The Power of Kava: Top 4 Kava Supplement Benefits
When over half of Americans report that they experience stress during the day, it’s no surprise so many of us reach for the comforts we have at hand: Junk food, alcohol, and the respite offered by our screens. But what if there was a safer and more natural alternative?
We know these measures do not provide long-lasting relief, but sometimes they’re all we’ve got.
Or are they?
Turns out, safe, natural, and short-acting remedies do exist for people hoping to divest from their screens and other unhealthy means.
Introducing kava kava. Derived from the South Pacific plant, Piper methysticum, its rich history in ceremonial practices and traditional medicine has resulted in recognition of its potential health benefits. Kava kava, commonly known as just kava, has become increasingly popular for its mood elevating and stress relieving benefits. Below, learn more about kava’s potential benefits, or jump straight to the section most relevant to you:
- Unlocking Kava’s Manifold Benefits
- How Kava Can Help With Occasional Anxiety
- How Kava Can Aid Poor Sleepers
- How Kava Can Aid Socialization
- How Kava May Help Protect Against Inflammation
- Kava’s Lasting Benefits
- Kava Supplements and Its Many Forms
Experience the Many Benefit of Kava: A Treasure from the South Pacific
A long unsung root from a South Pacific plant, kava boasts many potential benefits that have been harnessed by indigenous populations for hundreds of years.Traditionally made into a paste or brewed into tea, kava has found its way into a diverse range of products, including drinks and capsules. With the convenience of travel-sized bottles, we think it’s worth highlighting four of the most powerful benefits of kava supplements.
#1 Kava Can Help with Occasional Anxiety
Do pre-exam jitters get you drumming your pencil on the desk? Does the thought of a challenging meeting ahead keep you snoozing your morning alarm? We all know what it’s like to experience worry about responsibilities on the horizon.
Fortunately, kava supplements may quell those fears thanks to kava’s high content of kavalactones, a particular compound that passes through the bloodstream, relaxing the mind and the muscles.
So how does this type of herbal remedy work in regard to stress and occasional anxiety symptoms? Over the past twenty years, numerous trials and studies have shown that while kava might not be strong enough to ward off the long-term effects of generalized anxiety disorder, it can be used over shorter (4–8 week) periods to support feelings of wellbeing and calm.
Next time you find yourself experiencing a fight-or-flight response without any immediate danger, consider reaching for kava supplements to soothe your nerves and help you feel more relaxed.
#2 Kava Can Aid Poor Sleepers
Kava supplements offer more than just anxiety relief. The presence of kavalactones in kava can also contribute to promoting restful sleep. By taking a dose before bedtime, you may find yourself drifting off to sleep more easily. Given the effect of screens, around-the-clock emails, and news headlines, we think this is one of the most exciting benefits of kava supplements.
While most of the research on kava's impact on sleep is currently limited to animal studies, its potential effect on reducing stress indirectly aids in improving sleep quality. At the same time, kava’s potential effect on stress may indirectly promote sleep by zapping worries and stimulating feelings of tranquility.
In other words, think of kava as a kind of night watchman for your mind, locating and quietly eliminating intrusive thoughts and feelings of unease.
#3 Kava Can Aid Socialization
Pressured into attending an office happy hour but don’t want to imbibe? Attending social events while trying to reduce alcohol intake can be a challenge. This is a common problem for many people who are trying to decrease their alcohol intake for health or wellness reasons. However, kava supplements offer a solution to this common problem.
But the challenges of not drinking in a culture where alcohol is heavily marketed, often inexpensive, and available almost everywhere can be overwhelming even for stalwart non-drinkers.
This is where kava supplements can help. Initially used in ceremonial settings, kava can offer many of the benefits that alcohol can provide—without the grogginess, sour stomach, and headaches of hangovers.
Similarly to alcohol, kava can help decrease feelings of fret and fear. It can also support elevated moods that some people liken to a buzz. If you struggle to open up socially without alcohol or simply find the feeling of a drink in your hand helpful, a dose of kava can clear the way to better hang with the gang.
Perhaps that’s why there are numerous kava bars throughout the country.
As a final note, we feel it’s worth adding here that kava and alcohol should not be mixed. If you’re bringing kava to an event where alcohol is present, make sure to pick your lane and stay in it.
#4 Kava May Help Protect Against Inflammation
Kava consumption has been demonstrated to have anti-inflammatory effects. These effects may be minimal, but that doesn’t mean they’re worth discounting.
Think about it. Millions of people try to incorporate leafy greens, nutrient-dense berries, and fatty fish rich in omega 3s solely because of these foods’ anti-inflammatory properties. Sure, a single portion of broccoli might do little to combat inflammation in the body, but when eaten weekly over a lifetime, the benefits can start to add up. The same case can be made for the kava plant and its anti-inflammatory effects.
Kava’s Lasting Benefits
We’ve chatted at length about some of the wonderful benefits of this ancient root. The next question is, how long does kava last?
While effects can linger depending on your weight, dose potency, and how often you take kava, we find that kava can generally induce good vibes and faintly pleasant sensations for between three to four hours.
This relatively narrow time frame makes kava ideal for those seeking a burst of focus or a short-term period of heightened mood.
Kava Supplements Come in Many Forms
Kava comes in a few different forms, including:
These forms have various advantages of which we’ll discuss below:
- Liquids – Perhaps the simplest way to consume, liquids are pre-mixed by manufacturers so you can skip the ratios and percentages in the morning. These liquids are often laced with other plants or supplements that can help with productivity, focus, or relaxation. They’re also easy to throw in your bag for later.
- Capsules – Are kava capsules effective? In short, absolutely! Capsules can be incorporated into drinks, shakes, and smoothies or simply taken on their own. Unlike tea, high quality kava capsules are generally taste-free, offering a clean and quick way to ingest this supplement without too much hassle. For consumers who may not enjoy drinking kava tea, capsules are a great alternative to reap the benefits of this type of herbal remedy. They also make dosing a breeze, as their contents are consistent from day to day.
- Tea – Easy to brew quickly, kava teas are often laced with other herbs or supplements—such as ginger, cardamom, or essential oils—that can aid in relaxation or overall health. While the effects of kava tea usually feel great, they don’t always taste great. For some consumers, the flavor can’t be effectively masked in tea, no matter how much peppermint, cinnamon, and spice is added.
You can also learn more about the differences between kava pills vs drinks to discover the product you like best.
Understanding the Potential Side Effects of Kava
Although kava has some amazing benefits, it is important to understand the potential side effects when consuming kava such as liver toxicity. When kava is ingested, it inhibits the liver cytochrome 450 enzyme, which is used to metabolize drugs, creating a higher potency. When mixed with certain medications, kava affects liver enzymes and interacts with the medication, which can cause harm to the liver.
Additionally, adulteration or mislabeling of kava products is another issue. When lower-quality parts of the kava plant are harvested and consumed, it can pose a risk to liver health. However, studies revealed liver damage primarily in individuals with pre-existing liver conditions or those taking medications that affect the liver. To ensure you safety, talk to your doctor about taking kava supplements beforehand.
Elevate Your Mood and Improve Your Focus with Botanic Tonics
It’s no secret that stress—with its concordant negative health effects—is on the rise around the world. While there may not be much we can do about these problems as individuals, there are ways we can mitigate some of the occasional anxiety that accompanies feelings of insecurity and uncertainty.
Safe, effective, and perfectly legal, kava can offer relief from stress and unease, and Botanic Tonics’ feel free kava capsules are crafted with kava and other natural plants that can support relaxation, rejuvenate your mind, and soothe your soul.
Plus they’re caffeine, alcohol, and sugar-free.
Enhance your lifestyle with Botanic Tonics.
The American Institute of Stress. What is Stress? https://www.stress.org/daily-life
Britannica. Kava. https://www.britannica.com/topic/kava
Rolling Stone. Kava: Inside the All-Natural High That’s Sweeping America. https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/kava-inside-the-all-natural-high-thats-sweeping-america-125828/
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Kava for Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Review of Current Evidence. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29641222/
Human Psychopharmacology. Enhanced cognitive performance and cheerful mood by standardized extracts of Piper methysticum (Kava-kava). https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15181652/
MedlinePlus. Caffeine. https://medlineplus.gov/caffeine.htm
Neural Regeneration Research. Neuroprotective properties of kavalactones. https://journals.lww.com/nrronline/Fulltext/2015/10060/Neuroprotective_properties_of_kavalactones.8.aspx
Chemical Research in Toxicology. Dihydromethysticin (DHM) Blocks Tobacco Carcinogen 4-(Methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK)-Induced O6-Methylguanine in a Manner Independent of the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor (AhR) Pathway in C57BL/6 Female Mice. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.chemrestox.6b00203
Eater. Meet Kava Tea, a Prescription-Free Alternative to Xanax. https://www.eater.com/drinks/2015/7/23/9017651/meet-kava-tea-a-legal-psychoactive-alternative-to-alcohol