Kava Kava: Benefits, Reviews, Warnings?
he kawa kawa, botanical name Piper methysticum, is a perennial shrub belonging to the family Piperaceae. The plant can reach a height of three meters and is presented with scattered leaves, broad and thin and flowers gathered in irregular groups. The kawa kawa, also known as Kava, also presents a knotty rhizome, much like a tuber with roots on both sides that can also reach three meters. This plant species is native to western Polynesia and today is found in all regions of the South Pacific, from Hawaii to New Guinea. The areas where it is most cultivated are Samoa, Vanuatu and Tahiti. The natives will derive a pulp by chewing, after contact with saliva, is infused in containers filled with hot water. The pulp thus treated is consumed during religious ceremonies. This shrub is also known in herbal medicine for its medicinal properties.
Property ** **
kava2 Before diving into the listing of the detailed properties of the kawa kawa should be stated that following the report of several cases of hepatotoxicity, the Ministry of Health, with a note of 2002, as a precautionary measure has banned the sale of products containing kava. The part of the plant used for medicinal purpose, before the stop ministerial was the rhizome which yields a resin that induces sleep. The resin, in fact, is one of the main constituents of kava pyrones which in turn contains mono-or bi-unsaturated as kawain, dihydrokawain, yangonina, dihydromethysticin, and desmetossyangonina. These organic substances formed by rings of carbon and gathered under the name of kawalattoni properties with muscle relaxants and psicorilassanti. Indigenous peoples of Polynesia who consumed a drink called Kava accused a state of excitement and thrill that was accompanied by a state of calm and deep relaxation.
The kavalactones have been shown to have analgesic, anxiolytic and anti-fungal. The kawain allows, moreover, to reduce spasms of the smooth muscles with action superior to that of papaverine. The kawa kawa is, in fact, considered to be a potent analgesic and pain reliever. Two other pyrones, such as yangonina and desmetossyangonina have a mild sedative action at the level of the central nervous system leading to a sedative and tranquilizer typical of the common anti-anxiety drugs. The kawalattoni, from experiments on animals subjected to electroshock, also showed a potent anticonvulsant effect. These effects correspond to the water-soluble fraction of the plant, or the aqueous extract said, properly, Kava. The resin that is extracted from the extract is the aqueous part of the plant that appears to have the ability to induce sleep. This has been seen in experiments on cats and it seems that this is the main effect of drug intake by humans, or sedative and anxiolytic. The intake of products containing kava has also procured some toxic effects such as redness of the skin and eyes, visual disturbances and loss of balance, high doses can occur tremors, movement disorders, nausea, prolonged sleep. Skin reactions such as dermatitis are reversible as soon as it suspends the intake of products containing kava.
Uses ** **
At the moment in Italy can not sell products based on kawa kawa, while in Germany the use of the dried rhizome and other products based on kawa kawa is allowed to treat disorders such as anxiety, stress and anxiety. The extracts of kava, combined with pumpkin seed oil appear to have beneficial effects on bladder irritation. With the dried root of kava can be prepared infusions and decoctions relaxing with mild euphoric effect.
The decoction is widely used by the indigenous peoples of the Pacific. In the German herbal medicine extracts of kava are also sold in the form of capsules, powder and tincture. The latter is prepared with the underground part of the rhizome and dried. The recommended dose is 40 drops three times per day. The dose of powdered rhizome to prepare infusions and decoctions is 0.5 grams. For capsules or tablets, the recommended dose is one to two, three times a day. The use of products based on kawa kawa is not recommended in pregnancy, in case of depression or taking anti-anxiety drugs and benzodiazepines.
** kawa kawa: Cost of products **
Products made of kawa kawa have costs were slightly higher compared to other herbal remedies, that is due to the fact that you can buy in health food Italian, but only through other authorized channels, such as e-commerce sites foreigners. When it comes to herbal remedies, however, before deciding on any purchase, you should always consult a doctor. A pack of 60 capsules of 250mg each costs about 20 Euros. The online sales channels do not give news of other products based on kawa kawa is this because of the news on the toxic effects reported.