The Rise Of Kava As Alternative Treatment For Anxiety and Depression

The Rise Of Kava As Alternative Treatment For Anxiety and Depression

There are many studies that have linked or confirmed the correlation between stress and certain mental illnesses, especially chronic mental health. Though there are several treatment options, it is the effect of kava (botanical name is Piper Methysticum) in alleviating mental health that is gradually gaining the attention of mental health experts.


Clinical Studies

Several studies show that the ratio of white matter to gray matter is higher for people with stress disorders like, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), than people who don’t have it. Though there is still lack of understanding about this link, it is the positive results of treatment with kava that is of much concern.
According to Dr. Sione Vaka, a Massey University Lecturer in nursing, his research along with some other studies which are based on previous studies of Tongan men show that kava had a positive effect on mental health.


Impact Of Stress On Mental Health

As stated earlier, also corroborated by Dr. Vaka’s study of the mental health of people who lead busy lifestyles like residents of New Zealand, was shown to contrast reasonably with that of those in kava drinking Pacific cultures and traditions, though these communities are basically known for a more relaxed, slow-paced lifestyle. This marked difference can also be explained by the fact that kava as a herbal remedy, has some calming, relaxant properties. This study is not yet closed though, as funds have been made available to expand the research further.


Other Possible Health Benefits Of Kava

As shown earlier, chronic stress has correlations with obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, a weakened immune system, and of course mental health problems. Many studies also show a correlation between stress and depression/anxiety disorders. This seems to confirm that traditionally prepared kava (mixed with other elements, and sap from sources in Micronesia), not only reduced anxiety as confirmed by several clinical studies by Australian universities but also proved efficacious in the inhibition of breast and colon cancer cells.


Health Concerns About Kava

But to avoid adverse side effects, it has to be taken in the recommended dosage. Above the recommended dosage becomes dangerous to your health.
Though kava has gained considerable popularity among Americans, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), and relevant bodies in Canada, Germany, and others, however, warn of certain health risks associated with an overdose.


The side effects may include numbness in the mouth, skin rash, headaches, mild dizziness and even damage to the liver. It is also shown to cause adverse interactions with beverage alcohol and some classes of prescription drugs.


A Magical, Herbal Remedy

While kava has been shown to be very effective in treating ailments related to stress and mental health, its efficacy stretches beyond these. A panel, including physicians and pharmacists, called the German commission, confirmed the efficacy of Kava in the relief of stress, restlessness, insomnia, sore and stiff muscles, toothache, sore gums, uncontrolled epilepsy, deficit/hyperactivity disorder, menstrual cramps, and jet lag.

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