Kava is a traditional herbal remedy for everything from anxiety to physical pain. It is derived from a root native to the Pacific Islands and has been used for centuries in that area of the world. Today, it is becoming popular in the West thanks primarily to recent research into its ability to reduce the anxiety and physical withdrawal symptoms associated with opiate and alcohol withdrawal. Read on to find out about a few of the benefits of kava to find out if it might be helpful.
Kava is often used either in conjunction with or instead of pharmaceutical medications to treat anxiety disorders. The first scientific study showing its effectiveness as a means of treating anxiety was published in 1997 and many additional studies have been performed since then backing up these results. Modern science has also shown this herbal remedy to be quite safe and free from the unpleasant side effects often associated with pharmaceutical treatments.
Some researchers believe that kava’s ability to combat insomnia is derived from its effectiveness as a remedy for stress and anxiety. Whether this is true or not, what is certain is that kava is effective at improving people’s quality of sleep. Unlike prescription medications, it is non-habit forming.
Help With Symptoms of Withdrawal
Kava has recently become popular as a means of combating alcohol and narcotic addictions. It is known to reduce cravings and to help reduce the unpleasant effects of withdrawal, making it easier for those who take it to kick their unwanted habits. The kavalactones found in kava also act on the GABA receptors stimulated by alcohol, which helps to explain why it is so effective at reducing cravings.
Traditional cultures have used kava for pain relief for centuries. Although there is little modern scientific evidence proving its effectiveness in treating pain, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence of its use throughout the past several hundred years in relieving muscle tension and increasing physical relaxation even in the face of chronic pain. Given that kava is known to be non-toxic, non-habit forming, and free of any serious side effects, there is no reason for most patients not to incorporate it into their treatment plans.