What is Kava (Kava)?

What is Kava (Kava)?

Kava has a long history of use by native cultures in traditional medicine. The most common form of consumption is by brewing a kind of tea with the ground up kava root.

Modern civilization creates stress and places us in prolonged states of emotional tension; kava is a way to relieve the negative effects of stress on your body with a natural solution.

Once you’ve taken kava, you will quickly experience an enjoyable sense of calm and relaxation.

Instead of relying on unhealthy ways to calm yourself with dangerous chemicals, you can use kava.

What is Kava (Kava)?

Kava is a relative of the pepper plant that is native to the South Pacific islands. Kava is believed to be both a sedative and a medicinal herb.

The active components of the kava plant, called kavalactones, have been extracted used to produce a biosynthetic supplement that is intended to be used as for anxiety relief and calming. [1]

It’s one of the most popular nootropics used to relieve anxiety and restore a calm mood. Why suffer through the health destroying effects of excess stress, when a healthy solution is available?

Kava has calming effects similar to calming medicines like diazepam (Valium) and has been used as an effective sleep aid. [1]

Kava is easily available from many retailers and is completely legal in the United States.

Kava is a great way to relieve anxiety and stress. It has effects that are similar to a popular prescription anxiety reliever and is easily bought from a wide range of sources.

If you need to calm yourself without using toxic chemicals, or getting a prescription; then kava could be the solution for you.

Other Names for Kava

Kava, scientific name: Piper methysticum (intoxicating pepper) is also called; Ava Pepper, Ava Root, Awa, Gea, Gi, and Intoxicating Long Pepper. [2]

Editor’s Note

The popularity of kava is easy to understand. I have suffered from anxiety and insomnia for most of my adult life and was suffering from a variety of stress-induced health problems that was negatively impacting my quality of life.

I tried kava in the hope that it would help me overcome my problems and enjoy a calm mood and restful sleep. I was not disappointed; after my first dose of kava, I felt myself gradually loosening up and my worries started to fade away slowly.

After the first hour or so I was feeling very relaxed, and my mood had improved 100% from how I felt before I had taken the kava.

I used a powder to make a kava tea and drank it slowly over about 15 minutes. I will say that the taste of kava isn’t the greatest, and I think it will take most people a while to become accustomed.

I drank the kava tea I made a couple of hours before my regular bedtime, to see the full range of effects that I might experience, but I was already chronically sleep deprived and laid down earlier than usual.

I felt wonderfully tired and had relaxing thoughts slowly going through my mind.

This is a big change for me because I usually lie down in bed and just worry about everything, and one bad thought chases after another. This is one of my biggest problems when I try to sleep.

The kava tea I made seemed to keep things from bothering me as much as before, it was a relaxing experience, and I’ve come to rely on kava to keep me rested and relieve my tendency to obsess on my worries.

Kava Reviews

When you search for kava reviews on the internet, you’ll find thousands of positive experiences that people are anxious to share. The majority of experiences that kava users report mirror my own.

Combine the fact that kava is safe to use and easy to find, with how effective it is to restore calm and induce restful sleep; and you’ll find a veritable fan club of reviewers on the internet that is happy to share the news about this wonderful nootropic supplement.

Benefits and effects

Kava has a variety of benefits and effects that will assist you in dealing with the stresses and resultant anxieties that are a part of everyday life.

Kava for Anxiety Relief without Decreased Cognitive Function

Kava has been shown to be effective in reducing levels of anxiety in otherwise healthy people. Kava use has reduced the perception of stress in individuals who complain of having excess stress in their daily lives.

In a review of seven kava studies, significant evidence was observed that kava is effective in anxiety reduction when compared to test subjects who consumed a placebo.

A study conducted in 2004 discovered that 300 mg of kava could improve perceived mood with no reduction in cognitive ability. [3]

This is important because there are prescription drugs used to treat anxiety, like benzodiazepines (Valium or Xanax), that can decrease cognitive ability with use. [3]

Kava for Quality Sleep

Studies have shown that kava is an effective sleep aid that can improve the quality of sleep and decrease the amount of time an individual suffering from anxiety will need to fall asleep after lying down.

The most important fact this study uncovered is that, compared to prescription sleep aids, kava has a rapid onset of effects combined with satisfactory duration of action and minimal after-effects the morning after.

Sleep quantity and quality are important to maintain peak cognitive function so you can perform at your best in every aspect of your life.

According to new research, Kava increases the amount of quality sleep time that you experience and does it with much less negative effects after sleeping as compared with prescription sleep drugs. [4]

Kava for Weight Loss

Stress and anxiety are powerful factors in obesity. Stress will increase the production of the stress hormone: cortisol.

Cortisol starts many metabolic reactions that can increase your body’s fat levels.

Cortisol stimulates an insulin response for the purpose of providing your body with more energy to survive a threatening situation.

Cortisol also tells the body that it needs to restore those calories although you haven’t burned that many calories during your period of stress. Kava will relieve this stress reaction and can impede the tendency to over-eat that stress will cause. [5]

How Kava Works

There is still a lot of work to be done by researchers to understand the exact mechanisms by which it works to calm, reduce anxiety, and stimulate restful and restorative sleep.

It is believed that the kavalactones in kava root bind to receptors in the amygdala region of the brain.

The amygdala is what regulates feelings of fear and the experience of anxiety. Studies have shown that the amygdala is very sensitive to the effects of kavalactones. The kavalactones then act to reduce the perception of stress and anxiety. [6]

After consuming a drink of kava root, you should feel the effects within a half-hour that will continue for another two and a half to eight hours afterward.

The effects you’ll experience with kava use begin with possible mouth and tongue numbing, and then you might become more sociable than you usually are.

Next, you may experience an increase in mental clarity, calmness, and feeling of relaxation combined with a sense of well-being. [7]

There are reports of the effects lasting as long as two days after a dose, and those effects can include increased mental clarity, less tendency toward short-temper, and a feeling of ease toward the world

People have most often compared the effects of kava to a moderate intake of alcohol and even a dose of Valium. [8]

Kava Dosages

The most important anti-anxiety studies using kava have demonstrated that the most effective dose range to experience the beneficial effects of kavalactones is in the 210mg to the 280mg range.

Studies have found that the best dosage to promote restful sleep is between 140mg and 210mg taken between 30 minutes to an hour of going to bed.

Sleep with kava is often more restful than usual, sometimes dreamless, and the kava user frequently wakes up more stimulated and alert than they usually do.

Kava has none of the physical after effects of alcohol-induced sleep. Users of kava won’t have the hangover of generally ill feelings that alcohol induced sleep will usually create in the morning. [9]

The Main Side Effects of Kava

The side effects of kava include a mild anesthetic effect around the mouth that will include the lips and tongue.

Prolonged and heavy use of kava has been implicated in the development of a scaly rash on the palms and soles of the feet that are similar to pellagra and is called kava dermopathy. Ceasing to use kava reversed this skin condition.

Kava extracts have been found to possibly exacerbate the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in people who suffer from this disease.

Some other negative reactions that have been related to heavy kava use are; hair loss, dizziness, partial loss of hearing, and abdominal discomfort.

There have been reports of mild sedation, muscle weakness and muscle tremors as well. [9]

Stacking Kava

As with any other nootropic supplement, there may be combinations that can be taken that increase the effectiveness of each substance as they work in concert within your body.

Kava is no different, let’s take a look at some stacks that you may consider when using kava.

1. Kava and Caffeine

Even though the exact way that kava creates its anti-anxiety and relaxing effect is not known, the theory is that it stimulates the release of GABA — the neurotransmitter that is responsible for both muscle-tone and relaxation.

Since caffeine is a stimulant, it can have the opposite effect on the body; caffeine will speed up the heartrate and increase your alertness and energy levels.

Combining kava with caffeine could mitigate the drowsiness-inducing effect of kava while allowing you to enjoy the decreased feeling of anxiety and increased feelings of comfort in social situations.

There is no optimal amount of caffeine to add to your kava dose, but users are advised to keep the dose to no more caffeine than you’ll find in one or two cups of coffee.

2. Kava and L-theanine Stack

L-Theanine is a chemical found in green tea and some mushrooms. It may help relieve stress by creating a feeling of relaxation without any drowsiness. Anti-anxiety effects have been observed with dosages of between 200mg and 250mg.

Combining the typical effective dose of L-theanine with a dose of kava should magnify the ant-anxiety effects of each nootropic supplement taken alone. [10]

Alternatives to Kava

There are many nootropic supplements that also claim to increase relaxation, reduce anxiety or help induce restful sleep.

Here are some of the alternatives to kava that are believed to have similar effects:

1. Melatonin

Melatonin is a natural hormone produced in the brain as the day darkens into night. It is an important part of your body-clock and is the chemical that tells your brain that it’s time to go to sleep.

Melatonin is an effective alternative to kava for restful and restorative sleep. [11]

Melatonin should be taken in a dose of 1-3mg at night, before bed.

  • Cost is about $10 per bottle
  • Will induce restful sleep

This is an inexpensive and effective sleep aid for people who suffer from insomnia or jet-lag, use it to get the rest you need.

2. Valerian

Valerian is an herb, and the actual supplement is made from the root. Valerian is believed to act in a similar fashion to kava.

It can induce a feeling of ease and relaxation while relieving feelings of anxiety. It is frequently used as a sleep aid. [12]

  • Cost is about $5 per bottle
  • Dose of 530mg at night, before bed.
  • Will induce restful sleep

Use Valerian to relieve stress and anxiety with a natural, herbal supplement that is inexpensive to buy and easy to take.

Chamomile has been used for thousands of years and is considered a safe and effective sleep aid. Studies have shown certain flavanoids in chamomile tea bind to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain causing the effect of sedation.

3. Chamomile

  • Cost is about $8 per bottle
  • Dose of 345mg at night, before bed.
  • Will induce restful sleep

To achieve a restful and recuperative night of rest you’ll want to make chamomile part of your bedtime routine.

Closing Thoughts

The world is a stressful place, and you need to find ways to stop stress from hurting your health.

Kava is an ideal nootropic for stress relief, anxiety reduction and restorative sleep to keep you at your best, click here to find out more about kava and how to purchase it.

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