Kava – The Cult Herb With The Big Following
When cult magazine Rolling Stone dedicated an article in their March 2018 edition to ‘Kava: The all-natural high sweeping America’, the herbal preparation known previously only to South Pacific Islanders, found itself in the centre of mainstream culture.
In an age where 15% of the Australian population suffers from some form of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Kava is rapidly gaining popularity as a natural herbal support (indeed, Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof Journal have coined it ‘Nature’s Xanax’ and referred to Kava as ‘chamomile on steroids’).
As a modern antidote to symptoms of anxiety, insomnia and menopause, Kava Kava is traditionally used by Pacific Islander populations as a welcome drink, social lubricant and spiritual connector, and imbibed in liquid form. Recent clinical research suggests that the active ingredients in Kava, called kavalactones, display several therapeutic properties: they calm the body, relax the nervous system, quieten the overactive brain, and work via neurotransmitter modulation in the brain. This supports traditional uses of the herb as a mood support, stress reliever and muscle relaxer.
Kava functions well as a tool for insomnia and stress-related sleep disturbance, as it balances brain neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. Interestingly, Kava is also known to cross the blood-brain-barrier in around 40 minutes, making it an ideal treatment for anxiety and panic attacks. It is used to regulate sleep patterns and decrease levels of tension and trauma, making it suitable for shift workers, those with high-pressure jobs and women suffering from symptoms of menopause. Menopause is a condition that combines symptoms of anxiety, mood disturbance, brain fog and insomnia, and as such, Kava is the perfect addition to a menopause-treatment regime.
While Kava Kava is a well-known traditional herbal tonic, it is known to inhibit the liver cytochrome P450 enzyme that is used to metabolize many drugs and therefore may have the ability to alter potency of medications. As such, it is important to be aware of possible herb-drug interactions when using Kava (Kava is known to interact with sedative medications, antidepressants and Parkinson’s medications among others). For this reason, Kava should also not be mixed with alcohol. As an anxiolytic, Kava is incredibly useful in treating anxiety, panic attacks and insomnia, however use of the herb for longer than 3 months is not recommended, due to its ability to modulate neurotransmitter potential. Follow these instructions and enjoy the benefits of restful sleep, muscle relaxation, and stress with the tropical herb, Kava.