Facts about the Use of Kava as Medicine
No discussion of the beneficial effects of Kava would be complete without discussing its use in the treatment of Anxiety. Did the natives use Kava for anxiety? We know they did use Kava for Weight Loss, Urinary Problems, Menopausal Symptoms, Pain Relief, and Insomia amongst other things. Though there is no mention of using Kava for the treatment of anxiety, modern day Kava consumers use Kava for that very reason.
IN 2001, two kava studies were performed at the Duke University Medical Schoool on the effects of Kava One study showed that that Kava is as effective for relieving anxiety as the benzodiazepine class of drugs (Valium, Xanax). The other study found no Liver Toxicity from the use of Kava. In that same year, European Researchers came out with research that claimed that Kava had caused Liver Toxicity in 21 people. As it turns out, the research was faulty and was discredited as such.
In 2013, there was a study in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology by Dr. Sarris of Melbourne. His findings revealed that Kava was effective in treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Hmm, I wonder if that is the same Stress Related Anxiety that orginally drove the Kavbrarian to Kava in the first place? That same study also found that Kava increased women’s sex drive. It was thought that this was a result of the reduction in anxiety. I’m sure that study would have been true for men too.
It is said that the Islanders of the Pacific would come home from Farming and Fishing and they would drink their Kava to relieve their aches and pains after a long days work. We have found very little scientific research on this subject. We have heard of people with Fibromyalgia using Kava for pain management however their main goal was to quit their dependency on the various drugs they were taking for that purpose. I (KavaBriarian) have taken a specific strain of Hawaiian Kava (Papa 'Kea) for pain associated with the aches and pains accumulated over a long weekend of Gardening and Planting. Chris Allen with GHK has told us he likes Papa Kea for pain relief after a hard day of farming and logging. So we cannot give you hard proof on the pain relief properties of Kava but we can say that it works for us. We recommend you consult a Physician before attempting to substitute Kava for your Prescribed Pain Relief Medicine.
Kava is a natural sleep remeday that promotes sound sleep. Our fellow Kava users have also told us that it also can enhance Vivid Dreaming and is a great natural sleep medication. In some cases, it has been found to be effective with insomnia. The sedating properties of Kava can turn off a very busy mind and that alone would be one reason that sleep is enhanced. I myself have found that Kava results in a sound peaceful sleep whereas Alchohol results in a more fitful sleep. One thing we do recommend is that you take your Kava at least one hour before you go to bed. I have seen cases of people taking their Kava right before bed and then having problems falling asleep. This actual makes sense for the same reasons you don't drink alcohol or eat food before you go to bed.
We are not medical professionals here at the Kava Library and therefore we cannot recommend Kava as a cure for any specific medical or psychological purpose. The FDA has not approved nor does it recommend Kava to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease either physical or mental. We can only present scientific research and tell you how our friends and ourselves use Kava for various purposes. We recommend that you consult a Physician before attempting to replace your Prescription Medicine with Kava. Here at the Kava Library we are searching the world over to bring you the latest information about the Medicinal benefits of Kava. Below you will find some examples but there will be much, much more posted in the future as we get better organized.
Kava and Anxiety
Kava and Pain Relief
A Natural Sleep Remedy
Kava Can Help with Drug and Alcohol Addiction
Many people have praised Kava for it's ability to help with Drug and Alcohol Addiction. There are some people that would say that you are substituting one drug or another. But if you ask any person who is fighting addiction, they will tell you that Kava is 100 times less harmful than the drug to which they are addicted. In our opinion, any discussion on Addiction and Recovery should be done with a support group. There is an awesome Addiction and Recovery sub-forum at the Kava Forums and the members there can help advise you in a way that cannot be achieved here at the library. There was an interesting study on Kava done by the University of Minnesota in cooperation with Ed Johnston and the University of Hawaii. It showed that there is a lot of Kava Blended with Tudei but they also showed that certain chemicals in Kava can kill cancer cells. Here is the link to their research.
Kava and Cancer Research