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Herbal Tea Talk: Kava

by Jan 20, 2020Herbs & Medicines

Moving on to week two! What is Kava?

It was suggested a year ago that my son may have ADHD. What he actually has is more energy than the sun. Now what is a parent suppose to do when their child has homework that he can’t focus on and your completely wiped out after a full day of work?

Well, Kava was one of the many options laid before us. It tastes awful. BUT, don’t let that deter you. I’d put a dropper full of the extract in a few gulps full of Kool-aid. (It may have been a little counter-productive? We will never know.) Also, we used it sparingly.

Kava is made from the roots of Piper Methysticum which literally means intoxicating pepper. The plant is located in the Pacific Islands. Its said to have a spicy, licorice taste while fresh. However, by the time it reaches america, it can be very bitter and has an earthy taste.

Kava is full of kavapyrones aka kavalactones. These chemicals will make you feel happy, calm and relaxed. There are six major kavalactones. They are insoluble, sticky substances that enter the blood stream and act as muscle relaxants. Kavain, found in the root, is the chemical responsible for relaxation. Who wouldn’t want to feel calm? My hand certainly isn’t raised.

Desmethoxyyangonin is another kavalactone that boost dopamine levels without directly affecting the Central Nervous System. It can give you a mild euphoric feeling without altering your perception.

What is it used for?

  • Insomnia & Sleep Problems
  • Anxiety, Stress & Headaches
  • Muscle Relaxant & Anti-convulsant
  • PMS
  • ADHD
  • Respiratory tract infections
  • UTI’s
  • Skin diseases
  • Cancer Prevention

Where can I find it?

Kava has become somewhat popular in America in the last decade. So luckily, like most herbs, you can find it at a health food store. It can be sold as a tea, capsules, powder, and candy. Some larger chain grocery stores may have it also. You can also find it online through amazon or tea companies.

Precautions

Kava comes with a lot of rules and there is a lot of conflicting information about this herb. While it has plenty of benefits, please do your research or ask a doctor is you have any health problems. It is recommended to use Kava no longer than 3 months at a time if used regularly. It is less likely to cause side effects in Polynesians versus other countries because its a native plant. It has also been advised against use for children.

Side effects Include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Decrease of dopamine
  • Liver damage

DO NOT USE IF:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding
  • On certain medications
  • Already dealing with liver problems
  • Having Surgery

If you haven’t read about Catnip Tea in the first part of the series check it out here!

It can make Depression and Parkinson’s Disease worse

Kava has so many benefits but it also has side effects, so again, please do your research first as I cannot prescribe any type of herbs or medicines.

Have you had any experiences with Kava? I’d love to hear about it! Please share in the comment section below. Don’t forgot to follow below so you can be first to read my next post!

Cherry G.

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