Hello everyone. Welcome back to another edition
of Ask The ND, I’m Dr. Jeremy Wolf. There are many tools people use to help calm their
nerves. Some turn to yoga and meditation, while others look for supplements and herbs.
In this episode, I wanted to spend some time talking about an herb that has been used by
the Pacific island cultures for centuries, due to its calming and relaxing properties.
The herb I’m referring to is Piper methysticum, more commonly known as Kava Kava. Kava is
a perennial plant native to the Pacific island region. It belongs to the Piperaceae, or pepper,
family. The part of the plant most commonly used for medicinal purposes are the roots.
The natives of the Pacific islands would chew or grind the root of this plant to release
the Kavalactones, which are the active constituents of this plant. They would use it to counter
stress, enhance social situations, and for religious and ceremonial purposes. Let’s take
a closer look at some of the most common uses for Kava and how it functions in the body.
Here’s the rundown. The Kavalactones of this plant contribute to its antispasmodic, anxiolytic,
analgesic, and mild sedative effects. Kava’s calming and relaxing properties may make it
beneficial for a variety of conditions. research has concluded that Kava extract is superior
to placebo for symptomatic relief of anxiety. Therefore, it may be a short-term treatment
for anxiety. This plant also has an affinity for the genitourinary tract. It may help to
reduce pain associated with interstitial cystitis, urinary tract infections and prostatitis.
Lastly, other benefits of Kava may include improving vigilance, enhancing mood, memory
and mental alertness. Kava extracts are prepared as tinctures, teas, and also come in pill
or capsule form. When it comes to choosing a product, choose whatever form works best
for your routine. Lastly, you’ll want to pay attention to the percentage of kavalactones
contained in the product. Most supplements on the market are standardized to either thirty
or seventy percent of kavalactones. One study showed that a general daily dose of Kava extract,
ranging from 120-240mg, significantly reduced participants anxiety. In rare cases, severe
liver damage has been reported when taking this herb, so therefore it is contraindicated
if you have liver inflammation or liver damage. Make sure you talk to your doctor before starting
Kava. Kava is also cautioned in mothers who are breastfeeding and therefore should be
avoided. Thank you for watching another edition of Ask The ND. Make sure to subscribe to our
YouTube channel for weekly tips to help you on your journey towards happy wellness. From
all of us here at LuckyVitamin, spread the wellness!