Kava kava: what is it, benefits and how to drink it
Kava kava is a medicinal plant that is widely used in traditional medicine to treat cases of anxiety, agitation, or tension. Its scientific name is Piper methysticum and it can be found in health food stores, online stores, and even in certain supermarkets.
This plant has some very important active substances known as kavalactones, which, according to some studies, apparently act in a very similar way to that of some anxiolytic drugs, regulating the action of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain.
In this way, kava can be an excellent natural treatment option for cases of anxiety and agitation, before opting for the use of drugs.
However, for it to be used correctly and in safe doses, its use must be guided by a naturopath, phytotherapist, nutritionist, or other health professional specializing in the use of medicinal plants.
How Kava kava works
The exact mechanism of action of this plant is not yet known, however, several studies indicate that the kavalactones in Kava kava have a function very similar to that of benzodiazepines, which are the main group of drugs used in the treatment of anxiety.
This means that the plant manages to bind to the brain receptors for the neurotransmitter GABA, improving their action.
As GABA is the main responsible for inhibiting the central nervous system, allowing the person to relax, feel less fear and be less anxious, this plant has a powerful calming effect.
Likewise, some studies indicate that Kava can be used in cases of seizures, since one of its kavalactones, kavain, has an antagonistic action on sodium channels, which generates the stabilization of the electrical activity of the neuron.
How to drink
The used parts of Kava kava are its rhizomes, which is where the highest concentration of its active substances is found. There are several ways to use this plant:
Supplement (capsules): this is the most effective form, as it uses a more concentrated extract of the active substances of the plant.
To use it in the form of a supplement, the ideal is to consult a phytotherapist; however, the generic dose indicated is normally 60 to 120 mg per day in the case of extracts with 50 to 70% concentration of kavalactones;
Tea: Kava rhizomes can also be used to make tea, however, in this way of using it is not possible to fully know what the concentration of active substances is.
However, it is recommended to place 1 tablespoon of Kava kava rhizomes in 500 mL of boiling water for 10 minutes.
Then, remove from the heat, strain, let it cool and drink 2 to 3 times a day or at times when you feel the most anxiety, for example.
Ideally, a phytotherapist or a health professional specialized in medicinal plants should always be consulted, since their use, dose, and treatment time may vary according to each person and their medical history.
Possible side effects
The main side effect of the use of Kava kava is the appearance of serious lesions in the liver.
However, the only studies done on this effect were carried out in people who also had other habits that could have affected liver function.
In this way, although the true effect of Kava on the liver is not yet known, it is recommended not to exceed the dose of 120 mg per day.
Kava kava is contraindicated in pregnant and lactating women since there are no studies on its safety during these phases of life.
In addition, it should be avoided by those who suffer from liver diseases and those who are under treatment with antihypertensive drugs, at least without the indication of a health professional.
First Aid Essentials: What Every Beginner Needs to Know?
Medical emergencies can happen anywhere and at any time. If you need to learn how to
provide immediate attention, it can get better than you think. Because of this, each individual
must have a good idea about what first aid is and how to equip themselves with the
As a beginner, you must have some basic knowledge to aid you. Also, first aid is a basic
understanding. We will talk about a few of them, which will give you enough perspective and
get the job done.
The First Aid Essentials That Every Beginner Needs to Know
As you can understand from the name, nobody expects you to know much about beginners’
first aid essentials. It is very important to know about first aid which is a temporary and
preliminary aid you need to give an individual if they fall sick suddenly or get injured. It would
help if you remembered some of the most important things when it comes to providing first
aid as beginners are:
1. Overcrowding Causes More Problems Than You Can Expect
You must remember that overcrowding will cause the patient many more problems than
expected. Many people need help understanding this, but keeping the patient in a setting
that does not allow them access to fresh water or air becomes a big problem.
It is because they cannot breathe properly and can automatically feel more claustrophobic.
Always ensure that the one you care for is in a location that does not have a crowded
atmosphere and can help the patient get oxygen. It is best to do this when the patient faints
or gets injured.
2. Learn CPR
Regarding first aid, it is more than taking care of minor burns and cuts. It would help if you
were prepared for the worse, and CPR is one of them. If you notice that the heart is not
functioning or the individual cannot breathe, you need to give them immediate CPR. For this,
you need to place your right hand over your left hand, and that too near the patient’s chest.
Then it would help if you pumped rigorously. Many people do not understand this, but
effective CPR can save an individual who possibly has incurred a cardiac arrest. The only
thing that you need to do is learn how you can give effective CPR so that it can come to
3. ABC Of First Aid
Only a few people know this, but when it comes to adequate first aid, you need to know the
principles of ABC. What is it?
● Airway – If you notice that it is becoming impossible for someone to breathe, the first
thing that you do is clear their airway path. It always allows them to breathe more freely
● Breathing – If you notice that even after clearing out the airway, the individual is not
breathing at all, you need to make sure that you give them more assistance to breathe freely.
In this case, you need to provide them with rescue breathing which is often exceptionally
● Circulation – Finally, the other crucial thing you need to do is ensure proper circulation.
Blood circulation is essential and can be a life-saving trick.
4. Immediate Call To The Nearest Healthcare Facility
Sometimes, it is crucial to understand that medical emergencies are not always in our
Many people take up the due course in their own hands, which becomes problematic.
Hence, an essential step in learning to provide basic first aid is to call the nearest healthcare
facility. Make sure you arrange for transportation, which will help shift the patient more
5. First Aid For Bleeding
You must clear your hands and wear clean gloves if someone is bleeding. After that, you
must clean the wound with running water and gauze. You can add an antiseptic to remove
the spot if there are any germs. If the injury is profound and the bleeding is not stopping, you
must visit a doctor as soon as possible.
When it comes to providing first aid, the one providing it should be sure about what they are
doing. Also, ensure that if the patient is in their consciousness, take their permission. You will
be touching them, and hence this consent is essential.
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