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How Kava Can Help Anxiety

General anxiety disorder (GAD) is a mental health condition that generates high levels of stress and chronic worrying. In 2020, the number of people with anxiety and mental health disorders rose significantly, reaching a peak of 41.5% in February 2021.

Recovering from the stress of the pandemic is one thing, but for those suffering from social anxiety, reintegrating back into daily life is yet another stress. With anxiety, even small tasks can cause a lot of worry and stress, which can take a toll on both physical and psychological health. Fortunately, taking kava is a natural way to reduce anxiety and stress. 

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A Natural Alternative For Chronic Anxiety Treatment 

Despite the fact that research is lagging when it comes to many herbal remedies and natural medicines, there are several recent studies that support the use of kava to treat anxiety and depression. 

A 2013 clinical study conducted by researchers at the University of Melbourne, published evidence on kava’s potential as an alternative treatment to prescription products for the millions who suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder. This was groundbreaking news, because prescription pharmaceuticals can help manage anxiety, but not always perfectly, or without side-effects. 

The researchers found that unlike some prescription anxiety medications, kava has a reduced risk of dependency and fewer potential side-effects.

Who Can Benefit From Kava?

The study compared 75 patients clinically diagnosed with anxiety disorders, and the results indicated that the participants diagnosed with moderate to severe GAD felt the greatest effects from kava to reduce their anxiety. 

A new finding from the study showed that the women who took part in the study found an increase in sex drive from kava compared to the placebo group, which they believe is due to the reduction of anxiety. 

The study also found that people’s genetics played a role in the effectiveness of kava for treating anxiety, meaning that in the future, simple genetic tests may be able to indicate which people could benefit the most from kava’s anxiety-reducing traits. 

In addition to GAD, kava may be able to help those with anxiety related to OCD, panic disorder, PTSD, and social phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder). 

How Does Kava Work to Reduce Anxiety?

Kava’s therapeutic benefits come from six of its kavalactones, the most anxiety-reducing of which are kavain and dihydrokavain. These kavalactones produce their anxiolytic effect through interactions with the GABA receptors, which create both physical and mental relaxation. 

Due to the unique chemistry of the kavalactones, kava can cause both a reduction of physical tenseness, and feelings of calmness and increased well-being without affecting mental focus. These results, documented in a 2015 study, show kava to be a promising treatment for both milder forms of anxiety and GAD. It has a high level of safety, a relatively low cost, and is available to those who don’t have healthcare. 

How to Take Kava for Anxiety

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Figuring out how to fit kava into your wellness routine to reduce anxiety may take some time for you to figure out. In the Melbourne study, the kava group participants took kava extract containing 120mg of kavalactones twice a day for the first three-weeks, and in the second three-week phase, participants who hadn’t responded to it were given a double-dose twice per day.

The most important part about taking kava for anxiety is to make sure your kava is high-quality. Here at Botanic Tonics, our kava tonic contains quality kava extract with the kavalactones that can help you worry less, live well, and feel free.