What is Kava Kava, Does it Work and is it Safe?

Kava Kava (Piper Methysticum) is a plant which grows in the western Pacific region that is actually a relative of the pepper plant. This plant is thought to have a number of sedative and medicinal properties and has been used by native and traditional cultures for hundreds of years. The roots of the plant are normally chewed or ground into a pulp and then added to cold water. This is a ceremonial drink as well as the social equivalent of wine or alcohol in Western cultures. Modern science has taken the extracts of the plant, known as kavalactones and produced a biosynthetic supplement. Like the plant itself, this is thought to have relaxing and calming qualities. Kava Kava is considered helpful in treating conditions like anxiety, insomnia, and related nervous disorders. However, Kava Kava supplements are potentially toxic to the liver and do pose several safety concerns.

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