Welcome to another OddLearning post!

Since we love to write about how to improve our health with natural Remedies, today we bring you information on the Kava plant. You might have heard of it already as it’s a common ingredient in supplements to relieve anxiety, stress, depression and more.

But we want to share in detail the amazing properties it has, and the best way to consume it. It might be something worth looking into to help you improve your health!

Let us start:

Kava or kava-kava (Piper methysticum: Latin “pepper” + Latinized Greek “intoxicating”) is a crop member of the pepper family that grows as a bush in the South Pacific. 

The name kava (kava) is from Tongan and Marquesan, meaning “bitter”

The roots of the plant are used to produce a drink with sedativeanestheticeuphoriant, and entheogenic properties.

It’s active ingredients are called kavalactones.

Kava can be a good, safe, natural remedy for depression, anxiety, or insomnia.

Over the centuries, kava has been used in the traditional medicine of the South Pacific Islands for central nervous system and peripheral effects. Peripherally, kava is indicated in traditional Pacific medicine for:

  • Urogenital conditions
    • Gonorrhea infections
    • Chronic cystitis
    • Difficulty urinating
  • Reproductive and Women’s health
  • Gastrointestinal upsets
  • Respiratory ailments
    • Asthma,
    • Coughs 
    • Tuberculosis
  • Skin diseases and Topical wounds
  • Analgesic.

Kava root, ground up and mixed with coconut milk, is used by the South Pacific islanders in celebrations and ceremonies

Kava is described in medical terms as being a sedative and muscle relaxant, and in lay terms as a calming drink that brings on a feeling of contentment and well-being and encourages socializing.

Kava is also a pain reliever and can often be used in place of the NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen).
In Europe, numerous double-blind and placebo studies have consistently shown kava to be as effective in treating anxiety and depression as the so-called antianxiety agents such as the benzodiazepines (oxazepams such as Serax, diazepams such as Valium), without the side effects.

The Benzodiazepines tend to cause lethargy, drowsiness, and mental impairment.

(We have listed benzodiazepines in our Previous post of the  “Top 20 Most Dangerous Drugs”  if you would like to learn more about them, make sure to check it out!)

But in one double blind placebo study done with 84 people with anxiety symptoms, taking 400 mg daily of kavain, a purified kavalactone (an active ingredient of kava), was shown to improve concentration, memory, and reaction time.

For over 100 years,scientists have been trying to figure out exactly what it is in kava that gives it sedative and antidepressant properties.

Although they have isolated chemical compounds named “kavalactones” which do act as sedatives and antidepressants when given alone, an extract of the whole root has always worked better.

In medicinal doses, kava has no known side effects.

But as anything in life, too much can have serious side effects, very high doses can cause sleepiness and over a long period of time can cause skin irritation, inflammation in the eyes, and liver damage.

The best way to take kava is powdered, in a capsule, or as an extract.

Traditionally, it is prepared by either chewing, grinding or pounding the roots of the kava plant. Grinding is done by hand against a cone-shaped block of dead coral; the hand forms a mortar and the coral a pestle. The ground root is combined with only a little water, as the fresh root releases moisture during grinding. Pounding is done in a large stone with a small log. The product is then added to cold water and consumed as quickly as possible.

The taste is slightly PUNGENT, while the distinctive aroma depends on whether it was prepared from dry or fresh plant, and on the variety. The colour is grey to tan to opaque greenish.

Kava prepared as described above is much more potent than processed kava. Chewing produces the strongest effect because it produces the finest particles. Fresh, undried kava produces a stronger beverage than dry kava. The strength also depends on the species and techniques of cultivation. Many find mixing powdered kava with hot water makes the drink stronger.

Kava beverage has a long history of consumption in the South Pacific and has an important role in traditional community ceremonies. In recent times, it has become more widely consumed as a recreational beverage in both the South Pacific islander community as well as in the wider international community. Within these communities, kava is considered to be a safe and enjoyable beverage, based on a long tradition of use and little evidence of harm.

There is little documented evidence of adverse health effects associated with traditional moderate levels of consumption of kava beverage, with only anecdotal reports of general symptoms of lethargy and headaches.

So what do you think of Kava?

Kava truly has amazing properties to improve our health, and as we state in every post related to health, we always recommend you consult with your doctor if you have any doubts before using it.

No medicine can eradicate anxiety or depression in a few hours, but there’s a lot of things that you can do to contribute to your healing process, one that i did is taking natural supplements to ease the tension, as i dislike dependency of pharmaceutical drugs.

We truly hope this information is useful to you or someone you know!

If you have any questions, or you would like for us to talk about other Plants and their properties Please let us  know on the comments!

We hope you and your loved ones are healthy and enjoying life to the fullest!

 

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