You may have seen kava in a natural foods store or on the shelves of your local supermarket. This tropical root has been used for centuries in the South Pacific for its medicinal properties. Today, kava is gaining popularity in the Western world as a treatment for anxiety, stress, and insomnia. Let’s take a closer look at some of the surprising benefits of kava.
Kava (Piper methysticum) is a tropical evergreen shrub that belongs to the pepper family. It grows in Polynesia, Fiji, and Hawaii. For centuries, kava has been used in ceremonies and rituals by the people of these cultures. The root and leaves are crushed or ground into a powder and made into a tea. Kava tea has a bitter taste and numbs the mouth when consumed.
- Reduces anxiety.
Kava has traditionally been used to treat anxiety and nervousness. In fact, numerous studies have shown that it can be just as effective as anxiety medications like benzodiazepines (Xanax) without the risk of dependence or other side effects.
- Relieves stress.
Like anxiety, stress is a common mental health issue that affects millions of people worldwide. Luckily, kava drink has been shown to be an effective treatment for stress as well.(Chronic stress can lead to serious health problems like heart disease and depression, so it’s important to find ways to manage it.)
- Promotes sleep.
If you’re struggling with insomnia or other sleep issues, kava may be able to help. Studies show that kava can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and improve sleep quality.(Herbal remedies like chamomile tea have also been shown to be effective for promoting sleep.)
- Pain relief.
Kavalactones—the compounds responsible for kava’s calming effect—have also been shown to provide pain relief.(If you suffer from chronic pain or other conditions like migraines or arthritis, kava may be worth trying.)
- Boosts cognitive function.
One of the most surprising benefits of kava is its ability to improve cognitive function.(Studies show that kavalactones can help improve memory, attention span, reaction time, and task performance.) This makes kava an ideal supplement for students during finals week or anyone who needs a mental edge at work or school.
As you can see, there are many potential benefits of consuming kava on a regular basis. If you’re struggling with anxiety, stress, insomnia, or pain, this natural remedy may be worth trying. You can find kava supplements at most natural foods stores or online retailers. Give it a try today!