Also known as Piper methysticum, kava is a shrub belonging to the pepper family, and is found in the South Pacific islands. It has been in use as a folk remedy and to make beverages since thousands of years. The roots of this herb are believed to possess the richest medicinal properties, and its extracts are often used to make a drink that has natural sedative and anesthetic properties.
This drink is often consumed to obtain mental clarity, and thanks to its active ingredients known as kavalactones, it may be helpful in dealing with short-term anxiety. Many herbal and pharmaceutical substances today contain kavalactones as a component.
Kava extracts are used in many parts of the world today as a natural remedy for many health conditions.
Let’s explore the different uses of this wonderful herb
- Kavalactones, which are the active components present in the herb, are known to affect several important enzymes and chemicals in the body, including neurotransmitters and dopamine, which, in turn, cause sedation, intoxication, and brings about relief from the symptoms of several mental health conditions.
- Several studies have found that the extracts of this herb may be effective than placebo and even anxiety medications when it comes to relieving anxiety and stress.
- Some individuals use kava as a natural treatment to deal with urinary tract infections, menstrual discomfort, pain and swelling of the uterus and other venereal diseases.
- It has also been found useful in arousing sexual desires.
- Common cold, cough and other respiratory tract infections can be handled better by using kava extracts as a remedy.
- Kava is also sometimes used as a remedy for skin diseases, and can be applied topically for skin conditions such as leprosy and wounds.
- Kava extracts also act as a natural painkiller, and can be used to deal with toothaches. It is also sometimes used as a mouthwash.
There are certain side effects associated with the use of kava, including loss of muscle control, kidney damage, indigestion, mouth numbness, skin rashes, headache, low blood pressure etc. Pregnant women should avoid the use of this herb.