Kava Root: Benefits and Side Effects

Kava Roots have a variety of uses and a lot of people say that has many benefits.

benefits of kava root

Do you know if Kava Root is good for you?

Kava Roots have a variety of uses and a lot of people say that is has many benefits. But it’s most common use is the fact that it’s a relaxant. People often take Kava Roots to induce a mild state of euphoria and soothes anxiety. Kava Roots come from Fiji or Tonga, most commonly the Pacific. And in this region, Kava Roots seem to have a big cultural importance.

Often times, the natives of the Pacific drink Kava Root as part of their social events, religious rituals, and even for medical means. The natives often use Kava Roots as an alternative to alcohol as it does trigger the same feelings of euphoria and the sort. And like any other herb, it has some benefits and side effects.

Benefits of Kava Root

Some people are often paranoid and wonder what the benefits of kava root are. Sometimes, they become so paranoid that they forget that there are some good things too. Some benefits of Kava Root include:

1. A remedy for temporary anxiety

Kava Roots apparently have the ability to soothe the anxiety by managing the level of hormones and neurochemicals in the brains. Often times, heightened anxiety is caused by increased levels of Dopamine which can be brought down by taking Kava Roots.

2. It serves as an herbal mood stabilizer

Kava Root can induce the state of euphoria as a means to soothe the worries of the one who took it.

3. It serves as a means to alleviate stress.

4. Kava Root can also serve as a sleep aid.

Often times, people who suffer from mental disorders such as anxiety, instability of mood, low tolerance to stress, and heightened moments of depression can cause physiological problems. These physiological problems can include being unable to sleep, losing their ability to eat, and other things. These are all controlled by what is known as the circadian rhythm.

Simply put, the circadian rhythm is the body’s rhythm and schedule. You’re always falling asleep at 12 midnight but able to wake at 5:30 in the morning regardless of exhaustion? That’s dictated by your circadian rhythm as well. And when you suffer psychological and mental disorders, these can be interrupted due to the stress. When this happens, daily life can be disrupted and can cause distress. The person will suffer mental and psychological instability which will be problematic for many of those who are not well-versed in mental illnesses.

Side Effects: Kava Roots and Liver Toxicity

However, like any other thing to eat, there are always side effects to it. Some side effects include jaundice due to liver damage. And although the liver is known to regenerate themselves, Kava Roots seem to have a high level of liver toxicity which can be detrimental to those who have already suffered from liver problems. Those who have diabetes, alcoholics, and do heavy smoking may also find themselves being afflicted by jaundice should they take Kava Root with this problem. Jaundice is often caused by the bile not being processed.

However, the toxicity that hits your liver from the Kava Roots are very minimal. Unless one is a heavy user and has damaged their liver from the very beginning, Kava Roots should not be that detrimental to the liver.

benefits of kava root

Sources:

Kubatova, A., Miller, D. J., & Hawthorne, S. B. (2001). Comparison of subcritical water and organic solvents for extracting kava lactones from kava root. Journal of Chromatography A, 923(1-2), 187-194.

Zhou, P., Gross, S., Liu, J. H., Yu, B. Y., Feng, L. L., Nolta, J., … & Qiu, S. X. (2010). Flavokawain B, the hepatotoxic constituent from kava root, induces GSH-sensitive oxidative stress through modulation of IKK/NF-κB and MAPK signaling pathways. The FASEB Journal, 24(12), 4722-4732.

Humberston, C. L., Akhtar, J., & Krenzelok, E. P. (2003). Acute hepatitis induced by kava kava. Journal of Toxicology: Clinical Toxicology, 41(2), 109-113.

Whitton, P. A., Lau, A., Salisbury, A., Whitehouse, J., & Evans, C. S. (2003). Kava lactones and the kava-kava controversy. Phytochemistry, 64(3), 673-679.

Cawte, J. (1985). Psychoactive substances of the South Seas: betel, kava and pituri. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 19(1), 83-87.

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