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Kava Kava

Kava kava


This is plant that is found in the pepper family. Some of the common names that are used include kava pepper, and intoxicating pepper. It is available in the form of extracts, powders, capsules and tablets.

The herb is thought to have some therapeutic effects without affecting the cognitive capacity of the mind. The resulting effects of the herb cause one to feel happy and contented. It does not have any hangovers. It is generally used in beverages as a traditional medicine.

The key ingredient in the herb is Kavalactones among other components which are found in its roots. The amount of Kavalactones varies from 20% to 3%. It can also b used to make tea and has been used for over 3000 years by those that live in the South Pacific islands for social situations.

Medicinal uses

  • The drug has been used to treat chronic anxiety. Research has shown that it is used to treat anxiety. It serves the purpose of relieving some of the anxiety symptoms especially in women who are going through menopause and those that are receiving hormone replacement therapy.
  • It also helps in insomnia whereby it improves the quality of sleep. It does this by decreasing the amount of time that it takes for you to go to sleep.
  • It has also been used for relaxation. It helps to reduce the feeling of anger or depression and induces a relaxed feeling in the body.
  • It can be used to treat urinary and bladder infections in the body. This is a proven remedy that has been used for many years.
  • It can be used to treat depression. It has anti depressant properties which are effective in treating depression.

Dosage and administration

The dosage of the herb depends largely on the health, age and other conditions experienced by the user. It is not recommended for children or for teenagers since there is no significant research that has been done on them to show the side effects of taking the drug.

The herb should not be used more than twice a week while the capsules should not be taken more than three times a week. Daily use should therefore be avoided at all costs.

Parts used

The roots are the main parts that are used for medicine


The following are some of the benefits of the Kava:

  • It helps to counter problems in the muscles. It helps to treat pain in the muscles mostly associated with a condition known as fibro myalgia. This is a condition whereby the muscles experience intense pain and within the surrounding muscle tissues.
  • The effects that the herb has can be used to surmount the challenge of drug addiction.
  • It can be used to treat some of the menopausal symptoms experienced by women.
  • When someone has suffered a stroke, they can take Kava. This is because it can be used to treat brain damage and limits the use of the part of the brain that was damaged.
  • It serves as a diuretic by eliminating excess water from the body.

Side effects

The herb has been known to cause a variety of liver problems. It is not recommended for those that have liver disease and should be taken with caution for those that have a healthy liver. Several reports have been linked to the damage of the live including liver failure, cirrhosis and hepatitis.

The FDA has issued several warnings concerning the sale of the herb. In fact some countries have banned the use of the herb. Other potential side effects of the herb include:

  • Visual disturbances.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Headaches.
  • Skin rashes.
  • Mouth numbness.
  • Indigestion.
  • Blood clotting.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • It may worsen symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
  • It increases the effect of anesthesia and should not be taken during and after surgery. In fact, it should not be used within two weeks of surgery.
  • It might increase depression.
  • Should not be taken by pregnant women because it affects the uterus.
  • Breast feeding mothers should avoid the herb because it passes on dangerous chemicals to the breast milk which might in turn affect the baby.
  • It might interact with other drugs and herbs negatively.

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