If you’re looking for an all-natural plant-based medicine to help your mind, there’s one shrub you might be overlooking.
As a shrub related to the pepper family and native to the Pacific islands, it’s been integral to the physical and mental health of those cultures for hundreds of years. The root of the plant is traditionally used to make a beverage that is said to have sedative and euphoric effects.
Today, we’re going to dig deep into some of the biggest kava benefits. Although there is lots of promising research being done on the kava plant, it should be said that there are potential kava side effects as well. If you’re thinking of trying this plant, you should do your research to find out if it’s a good fit.
1. Good for Anxiety
As a society, we’re having to come to terms with the widespread nature of our mental health issues. More people are being diagnosed with general anxiety and depression all the time, so the need for safe natural alternatives to intense prescription drugs has become a real talking point.
According to a study conducted in 1997, kava significantly decreased the severity of the participants’ anxiety compared with the placebo. With fewer side effects than most prescription drugs, using kava for anxiety relief seems like a promising area of research.
2. Sleep Aid
Kava is well known for its sedative effects, which makes it an incredible supplement to help with conditions like insomnia. Traditionally, drugs used to sleep aid, as with drugs used to treat anxiety and depression, can be habit-forming. Something natural like kava takes less of a toll on the body and has calming effects that are helpful in inducing sleep.
3. Stress Relief
Likewise, these calming effects are helpful in fighting off feelings of stress that so often result from a general anxiety disorder. The plant, or the nectar made from it, makes you feel happy, relaxed, and calm.
Check out this site to get more info on kava as a stress reliever.
4. PMS Pain Relief
PMS symptoms tend to include things like hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, irritability, and increased anxiety. Based on what we’ve seen in research on the kava plant’s anti-anxiety and stress relief qualities, it could be used as an aid for menopausal and perimenopausal women.
Although the research is in its early days, there have been 3 clinical trials performed on women experiencing PMS symptoms, many of whom reported decreased symptoms after taking the kava.
5. Improved Brain Function
During a small trial of only 20 people, a single dose of kava extract appeared to improve both accuracy and performance in attention, visual processing, and working memory exercises. Another small trial showed promising results in a word recognition task.
Although these trials are small and infrequent, there’s promising evidence that in small doses, kava can act as a cognitive aid. It’s proven that too much kava can actually impair brain activity, however.
Treading Lightly With Kava
As you can see, there are many promising fields of research when it comes to kava, but it’s important not to get completely caught up in the kava benefits. There are numerous potential side effects when too much kava is consumed; notably, liver damage, dizziness, and headaches. That said, when used carefully, kava seems to really benefit every aspect of the body and mind that we discussed today, so try it out and see if it works for you.
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