Health Tip – July 6 – Kava Relieves Anxiety

Filed under: Dee Dee |

Feeling anxious is stressful for our bodies and minds. Instead of taking a pharmaceutical to help quell anxiety, consider kava. From a tropical plant (Piper methysticum), kava is related to black pepper and native to islands of the South Pacific, where it has a long history of use.

Kava is an excellent anti-anxiety remedy – it works quickly to relieve anxiety, often with one or two doses, and has been shown in controlled human trials to be as effective as benzodiazepine drugs. It provides a sedative effect as well.

Because of rare reports of liver toxicity associated with certain types of kava products, no one with a history of liver disease should use kava. It may have an additive effect with alcohol and other depressant drugs, and may interfere with the metabolism of a large number of medications – ask your doctor. Otherwise it is generally safe.

You can buy powdered whole kava root to make into tea or other drinks, but you can also get extracts standardized to 30 percent kavalactones. Dosage is 100-200 mg, two or three times a day as needed. Don’t use it continually over long periods of time (more than a few months).

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