Kava Kava belongs to the pepper family. Gaining fame these days, the history of this herb is centuries old. Used recreationally as well as medicinally this modern herb has transformed lives of many with it super amazing health effects. It has been a miraculous herb for those suffering from pain, inflammatory diseases and anxiety. Kava is a necessary incorporation into the medicine shelf. It helps one in minor ailments as well as some major ailments. This article focuses on the top 15 health benefits of Kava Kava powder.
What is Kava Kava?
It is a plant with short thick stem and green oblong leaves. It is also called as Piper Methysticum. Other names of Kava kava are Ava, Sakau and Yaqona. The herb originates from the region of Western Pacific. Kava contains kavalctones which form the active ingredient of Kava. The effects of Kava are observed because of the action of these kavalactones on the central nervous system. Kavalactones are present in the roots of Kava.
For centuries Kava has been used in the treatment of insomnia, pain, anxiety as it has analgesic properties as well calming and sedating properties. Kava supports weight loss, avoids premature aging, soothes the symptoms of menopause, relaxes muscles and prevents headache. People also use Kava for beauty benefits.
Top Health Benefits of Kava Kava
1. Kava Relieves migraines and headaches
Kava is an effective herb when it comes to the treatment of various types of headaches (tension headache, cluster headache etc) and migraines. Kava brings about a soothing effect that helps you relax and have a calming effect. Usually headaches result due to sleep deprivation and headaches also cause sleep deprivation. With the use of kava you can also get rid of any sort of sleep disorders. The best part about using kava for headaches is that it doesn’t cause any side effects like dizziness, blurring of vision and somnolenece.
2. Kava Decreases stress levels and anxiety
Kava acts as an effective Anxiolytic. It helps with the symptoms of anxiety like panic attack, irritation, worrying, headaches and dyspnea. It reduces restlessness and soothes the nerves. This allows one to have a peaceful state devoid of any nervousness and irritation.
3. Kava Helps in quitting Smoking
Kava helps in quitting smoking. Smoking for a long period of time or even a short period of time can cause life threatening diseases in the case of predisposing cardiovascular disorders. Quitting smoking can be difficult as it causes excess anxiety and the urge to smoke again. However, with the use of Kava it has been observed that the symptoms associated with quitting of smoking are diminished. Kava can be added in routine tea or coffee to get the desired effects.
4. Kava May Treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder
Usually people use methylphenidate (Ritalin) or Adderall to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These substances produce quick tolerance and dependence which can be quite harmful to the production and release of neurotransmitters like acetylcholine and dopamine. Kava Kava has cognitive effects. Using kava kava can help one get relieved from this disorder as cognition is improved. The concentration span is increased and one can focus better and for a longer period of time. Kava has no major side effects like that of produced by Ritalin and Adderall.
5. Kava For the treatment of insomnia
Kava kava acts as a sedative at higher doses and thus it allows one to have peaceful sleep. For all those who are suffering from insomnia, parasomnia and night terrors can take kava kava to reduce the intensity of these disorders and sleep peacefully. It is recommended that Kava should be taken at bedtime to promote a good sleep.
6. Kava might good for the treatment of Gingivitis
Kava kava has anti-inflammatory properties which enable it to reduce inflammation and its signs like redness, pain and edema. It does so by activating the anti-inflammatory cytokines and suppressing the production of inflammatory cytokines and leukotrienes. Gingivitis is the inflammation of gums and it is a periodontal disease. The symptoms of this disease are pain, red gums, and swollen gums, bleeding gums, bad breath, shifting teeth and pulling back of the gums from the teeth. Kava readily acts on such gums and reduce these symptoms. You can use Kratom by making a thick paste of Kava. The mixture will include gum powder, kava kava powder, and 1 tablespoon of white oak bark and 5 drops of essential oil (any type). It is recommended to brush your teeth regularly with this paste till the symptoms disappear.
7. Kava for the treatment of sore throat
Since Kava kava has anti-inflammatory properties it can easily treat sore throat. Oral health issues can be treated by chewing ¼ piece of Kava root for 5 minutes and then rubbing it on the affected areas. Including kava tea in your daily tea regimen can also help you soothe such infections and avoid in the first place. Kava has also been used for the treatment of gout, prostatitis, bronchial congestion and cystitis.
8. Kava may cure urinary tract infections
Kava kava has antibacterial and antifungal properties that allow it to treat infections especially urinary tract infections. Kava kava has a diuretic affect that ensures frequent urination allowing the body to get rid of the bacteria. To get rid of UTIs just add kava kava powder into a glass of water and stir it vigorously for 10 minutes and then drink it. You’ll observe the symptoms of the infection subsiding. The most common symptom of UTI is painful micturition.
9. Kava has anti-cancer properties
Kava kava is known to reduce the risk of cancer. It enables the functioning of tumor suppressor genes and disables tumor promoting cells, thus the growth of cancerous cells is inhibited. However, it is important that you take the medicine prescribed by your doctor for the treatment of cancer and not take Kava on self prescription. Kava has been used for the treatment of leukemia.
10. Kava for the reduction of menopause symptoms
Kava kava is known to lighten up mood and cheer up a person. It causes mild euphoria thus it can be used for those women who suffer from mood swings and low moods after menopause. Kava helps in reducing the symptoms of anxiety and helps release stress. It promotes the health of the reproductive system of a female and reduces flushes that are associated with menopause. You can either start taking kava tea during your menopause years or even taken kava capsules but it is important that you consult a doctor before doing so. Kava also reduces menstrual cramps.
11. Kava help recover from stroke
Kava helps in restoring the health of infarcted tissue that results due to stroke. It reduces ischemia and improves blood flow to areas where there is a set up of infarction. Kava protects the brain and gives a faster recovery in case you suffer from a stroke.
12. Kava supports weight loss
Kava is an amazing herb when it comes to losing weight. Unlike other herbs and drugs it gives you immediate effects that last longer and the best part is that it doesn’t have side effects like weight gain on stoppage of kava intake. Kava also helps you lose weight by treating your anxiety and distressing you. It is a known fact that anxiety and stress can cause weight gain by stimulating the production of cortisol. Thus it can be rightly said that kava is also responsible for building your body mass. It enhances the result of your workout.
13. Kava maintains kidney health
Kava kava is known to keep the kidneys healthy as it is a diuretic. Also, it is a calcium channel blocker and it controls the movement of calcium through glomeruli and kidney tubules. Most of the kidney stones are calcium stones. Since kava regulates the amount of calcium in the kidneys it prevents the formation of Kidney calculi. It also helps in dissolving kidney stones.
14. Kava may help delays aging
Kava kava is known to have numerous beauty benefits. One of these is that kava delays the process of natural aging. It does so by preventing the formation wrinkles, fine lines and dark spots. The mechanism is simple. Kava decreases the production of the stress hormone cortisol that is responsible for decreasing the production of collagen. Collagen maintains the elasticity of the skin and prevents the formation of wrinkles. Drinking a cup of kava daily can help you deal with the issue of aging.
15. Kava Kava helps in healthy hair growth
If you want long, silky and shiny hair you should immediately incorporate kava into your diet. Kava strengthens hair follicles and increases hair growth. You can use kava tea to rinse your hair three times a week to achieve best results.
- Ernst E. Herbal medicines: balancing benefits and risks. InNovartis Found Symp 2007 Sep 5 (Vol. 282, pp. 154-167).
- Ellis R. Kava benefits Australian aborigines. Pacific Islands Monthly. 1984 May;11.