Kava Kava Benefits – Side Effects And Dosage You Need To Know

Kava Kava Benefits – Side Effects And Dosage

Kava Kava Benefits – also commonly called kava kava, is a plant native to the South Pacific Islands. Pacific Islanders have used it as a ritual drink to promote relaxation for hundreds of years.

Kava has recently gained a lot of popularity due to its calming and anti-stress properties. However, it has been linked to several health problems, raising questions about its safety.

This article explains everything you need to know about the benefits and harms of kava.

What is kava?


Kava is a tropical evergreen shrub with heart-shaped leaves and woody stems. Its scientific name is Piper methysticum.

In Pacific cultures, kava is traditionally drunk during rituals and social gatherings. To do this, people first grind the root into a folder.

This grinding was traditionally done by chewing and spitting the root, but is now often done by hand.

The paste is then mixed with water, filtered and consumed.

Its active constituents are called kavalactones, which make up 3 to 20 percent of the dry weight of the plant’s roots.

Studies show that kavalactones can have the following effects on the body.

  • Reduce anxiety
  • Protect neurons from damage
  • Reduce pain sensations
  • Reduce the risk of cancer, though the evidence is limited to mice

Most of the research to date has focused on kava’s ability to reduce anxiety.

How kavalactones cause these effects is largely unknown, but they appear to work by acting on neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals released by nerves to communicate with each other.

One of these is the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which reduces nerve activity.


Kava Root Plants contain compounds called kavalactones. These compounds may be responsible for the many beneficial effects of kava.

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Kava May Help To Decrease Anxiety

Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental disorders today. They are usually treated with speech therapy, medication, or both.

There are many types of medications available, but they can have unwanted side effects and can be addictive. This has increased the demand for potentially safe natural remedies like kava.

The first long-term study of the effects of kava extract on people with anxiety was published in 1997. Compared to placebo, it significantly reduced participants’ perceived anxiety.

The researchers also did not observe any side effects associated with withdrawal or addiction, while these effects are common with other drugs used to treat anxiety.

Since this study, several other studies have shown the benefits of kava for anxiety. This review of 11 studies found that crow extract is an effective treatment for anxiety.

Also, another review of a specific crow extract came to the same conclusion and suggested that it could be used as an alternative to some anxiety medications and other antidepressants.

Recent studies show evidence that kava is effective for anxiety.


The present study Supports the use of kava to treat anxiety. As effective as it is some anxiety medications, no signs of addiction.

Kava can help you sleep

Lack of sleep has been linked to many health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, obesity and cancer.

Realizing this, many people turn to sleeping pills to improve sleep. Like medications used to treat anxiety, sleeping pills can be addictive and lead to physical dependence.

Kava is commonly used as an alternative to these sleeping pills because of its sedative effects. In a study of 24 people, kava was found to reduce stress and insomnia more than a placebo.

However, both the researchers and the participants knew whether they were receiving crow or placebo. This may have caused bias that may have affected the results.

Despite these shortcomings, subsequent high-quality studies have shown it to be more effective than placebo in improving sleep quality and reducing anxiety.

Interestingly, kava’s effect on insomnia may be related to its effect on anxiety. Insomnia due to stress is common in people with anxiety. So in the case of insomnia, kava can treat anxiety, helping people sleep better.

It is not known how kava affects sleep in people who do not have anxiety or stress-related insomnia. Also, it may cause drowsiness but does not seem to affect the ability to drive.


Kava is natural alternative to prescription sleeping pills. Although the treatment is effective. Insomnia due to stress, its effect on healthy people is not known.

Forms Of Kava

Kava can be taken in tea, capsule, powder, or liquid form.

With the exception of kava tea, these products are made from a concentrated mixture made by extracting the kavalactones from the plant’s roots with ethanol or acetone.

Kava Tea

Tea is the most common way to take kava for anxiety, as it is readily available. It is sold alone or with other herbs advertised for relaxation and is drunk with hot water.

Be sure to look for kava tea that lists the kavalactones content as well as other ingredients. Avoid teas that list ingredients as “proprietary blend.” With this product, you’ll never know how much kava you’re consuming.

Kava Tincture or Liquid

It is a liquid form of kava sold in small bottles ranging from 2 to 6 ounces (59 to 177 ml). You can take it with a pipette or mix it with juice or other drinks to mask the whiskey taste.

Only small doses should be taken, as the kavalactones are concentrated, making kava tinctures and liquids more potent than other forms.

Kava Capsules


People who do not like the taste of kava can take it in capsule form. As with kava tea, look for products that contain kavalactones content. For example, one capsule may contain 100 mg of kava root extract containing 30% of the kavalactones.

Knowing this information will help you avoid taking too much or too little kavalactone.


Experts suggest that the daily dose of kvalactones should not exceed 250 mg. The effective dose of cavalactones is 70-250 mg.

Kava supplements may contain kavalactone in milligrams or as a percentage. If the content is given as a percentage, you need to calculate the amount of kavalactone it contains.

For example, if a capsule contains 100 mg of kava root extract and contains 30% kavalactones, it will contain 30 mg of kavalactones (100 mg x 0.30 = 30 mg).

To get an effective dose of kavalactones in the 70-250mg range, you need to take at least three capsules of this particular supplement.

Most kava root extracts contain 30-70% kavalactones.


The kava is available in various forms. Avoid products with “proprietary ingredients”. Instead, find out
Foods that report kavalactone content by serving or percentage of kavalactones, to which the product is standardized.

Side Effects Of Kava Kava

Although kava can be helpful for anxiety, many people are concerned about possible side effects.

In the early 2000s, several cases of liver toxicity from kava consumption were reported. The US Food and Drug Administration later warned of the risk of liver damage from products containing kava.

Its use has been banned or banned in several countries, including Germany, Switzerland, France, Canada and the United Kingdom.

However, the ban was later lifted in Germany due to weak evidence of associated risks. Kava is thought to harm the liver in several ways, one of which is how it interacts with certain medications.

Liver enzymes that break down CO also break down other drugs. Therefore, kava can bind to this enzyme and prevent other drugs from breaking it down, causing them to build up and damage the liver.

Tampering is another reason kava products are considered unsafe. To save money, some companies use other parts of the kava plant, such as leaves or stems, instead of the root. The leaves and stems are known to cause liver damage.

However, several reviews of studies on the topic found no evidence of liver damage in people who took this supplement for a short period of time, or anywhere from 1 to 24 weeks.

Therefore, people who do not have liver damage and do not take medications that affect the liver can safely consume adequate amounts of kava for about one to two months.


Although kava can safe short-term use is associated with liver problems. Probably consult your doctor before taking kava as it may interact with it some medicines. Some products can also be combined with other parts of
the plant.

The Bottom Line

Kava has a long history of consumption in the South Pacific and is considered a safe and enjoyable beverage. The plant’s roots contain compounds called kavalactones, which help with anxiety.

Consult your doctor if you plan to take kava, as it may interact with certain medications. Also, be sure to read the label of the kava product you’re interested in to verify the kava lactone content of each serving.

Finally, check to see if kava comes from the root or other parts of the plant that may be more harmful to the liver. With these caveats in mind, most people can safely enjoy the benefits of kava.

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