This Herb May Be Able To Replace Your Evening Glass of Wine

kava benefits

Anxiety, it creeps up on many of us like an ex lurking in your DM’s out of the blue. 

For some folks, it hits at the end of the day or in the evening when we’re attempting to wind down. It’s sometimes during these moments that we’re trying to rest our minds and tune out, but instead our brain is whisked away with focusing on the stresses and troubles of our every day life. 

So many of us turn to an evening glass (or two) of wine to wind down and take the edge off, but did you know that there are herbs and botanicals that can give you the same effect without the next day hangover? Enter: Kava Kava, or more popularly known simply as kava.

What exactly is Kava?

In a nutshell, kava is a root hailing from the Pacific Islands and has been used for centuries to cure ailments like anxiety and pain. 

How Does Kava Work?

Calms Anxiety:

Studies that have been conducted using kava so far have shown that it helps reduce anxiety and helps you relax without making you feel groggy or experiencing any negative side effects. Studies also show that consuming kava long term did not negatively impact cognitive function in subjects. 

A substance in kava called kavalactones affects the central nervous system and the brain and is what acts as the root’s sedative compound. 

May Act As A Natural Pain Reliever:

Two compounds in kava, dihydromethysticin and dihydrokavain act as a natural pain reliever when you consume it, and even when applied topically. 

Helps You Sleep:

Not only does kava help you de-stress, it can also motivate you to sleep better by helping your muscles relax. Drinking kava tea an hour before bed can get you in the proper mindset to wind down before you hit the sheets. 

The Possible Downsides:

As with many herbs and botanicals, there are always safety precautions to take. You should always consult your physician and doctor before you ingest any new herbal formula or supplement. Women who are breast-feeding or pregnant should not consume kava. Physicians also recommend not taking kava supplements if you are already experiencing depression. Some studies have also linked it to having toxic effects on the liver. 

Links to studies and sources:

1: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12535473

2: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21879526

3: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23635869

4: http://www.anaturalhealingcenter.com/documents/Thorne/articles/psychoactive%20herbals.pdf

5: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278584698000621

 

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