What is Kava Kava? Benefits & Side Effects

Kava kava is a drink used in the South Pacific for centuries as a ceremonial drink. More recently, it has become popular in the United States as a natural tranquilizer and relaxant. Kava kava has a variety of potential benefits, but it can also cause side effects. In this blog post, we'll discuss what kava kava is, its benefits and side effects, and how to drink it safely.

What is Kava Kava? 

Kava kava is a heart-shaped shrub native to the tropics with woody stems and evergreen leaves. Piper methysticum is how it's known scientifically. In the Pacific Islands, kava kava has been consumed as a ceremonial beverage for millennia. It has also allegedly been utilized for therapeutic purposes. Some people take kava kava to help them relax, while others use it to help with anxiety or insomnia.

Kava kava is available as an extract, powder, capsule, or tea. It's also sometimes added to soaps, lotions, and other beauty products. You can find kava kava in health food stores, online, or at some traditional grocery stores. Keep reading to learn more about kava kava's benefits and side effects.

Kava kava has gained popularity recently in Western nations as a healthy relaxing alternative to alcohol or narcotics. But what else can this potent beverage do? Let's look at some of the lesser-known benefits of kava kava.

Benefits of Kava Kava

Reduces Anxiety

One of the most well-known benefits of kava kava is its ability to reduce anxiety. This tropical root has been used for centuries in Polynesian cultures to calm nerves and ease anxiety. If you're looking for a natural way to reduce stress and anxiety, kava kava may be worth trying.

Improves Sleep Quality

Another everyday use for kava kava is to improve sleep quality. This drink is often consumed before bed in Polynesian cultures for its relaxing effects. And there's science to back up these claims; studies have shown that kava kava can help people fall asleep faster and improve the quality of their sleep.

If you're struggling with insomnia or other sleep issues, kava kava may be able to help.

Are you interested in trying kava? Checkout our collection of kava products. 

Relieves Pain

In addition to its calming effects, kava kava also has pain-relieving properties. This makes it an effective treatment for conditions like headaches, arthritis, and menstrual cramps.

Kavalactones, the active compounds in kava kava, work by blocking calcium channels in nerve cells, which reduces pain signals from being sent to the brain. If you're looking for a natural way to relieve pain, give kava kava a try.

As you can see, there are many benefits to drinking kava kava. This traditional Polynesian beverage can help reduce anxiety, improve sleep quality, and relieve pain. If you're looking for a natural way to relax or ease any ailments you may be experiencing, give this potent drink a try.

Related Link: "The Water of Life": Kava Ritual and the Logic of Sacrifice

Possible Side Effects of Kava Kava

Kava kava is a popular herbal supplement that is often taken to help with anxiety, stress, and insomnia. While kava kava is generally considered to be safe, there are some potential side effects that you should be aware of before taking it.

One of the most common side effects of kava kava is liver damage. Kava kava contains a chemical called pyrone that can damage the liver. If you drink kava kava on a regular basis, you may be at risk for developing liver disease.

There have been reports of people developing hepatitis and even liver failure after drinking kava kava. If you have any history of liver problems, you should avoid drinking kava kava altogether.

Another potential side effect of kava kava is drowsiness. Because of the sedative properties of the drink, you may feel very tired after drinking it.

If you are planning on driving or operating heavy machinery, you should avoid drinking kava kava. You should also avoid drinking alcohol while taking kava kava since it can intensify the effects of both substances.

Lastly, some people may experience skin problems after taking kava kava, such as redness, itching, or rash. If you experience any of these side effects, discontinue use and consult with your doctor.

Kava Kava can also interact with certain medications. If you are taking any prescription drugs, you should talk to your doctor before drinking kava kava since it can interact with medications like antidepressants, blood thinners, and heart medication.

It’s also important to note that pregnant or nursing women should not drink kava kava since it can cause harm to the baby. 

While there are some potential side effects of drinking kava kava, it’s important to remember that these effects are rare and typically only occur when the drink is consumed in large quantities or on a regular basis. If you’re considering trying kava kava, be sure to talk to your doctor first.

Related Link: De-mythologizing and re-branding the traditional drink kava

How Much Kava Kava Should You Take?

The answer to this question depends on several factors, including your age, weight, and health condition. If you are healthy and aged 18 years or older, the recommended dose of kava kava is 200 mg to 300 mg three times daily. However, if you are aged 60 years or older, the recommended dose is 100 mg to 200 mg two times daily. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is best to avoid kava kava altogether. 

Wanting to find a Kava company you can trust? Learn about our story. 

Taking Kava Kava

Kava Kava has been used for centuries as a ceremonial drink in the South Pacific, and more recently it’s become popular in the United States as a natural anxiety reliever. If you’re looking to try kava for yourself, we have a wide selection of products available on our website. Visit our shop to learn more about kava kava and find the perfect product for your needs.

Related Link: The History of Kava Origins

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