What is kava?
Kava is defined as a beverage or an extract that is derived from Piper methysticum. These plants are native to the western Pacific islands. The term “kava” is a Polynesian word “awa,” meaning bitter.
Kava is one of the common drinks and thus, insanely popular in the South Pacific islands. This drink exudes properties that are similar to alcohol in Western societies and often served in cultural and social occasions.
Though numerous side-effects are described against the kava essential oil most of them lack proper evidence.
How is kava used?
Kava is primarily consumed by mouth to alleviate symptoms of anxiety, stress, restlessness, and other sleeping problems like insomnia. Furthermore, it is also used for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and in case of withdrawal from benzodiazepine drugs, in epilepsy, psychosis and depression. Even in pains of migraines and other headaches, chronic fatigue syndrome, common cold and other respiratory tract infections, kava is extremely beneficial.
Kava is often ingested by mouth for urinary tract infections (UTIs), several kinds of pain, swelling of the uterus, venereal disease, menstrual discomfort, and also to enhance sexual desire. Besides, kava is also applied to the skin for skin diseases, which includes leprosy. Kava also promotes healing of skin wounds, as a painkiller and also as a mouthwash for canker sores and toothaches.
Kava is consumed in and around the Pacific islands as a beverage in a large number of religious and cultural ceremonies to promote relaxation, peace and harmony.
How does Kava work?
Kava, when ingested, acts on our brain and other segments of the central nervous system (CNS). The kava-lactones present in the kava are responsible for the effects it produces.
Among the numerous effects that kava essential oil has on our body and mind, here are some benefit of them to look at below:
- Relieves symptoms of anxiety – The kava essential oil if ingested through the mouth, is reported to have calming and refreshing effects that often tend to be hallucinatory at times. These effects can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Treats insomnia and other sleep disorders – Kava essential oil often helps insomnia patients to get some sleep and reduce their restlessness and weakness.
- Acts as painkillers – Being mild sedatives, kava is also used extensively as painkillers.
- Helps in reducing the symptoms of menopause – It is common in menopause that females experience pain sensations, sensations of anxiety, sweating, burning or itching sensation on their skins and more. However, if they consume kava, it can reduce such symptoms in case they go unbearable.
- Kava is often deemed as effective in common cough and cold.
- Kava also treats epilepsy when ingested regularly and in doses prescribed.
- Kava also helps to bring in some comfort during infection of eyes, ears, nose and mouth.
- Also in urinary tract infections, kava often serves as a remedy.
Read also about: 7 Food Items That Enhance The Blood Circulation Of The Body
Side-effects of using kava
If kava is taken by mouth, kava can be declared as pretty safe. The extracts of the kava plant are widely regarded as full of benefits this way. However, as it is with all the other things Kava extracts also have its own set of side-effects. Some of the disadvantages of this drink are as follows:
- When taken in excess or abused, kava can damage your liver.
- One should not take excessive kava before driving, gymming or engaging in any other such activities because it might lead to drowsiness and sleep, which will disrupt all the other activities that you are engaged in.
- Too much intake of kava might result in yellow eyes and skin, weakness and dark urine.
- Also, some people, who are suffering from chronic liver diseases or have had a major episode with their liver and digestion, should confirm with their healthcare professionals or perform an LFT before consuming kava.
Besides, pregnant or lactating women, children and babies, carry the highest risk of diseases and infection when consumed kava. Therefore, hey should not at any cost be encouraged to take kava unless it is deemed fit by their doctors.