June 23, 2024

Kava is a plant that’s native to the Pacific Islands. While it has been used for centuries in traditional ceremonies and for medicinal purposes, it has gained popularity in recent years across the Western world. This is because of the viewpoint that it’s a natural remedy for various health issues. 

The following guide delves into the world of kava, highlighting its health benefits and potential concerns. If you’re curious about how this plant can help, read on to learn more! 

The Health Benefits of Kava 

To explain the growing popularity of kava, here are some of the main health benefits gained from consuming this natural remedy: 

  • Anxiety relief: One of the most well-documented benefits of kava is its ability to alleviate anxiety. Studies have even shown that kava can be as effective as some prescription anxiety medications. Its active ingredients, known as kavalactones, have sedative and anxiolytic properties that help to calm the mind without impairing cognitive function. 
  • Sleep aid: For those struggling with sleep disorders, kava can be a natural alternative to over-the-counter sleep aids. Thanks to its relaxing effects, it can help ease insomnia and improve sleep quality. This makes it a popular choice for individuals seeking a restful night without the known side effects of traditional sleep medication. 
  • Muscle relaxation: Kava is known to possess muscle relaxant properties, making it advantageous for people suffering from conditions related to muscle tension. This natural relaxant can be particularly useful for individuals with chronic pain conditions, where it supplies relief without the real risk of dependency. 
  • Mental clarity: Unlike many sedatives, kava is capable of reducing anxiety while preserving mental clarity at the same time. Those that use kava report feeling more alert and focused after consuming kava. As a result, this makes it a preferred choice for those who wish to avoid the foggy feeling associated with other calming substances. 

What Are the Concerns of Using Kava?

As with any supplement or extract, there are always underlying concerns that sit below the benefits. That’s the same story with kava. Even though it only has positive effects for many, there are still some concerns you should be aware of before consuming kava. 

For instance, one of the most common issues is does kava show up on a drug test or not. This is particularly important for individuals in professions which require regular drug screening. The good news: kava is not commonly detected in standard drug tests. 

Most drug tests are designed to detect substances like narcotics, amphetamines, benzos, and alcohol. Since kava’s active compounds are different from these substances, it typically does not trigger a positive result on a drug test. Just keep in mind the quality and composition of kava products can vary, and it is possible for it to be mixed with other substances. 

Another pressing concern is the potential for liver damage. Although rare, there have been reports of liver failure and severe hepatitis in some individuals who consumed kava. This risk, however, may be higher with certain types of kava preparations or in individuals with pre-existing liver conditions.