Kava Herb-Benefits,Precautions And Side-Effects
Kava kava is a ceremonial drink being consumed in the Pacific Islands for hundreds of years now. It has been found that it has an effect similar to alcohol. The roots of kava kava are ground into a pulp and cold water is added to it. What you get is a thick brew that is offered to guests and VIPs who visit the Pacific Islands.
Kava has relaxing properties. It is known to elevate mood, contentment a sense of well being and a feeling of relaxation. Studies have shown that kava can be useful in the treatment of nervous disorders, insomnia and anxiety.
Kava and liver damage
There are serious concerns that kava can cause liver damage. It is not known whether kava causes the liver damage or it is due to the combination of drugs consumed along with it. Things are not clear about the dosage too, whether it is dangerous at the recommended dose or at a higher dose. It has been taken off from the market in most countries. It is available in the United States but FDA has issued a consumer advisory stating that there can be a rare but potential risk of liver failure when you consume kava products. As it is impossible to say what amount of kava is safe, it is better to consume it under the supervision of a doctor.
Kava should be taken under medical supervision as it can cause liver damage as mentioned above. However, evidence says that it is helpful in treating health problems such as:
Most clinical studies have found that kava is effective in treating symptoms linked with anxiety. It has been found that kava is more effective in treating anxiety than a placebo. One study showed that kava improved the symptoms of anxiety in just one week of treatment. Other studies found kava to be as effective as certain prescription anti-anxiety medicines.
However research has reduced due to reports of liver damage due to kava.
Kava is helpful in improving the quality of sleep and in decreasing the time needed to fall asleep according to preliminary research. More studies are needed in this area though! There are also other herbs that can treat sleeplessness so kava is not the best choice for it because of the concerns about its safety.
Precautions that need to be taken
Herbs though effective in treating diseases can have side effects. That is why they have to be taken with care and under medical supervision. This is true for kava as it has been linked with liver damage.
Do not consume kava if you have liver disease, depression or Parkinson’s disease.
Pregnant women or those who are nursing their babies should not take kava.
Kava is also known to prolong the effects of anesthesia and so should not be taken if you are going to get operated. Tell the surgeon if you have taken it in the past.
Don’t consume alcohol when you take kava.
- Allergic skin reactions
- Stomach upset
High doses for a long term can cause:
- Flaky, dry, and yellowish skin
- Hair loss (alopecia)
- Partial loss of hearing
- Loss of appetite
Just like alcohol, kava can have intoxicating effects and should not be consumed before driving or operating machines.
It should also not be consumed with prescription drugs as it can interact with them.
Folks, the negative effects and side effects of kava have outdone the benefits. You think it is advisable to have this particular herb?
Will you consume kava after reading this?
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