If you’re looking for a natural way to improve your mood and reduce stress and anxiety, you may have heard about Kava Kava.

As holistic medicine becomes more widespread, kava products such as extracts, tea, and supplements, are gaining popularity. 

Kava, also known as kava kava, is believed to help manage or reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality. But like any other supplement out there, it’s essential to understand the potential benefits and side effects of taking it. 

In this article, we’ll explore kava supplements, their uses, and their potential benefits and side effects. We’ll also briefly look over a few different brands of kava kava supplements.

Kava kava: What is it? Knowing the Fundamentals

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The traditional plant used in the Pacific Islands to prepare a ceremonial beverage is kava kava, commonly called “kava.” Kava extract, which has been used for millennia as a natural treatment for anxiety and stress, is made from the root of the kava plant. Additionally, kava is utilized for pain treatment, sleep, and relaxation.

GABA is a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood and lessen anxiety, and kava works by raising the level of GABA in the brain. However, Kava should be used cautiously as potential side effects are associated with its use, such as liver damage, addiction, and cognitive impairment.

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, Kava extract may be an effective and safe treatment option for anxiety disorders [1][2]. However, further research is needed to determine its long-term effects and potential risks.

Kava Supplements Benefits: Relieving Anxiety and More

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Due to their potential benefits for relaxation and anxiety alleviation, kava supplements have grown in popularity in the past few years. Kava supplements come in several different formats, such as capsules, tablets, and powders.

Supplemental Kava offers several advantages, such as:

  • Decrease in anxiety symptoms such as tension, nervousness, and restlessness
  • the enhancement of sleep quality
  • Reduced pain
  • Encouraging relaxation

Kava supplements may help persons with generalized anxiety disorder reduce their anxiety symptoms, according to a recent University of Melbourne study [3]. However, the study also noted some adverse effects, including headache, nausea, and dizziness.

Supplements containing kava should be used cautiously and under a doctor’s supervision. Knowing a supplement’s potential risks and adverse effects is crucial, just like with any other dietary supplement.

Evaluating Kava Supplement Side Effects

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Although kava kava has grown in popularity for its alleged health benefits, which include the reduction of anxiety, it’s essential to be aware of any possible adverse effects. 

Even though it’s generally safe when used in moderation, some individuals may experience negative effects, such as the following:

  • Liver damage: While the precise cause is not fully understood [4][5], kava supplements have occasionally been linked to liver toxicity and liver failure.
  • Skin reactions: Certain individuals who use kava supplements experience itching and rashes on their skin.
  • Breathing problems: Some people who take kava supplements may experience breathing problems like wheezing and shortness of breath.
  • Coordination issues: Kava supplements may make you drowsy and less coordinated, making driving or handling heavy equipment dangerous.
  • Medication responses: Some medications, such as those prescribed to treat Parkinson’s disease or anxiety, could react with kava, causing potentially harmful side effects [6].

This is why it’s crucial to understand the proper kava dosage you should be taking to stay healthy, prevent any side effects, and reduce any possible health concerns.

Kava kava Usage and Proper Dosage

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It’s critical to comprehend the suggested dosage and usage of kava supplements if you’re considering utilizing them to prevent any negative side effects. 

Following the recommended dosage and avoiding large dosages or continuous consumption is crucial because the FDA has warned about the possible risk of liver damage from kava supplements [7][8]. 

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250 mg of kavalactones per day is the recommended dosage for kava supplements [9][10]. However, dosages vary according to the desired therapeutic effect.

  • Anxiolytic dosage: 45 to 80 mg of kavalactones three times a day
  • Sedative dosage: 180 to 250 mg of kavalactones 1 hour before retiring [11][12].

However, it’s advisable to speak with your doctor prior to using any supplements, particularly if you have a health issue or are taking medication. 

Kava Supplement Reviews: Which One To Buy?

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For its ability to ease anxiety and tension, kava supplements have grown in popularity. Kava supplements do have some potential hazards and side effects, it’s crucial to remember that. It is crucial to choose the right kava supplement that is safe and effective.

Here are five popular kava supplements on the market:

Nature’s Answer Kava-6 

This supplement contains six types of kava, making it more potent than other kava supplements. It also has a higher kavalactone content, with 350 mg per serving.

Kava Kava Extract Capsules by Oregon’s Wild Harvest

These capsules contain 400 mg of organic kava root extract per serving. The supplement is certified organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free.

Kava Kava Capsules by NOW Foods

Each capsule contains 250 mg of kava root extract, along with other herbs such as valerian root and passionflower. The supplement is vegetarian-friendly.

Kalm with Kava Loa Waka 

This kava supplement is made from the finest Loa Waka kava strain, which is known for its strong and smooth taste. It is available in both powder and capsule form.

Pure Encapsulations Kava 

This kava supplement contains 400 mg of standardized Kava extract per serving, providing 30% kavalactones. It is also gluten-free, non-GMO, and suitable for vegetarians.

It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any kava supplement, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition or are taking medication.

How Kava Kava Extracts Works: Extraction of Kava’s Power

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An increasingly common natural treatment for anxiety and stress is kava extract, which is made from the kava plant’s root.

How are kava extracts are made? Let me explain. Kava extracts are produced by soaking a kava root or stem in a solvent. The active components of kava are kavalactones, giving the plant its sedative and anxiolytic effects.

To completely comprehend their impacts and possible advantages, more study is required.

Bottomline

Due to its ability to lower anxiety and tension, kava pills are growing in popularity. Nevertheless, it’s critical to be aware of any side effects that can occur, including liver damage, allergic responses, and coordination problems.

To avoid these, knowing the correct dosage and usage of kava supplements is important.

It’s always best to consult with your healthcare provider before using any supplements, especially if you have a medical condition or take medications.

FAQs

Kava is legal in some countries but banned in others due to concerns about liver toxicity.
Kava is not recommended to be taken daily due to potential adverse effects on the liver.
People with liver problems, a history of addiction, or taking certain medications should avoid kava.

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.

Editorial References And Fact-Checking

  1. Singh YN. Kava: An Overview. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2015 Oct 28;158 Pt A: 21-27. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2014.11.050. PMID: 25460036.
  2. Teschke R, Sarris J, Schweitzer I. Kava Hepatotoxicity in Traditional and Modern Use: The Puzzling Cases of Native Oceania and Western Countries. HerbalGram. 2013;(98):40-51.
  3. Associated Press. FDA Warns of Liver Damage From Supplements. NBC News. March 26, 2002.
  4. US National Library of Medicine. Kava. LiverTox: Clinical and Research Information on Drug-Induced Liver Injury. 2017.
  5. Feinberg, J. (2018, September 22). Ask the Doctors: What are the risks and benefits of kava? UCLA Health. https://www.uclahealth.org/news/ask-the-doctors-what-are-the-risks-and-benefits-of-kava#:~:text=More%20than%20100%20cases%20of,chief%20antioxidant%2C%20within%20the%20liver.
  6. Newport Academy. Kava: The Natural Anxiety Reducer That May Be More Dangerous Than You Think. Newport Academy Blog. May 16, 2019.
  7. National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. Kava. Updated: Jul 13, 2021.
  8. National Center for Biotechnology Information. (2021). Kava: Background and Regulatory Status. In Dietary Supplements: Regulatory Challenges and Research Resources (2nd ed.). National Academies Press (US).
  9. Bone K. Kava: A Review. HerbalGram. 2003;60:26-43.
  10. National Center for Biotechnology Information. (2021). Kava: Background and Regulatory Status. In Dietary Supplements: Regulatory Challenges and Research Resources (2nd ed.). National Academies Press (US).
  11. Kawasaki, K., & Weiss, J. (2021). Kava Extract. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing.
  12. Volz HP, Kieser M. Kava-kava extract WS 1490 versus placebo in anxiety disorders–a randomized placebo-controlled 25-week outpatient trial. Pharmacopsychiatry. 1997 Sep;30(1):1-5. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-979481. PMID: 9350023.
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Lily R. Guion, BSc

Meet Lily Guion, a skilled health and medical writer with over 4 years of experience in the field. With a degree in Biology and prior work experience in the laboratory of a food company, Lily has developed a deep understanding of the importance of accurate and reliable health information. As a writer, she excels at creating informative content on a wide range of topics, including nutrition, diet, safe pregnancy, children's health, medicine, cannabis, and health supplements. Her ultimate goal is to provide readers with accurate and valuable information that empowers them to make informed decisions about their health and well-being. LinkedIn

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  • Meet Lily Guion, a skilled health and medical writer with over 4 years of experience in the field. With a degree in Biology and prior work experience in the laboratory of a food company, Lily has developed a deep understanding of the importance of accurate and reliable health information. As a writer, she excels at creating informative content on a wide range of topics, including nutrition, diet, safe pregnancy, children's health, medicine, cannabis, and health supplements. Her ultimate goal is to provide readers with accurate and valuable information that empowers them to make informed decisions about their health and well-being. LinkedIn

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Meet Lily Guion, a skilled health and medical writer with over 4 years of experience in the field. With a degree in Biology and prior work experience in the laboratory of a food company, Lily has developed a deep understanding of the importance of accurate and reliable health information. As a writer, she excels at creating informative content on a wide range of topics, including nutrition, diet, safe pregnancy, children's health, medicine, cannabis, and health supplements. Her ultimate goal is to provide readers with accurate and valuable information that empowers them to make informed decisions about their health and well-being. LinkedIn