredients in kava root are called kavalactones. These chemicals have been extensively researched in laboratory over time. They are known to reducing convulsions, promote sleep and relax muscles. These chemicals have pain-relieving properties too. Thus far, it explains a temporary numbness and tingling sensation on the tongue.