Feeling stressed? Reaching burnout? Have you thought of adding kava to your diet? This is the latest addition to the superfoods shelf. A derivative of the roots of the shrub called Piper methysticum.
Scientists have found that kava is a successful natural therapy for stress and anxiety. Kava grows in Europe and the South Pacific regions where it has been used for centuries for ceremonies and occasions. Studies show that a few doses of this powerful herb can treat stress. Taking it for a mere few weeks stops anxiety in its tracks!
What Exactly is Kava?
Kava or kava kava or Piper methysticum is a crop that originates in the Pacific Islands. The name kava is from Tongan and Marquesan, meaning “bitter”. It is from the pepper family and only the root is used. Kava products are made from a concentrated mixture. This is made by extracting kavalactones from the root of the plant with ethanol or acetone.
There are different ways to consume kava:
- Kava tea – sold as a herbal tea for relaxation which you brew using hot water
- Kava capsules – look for capsules that contain kavalactone and make sure you check your dosage. Only take 70-250mg of kavalactones daily.
When buying your kava remedy, make sure you read how many kavalactones per dose you are getting. Avoid any products saying “proprietary blends.”
What is Stress?
Stress is part of being a human being. Stress is related to our fight or flight instincts. People who are never stressed may be bored. People who are too stressed will get diseases. We need to find the happy medium. Small levels of stress can be good for the body and mind. It can raise energy levels and self-esteem, assisting with performance levels.
But too much stress drains all the energy away and creates chaos in your body and mind. Stress is associated with a release of chemicals into the bloodstream. In ancient times, this would have provided more energy to escape danger. Nowadays, however, too many of the wrong chemicals in the bloodstream can be dangerous.
Effects of Stress
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Stress shows itself as a release of hormones in the body. The hypothalamus in the brain triggers the body to make more adrenaline and cortisol to contend with any threats or pressures (the fight or flight syndrome).
Adrenaline surges show up in increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure and additional energy. Cortisol surges show up in an emission of blood sugar into the bloodstream. Digestion is then stifled as the body deals with the stress response. This reaction does die down in minutes. People, however, are living in continuous stressful environments. Adrenaline and cortisol continue to flow all day long. This is dangerous to long term health.
Causes of Stress
- Internal stress – worry about the past or the future. Worrying about things you cannot change. Too many thoughts which mean nothing in the greater scheme of things.
- Survival stress – response to danger in a dangerous situation caused by people, natural disasters or incidents which happen out of the blue (an assault, a near-drowning, a car accident…)
- Environmental stress – too many things going on around you in work and at home. Worry about climate change and forces of nature, pollution and other man-made disasters.
- Fatigue and burnout – too much work over time and not enough rest.
Why Choose Kava for Stress?
Too many people choose strong drugs for their stress. Many become addicted to these conventional medications which also have terrible side effects. Kava is a natural therapy which has no side effects.
Kava has similar effects to over the counter medications but is safer. It is vital to know the safe dosage amounts just in case. Scientists found that kava worked well in patients who had anxiety linked to depression too. Kava is a calming substance and also improves sleep patterns. Stressful people battle to sleep. Kava treats both stress and insomnia.
Chat to us about your stress levels and taking kava.
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