Thursday, March 22, 2012

How Kava Use May Be The Safest Method of Treating Moderate Anxiety

Stress and anxiety affect nearly everyone. These mental health issues tend to come in three different levels of severity:
  • Mild Anxiety – Anxiety that is common and easy to manage. 
  • Moderate Anxiety – Anxiety that affects your life often but doesn’t cause you to lose control. 
  • Intense Anxiety – Anxiety that strongly prevents you from engaging in any activity. 
Mild anxiety tends to be easy to manage, and can be treated with lifestyle changes. Intense anxiety is more serious. Often it requires more than simply some type of medicine or supplement, and those suffering from this level of anxiousness need to seek therapy in addition to any nutritional plan.

Moderate anxiety, on the other hand, is trickier. Therapy can be a useful form of support, but it's often too expensive for those with moderate anxiety, since that type of anxiety is manageable despite the way it affects your quality of life. Pharmaceutical medications are also a terrible choice, because the sheer number of side effects and personality changes that the drugs cause. In addition, numerous herbal supplements are designed for mild anxiety, and their evidence at moderate anxiety is less well known. While they may be effective, those that suffer from moderate anxiety are in need of a supplement with more proof – one that can successfully treat their anxiety every day in a manner that is side effect free.

Kava and Moderate Anxiety

One natural root has been shown to have all of those qualities: Kava. Kava has received extensive research about the benefits of this herbal supplement, with a mental analysis essentially proving that kava in the correct doses can be used as a potential treatment for moderate anxiety. In fact, the relationship between kava and anxiety is so strong that it has even been accepted by much of the medical community in a way that other herbal supplements can only strive for.

Kava is also known for its ability to promote sleep – an important factor in relieving moderate anxiety. While there are numerous potential neutraceuticals for anxiety and stress, the amount of evidence in kava's favor for persistent moderate anxiety is second to none.

Kava and Health

Yet no discussion of the benefits of kava is complete without discussing the health implications of the herbal supplement. Nearly a decade ago, the government claimed that kava itself caused liver damage, and while they did not ban the sale of kava in most states, they did strongly suggest that the public stop taking the powerful herb.

But there were problems with this data. Namely, that the studies showing a health issue all indicated that there were problems with abuse, along with serious drug and alcohol consumption in addition to using kava. In many ways people weren't using kava to relieve them of stress. They were using kava along with other drugs to destructively self-medicate.

Since then, scientists have found that – like many other drugs and herbs – there are interactions. And these studies found that kava interacts poorly with alcohol, so those that drink were experiencing marked side effects brought on by combining these two drugs.

When kava is taken safely, without any alcohol or health conditions that have damaged the liver or kidneys, it's shown that kava is completely side effect free. In addition, kava is not known to cause dependency. Since alcohol is also a drug that is known to stimulate anxiety, those that are suffering from moderate anxiety should not drink, and the kava can have its full effect.

Kava, Diet, and Lifestyle Change

Finally, anxiety is a powerful emotion – one that is easily affected by the behaviors you perform in your daily life. If you continue to engage in activities that cause you anxiety or surround yourself with situations that are known to lead to an increase in stress, you diminish the strength of the herb's benefits.
Kava should only be adopted when you are also willing to make lifestyle changes, including eating a healthy diet, getting a full night's sleep, avoiding stressful situations, and maintaining an active lifestyle. Anxiety is a cumulative condition – the more anxious you are regularly, the more stress symptoms you experience when you are in a situation with more anxiety later. Kava can and will mitigate a large percentage of anxiety, but if you continue to engage in anxiety causing behaviors, you will still experience some of that stress and tension that caused you to seek treatment in the first place.

Still, the benefits of kava – and the research that has gone into learning more about the herbal supplement – is second to none when it comes to treating anxiety. If you suffer from a degree of anxiety that doesn't yet need mental health counseling but does affect your life in a regular basis, consider starting a kava regimen and combining it with the beneficial lifestyle changes to reduce anxiety in your life.

About the Author:
Ryan Rivera is a natural herb supporter and writer of numerous health information articles about anxiety, stress, and panic, many of which can be found at

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