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Kava Relieves Anxiety
Published: 05/20/2012

Every Sunday throughout May we will present tips from SpontaneousHappiness.com that reveal herbal remedies for emotional wellness – use them to make this spring your best yet!

Feeling anxious is stressful for our bodies and minds. Instead of taking a pharmaceutical to help quell anxiety, consider kava. From a tropical plant (Piper methysticum), kava is related to black pepper and native to islands of the South Pacific, where it has a long history of use as a social and recreational drug. Kava is an excellent anti-anxiety remedy – it works quickly to relieve anxiety, often with one or two doses, and has been shown in controlled human trials to be as effective as benzodiazepine drugs. It provides a sedative effect as well.

Because of rare reports of liver toxicity associated with certain types of kava products, no one with a history of liver disease should use kava.  It may have additive effect with alcohol and other depressant drugs, and may interfere with the metabolism of a large number of medications – ask your doctor. Otherwise it is generally safe. You can buy powdered whole kava root to make into tea or other drinks, but I usually recommend extracts standardized to 30 percent kavalactones. Dosage is 100-200 mg, two or three times a day as needed.  Don’t use it continually over long periods of time (more than a few months).

 

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Try Dr. Weil’s new online plan, Spontaneous Happiness. Simple, effective suggestions are provided each week, and designed to improve your outlook, help manage your stress and anxiety, and provide you with tools to use now and in the future. See if it’s right for you – visit now to start your 10-day free trial!


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