What Exactly Is Kava?
To start off, let’s talk about what exactly kava is. Kava is a South Pacific beverage and is a plant that is typically used by the indigenous people of the region. In addition to treating anxiety, stress, insomnia, and other disorders, kava can also be used to treat a wide range of conditions. The kava extract is traditionally prepared from a combination of kava root and water.
There are many different forms of kava which include concrete paste, root tea, root extract, root capsules, root powder, and tincture. The teas, roots, and capsules of kava are milder in effects, but tinctures and powders tend to produce stronger effects. As Kava paste is highly concentrated, it tends to produce stronger effects.
Benefits Of Kava
Kava And Anxiety
Kava induces sensations of relaxation and, at times, exhilaration. If your worry is keeping you awake, a high enough dose may even help you sleep. Kava is less addictive than several antianxiety and sleep drugs. The receptors in your brain are activated by kava, resulting in a relaxing effect.
Kava inhibits monoamine oxidase, which avoids a drop in norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine levels, and relaxes muscles by lowering beta adrenaline receptor activity. Kava extract was just as effective as two anti-anxiety medicines in a clinical experiment on 129 people with generalized anxiety disorder.
Several human investigations have shown that kava reduces anxiety, regardless of the symptoms or kind of disease (nonspecific anxiety, tension, agitation, agoraphobia, specific phobia, or general anxiety disorder).
Kava And Depression
Oral kava extract decreased both anxiety and depressive symptoms in a clinical study of 60 people with generalized anxiety disorder. A limited study of 28 people with major depressive illness, it was able to improve depression (but not anxiety or quality of life).
When studying human and animal trials, kava created a happy mental state while lowering weariness and anxiety. In cell models, kavalactones in kava raised dopamine, serotonin, GABA (slightly), and lowered glutamate.
At the dose and period investigated, the aqueous Kava formulation demonstrated considerable anxiolytic and antidepressant efficacy while posing no safety issues. Kava appears to be equally useful in situations of anxiety and sadness.
Kava And Sleep Disorders
For good reason, one of the most common reasons individuals take kava supplements or drink kava tea is to aid with sleep. Kava relaxes the muscles and soothes the mind, helping us to sleep longer in deeper restorative periods. Sleeping disorders are common in the modern world, with some estimates claiming that up to one-third of the general population suffers from some type of insomnia.
Insomnia has a significant detrimental influence on our health, both short and long-term. The most commonly used treatments for insomnia are medications, which have a long list of negative side effects and are considered extremely addictive.
In 24 individuals suffering from stress-induced insomnia, kava lowered stress and enhanced sleep quality. Kava extract has been found to be beneficial while a study has been conducted in treating 61 individuals suffering from sleep disorders caused by worry, stress, and restlessness.
Kava’s possibly sedative effects are attributed to sodium and calcium ion channel blockage enhanced neurotransmitter binding to GABA-A receptors, inhibition of monoamine oxidase B, and a rise in the neurotransmitters noradrenaline and dopamine. Although encouraging, there is inadequate data to support the use of kava in sleep problems. More studies would work in the community’s favor to try and find more answers to these problems.
Kava And Brain Function
Kava includes many different things in it that cause their effects. These chemicals have a similar effect on the brain as alcohol. As a result, they relax the muscles and provide pain relief. Kava can elicit a variety of physiological and psychological reactions, but the most noticeable kava root effect is relaxation without cognitive impairment.
Kava has been shown in several trials to be useful in alleviating anxiety symptoms. One research found that kava and diazepam (Valium) caused similar changes in brain wave activity, indicating that they may function in the same manner to relax the mind.
Women experiencing emotional and physical pain during PMS may greatly benefit from Kava’s calming effects.
Kava has been used as a ceremonial drink in the Pacific Ocean for hundreds of years. Because of its active ingredient, kavalactones, it has several traditional applications and advantages. These advantages include functioning as a pain reliever, sedative, anxiety reduction, antispasmodic, local anesthetic, and more.
While there has been little research on Kava’s precise benefits on PMS symptoms, a three-month randomized trial revealed that it helped improve mood, particularly anxiety, in perimenopausal women. Another research discovered that kava relieved symptoms of anxiety, tension, and restlessness after discontinuing benzodiazepine medication.
Hot flashes, nocturnal sweats, sleeplessness, and increased anxiety and irritability are among symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. In three clinical studies involving 120 perimenopausal and menopausal women, kava relieved anxiety, sadness, irritability, and sleeplessness. It raised dopamine levels in the brain via activating GABA-A receptors, inhibiting monoamine oxidase-B, and inhibiting monoamine oxidase-B.
Helping Treat Drug Addiction
There is ongoing research related to kava and how it helps treat people with drug addictions. In a pilot study, kava decreased cravings for addictive medications in drug-dependent individuals. Anti-craving effects of kava are attributed to dopamine-producing neurons in the brain’s system. The Dopamine in the brain will be increased by the kava.