The origins of Kava (also known as awa) or Piper methysticum are controversial. Some say it was first used in Northern Vanuatu. Others believe it originates from Melanesia or Papua New Guinea. Captain Cook referenced the herbal remedy in his travels throughout Polynesia, and it is revered as sacred in Hawaii, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, and other cultures today. Kava was ground and used as a ceremonial drink thousands of years ago to achieve a higher state of consciousness, or simply chewed to reduce bacterial infections. It has many scientifically–proven, medicinal benefits.
Benefits of KAVA
Kava is largely an anxiety-calming root herb, used for centuries to help heal depression and ease frazzled nerves, but the compounds within Kava have also been show to heal cancerous tumors, treat urinary tract infections, ease menstrual discomfort and more.
How Does KAVA Work?
The primary active compounds in KAVA are kavalactones which appear to support the limbic system – an ancient part of the brain known as the seat of human emotion. Kavalactones appear to have a calming effect without causing any side effects. They help to bring oxygen-rich blood to the brain, and protect it from necrosis.
Another compound found in KAVA is Kawain. This plant compound is anesthetic, anticonvulsant, antiinflammatory, antiseptic, fungicidal, myorelaxant, sedative, and tranquilizing. Piper methysticum has one of the highest levels of Kawain in any plant species.
The pain reducing compounds include dihydrokavain and dihydromethysticin, which act like aspirin in the body, but without the side effects. Kava is also non-addictive and non-narcotic.
Kava can be taken at different dosages depending on one’s constitution. Some will find they are more sensitive to it than others. You can start with as little as 100 mg daily and work up to a larger dose dependent upon your personal constitution.
Side Effects of KAVA
Side effects of any type are unusual and mild, however, it can sometimes cause liver damage in those who drink it in copious amounts. Some believe a “Kava scare” involving reports of liver damage was manufactured by pharmaceutical companies because it started being used widely as a remedy for many health issues, including depression. Kava can also cause a skin rash in some people.
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult your qualified healthcare provider before beginning any diet or program.
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