Kava, Kava Kava, or Piper Methysticum.
Kava has a lot of names! But no matter what you call it, Kava has a long history of use and is considered a safe beverage or supplement. It has been used for hundreds of years by the natives of the South Pacific islands. Traditionally the roots are chewed and spit out into water to create a paste, but for obvious health coding reasons the Kava you’re drinking has been cut and ground up into a fine powder!
We have learned from the islanders that Kava has many benefits. While many of the side effects of Kava mimic alcohol, it leaves you with no hangover and better sleep than ever before. The Kava root relaxes the nervous system, decreases anxiety, and minimizes sleep disturbances.
Kava relaxes the nervous system, creating a calming effect in the entire body. The active ingredient in Kava, kavalactones, affect the neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals that allow your nerves to communicate with each other, meaning these kavalactones help your nerves communicate relaxing chemicals to further relax the body.
#2 Decrease Anxiety
The first long-term study investigating the effects of kava extract in people with anxiety was published in 1997. In comparison to the placebo, it significantly decreased the severity of participants’ anxiety. Since then 11 other studies have demonstrated the anti-anxiety benefits of Kava, and the positive response of no addiction or withdrawal side effects which are commonly seen in other anti-anxiety pharmaceuticals.
#3 Minimizes Sleep Disturbances
In response to numbers 1 and 2, it comes as no surprise that Kava aides in sleep quality! When your body and brain are more relaxed, you sleep easier. Stress-induced insomnia is common in those with anxiety, leaving Kava to kill two birds with one stone. Like alcohol, Kava causes some drowsiness, helping you fall asleep. The relaxing effect of the kavalactones on the nervous system helps you stay asleep all night long.