Kava is also called kava kava or piper methysticum. It is a plant native to the South Pacific islands. This plant is known as a tropical evergreen shrub with heart-shaped leaves and woody stems. Kava root is used to produce a drink with sedative, anesthetic, and euphoriant properties. The plant’s active ingredients are called kavalactones. Kava has received widespread attention for its relaxing and stress-reducing properties. Kava root is classified into two categories crown root and lateral root.
What does kava do?
Kava has an active substance called kavapyrones, or kavalactones. However, it is not understood how this substance work. But some research says that they affect the way that nerves send messages throughout the body.
How to consume kava?
As per research the traditional way to consume kava is to drink it as a herbal tea. While these drinks are prepared by grinding the roots of this plant into powder. Which is later stirred into water or coconut milk. Kava is also available in the following form:
Health Benefits of Kava
1. Promotes Sleep
A lack of sleep is connected to many medical issues such as depression, obesity, high blood pressure, cancer, and diabetes. While this plant is commonly used as an alternative to these sleep medications because of its calming effects. It is said to help in treating sleeplessness or insomnia. As per studies, the root promotes deep sleep without affecting restful REM sleep.
2. Treats Toothache
Kava contains anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and anesthetic properties. Which helps treat a toothache. If an individual chews a small piece of dried kava root for about 15 minutes can help with a toothache. The plant’s roots can even help cure gingivitis. Applying kava root oil to the affected place can treat any infection. The root is also used as a mouthwash to treat canker sores.
3. Ease Pain
According to research kava roots are traditionally used for pain relief, and to relax muscles as well as for their calming effects. The roots can be made into a traditional beverage. It has been shown that kava contains anti-inflammatory properties, which could contribute to pain relief. The roots can even help with nerve-related pain.
Kava side effects
Consuming kava in small amounts is considered as safe for health as they come from nature. But if it is injected in high doses can create problems or side effects such as:
Feeling overly drowsy
Feeling down or depressed
- Numbness in the mouth, tongue, or throat