Kava Kava is a very popular supplement spread worldwide, but a recent happening showed that it can cause a very itchy rash if it is not administered carefully. Seems like a man aged 55 from California started to take a kava kava supplement in order to help him quit smoking, but something strange and unfortunate happened to him instead: he got himself a very itchy rash over his face, abdomen and torso, while his scalp suffered from a severe side effect of this supplement. The doctors reported his case in order to draw people’s attention into how to use this supplement carefully and inform them about what unwanted side effects might develop.
Apparently, the course of the story is the following: the man wanted to quit his smoking habit, so he started to take this supplement for about three weeks already, either mixing it with water and drink it as a tea, or putting it under his tongue. However, it seems that the same man was using also an anti-anxiety drug named citopram, also known as Celexa, in the same time as he was taking the Kava Kava supplement, which might have been the main reason for why he developed such a nasty rash in the first place.
It seems that inside our bodies, kava kava is broken down by the same enzyme that is used to break down the citopram, thus, taking both at the same time might produce some unwanted results. Since the man took both Kava Kava and citopram at the same time, he developed and adverse reaction to the Kava Kava supplement, which brought him the nasty rash. Yes, it is possible for some supplements to interfere with the medication of a patient, this is why it is so important to tell your doctor everything about the drugs, pills, medication or supplements you’re using, in order to help him understand what treatments needs to administer to you. And this case is a good example of it.
This Californian man had his rash treated by the doctor and also followed the doctor’s advice to stop taking the supplement. Thus, the rash went away after the man received 9 months of treatment. However, at some point, the man started taking the Kava Kava supplement again, and there was also an unwanted side effect. This time, the man’s face became itchy and flushed, although there was no sign of rash. So the doctor told him not to take this supplement at all, anymore, and as a result, the man didn’t have problems with his skin and face anymore. After hearing such an unpleasant story, we all have one major curiosity and that is: what exactly is this Kava Kava supplement? What does it do, what benefits can provide us and our health, and especially, what are the side effects we might get in return if we use it wrong? This article has all the answers ready for you!
Kava Kava is actually the scientific name for Piper methysticum, being the main ingredient in a ceremonial drink that is very used in the Pacific Islands. Kava Kava is believed to be originated from Malaysia, but is has been consumed for like hundreds of years in the Pacific Islands.
Traditionally, one can consume Kava Kava by chewing the plant roots or even by grinding them into a fine pulp and soak it in cold water. In this way, we get a thick drink that has a great social importance in the Pacific Islands. Except the ceremonial role that this plant is playing, it is also known for its properties of relaxing people. Locators from Pacific Islands believe that Kava Kava can actually increase people’s mood and also induce a state or sense of well being and calm. What’s more, there are certain studies that have revealed the fact that Kava Kava can treat a few sorts of insomnia and anxiety, along with other nervous disorders.
What are the Kava Kava benefits?
Although Kava Kava can be toxic for the liver’s health if it is not taken according to the doctor’s recommendations, it can be used for recreational purposes, and under some medical supervised and controlled doses, Kava Kava can provide benefits for the following conditions: anxiety, insomnia.
How does kava kava supplement treat anxiety?
Apparently, the Kava Kava supplement is able to treat some certain symptoms that are associated with anxiety. There were 7 studies that concluded the fact that a Kava Kava extract has a significantly pronounced effect in treating anxiety, rather than taking a placebo. There are even studies that revealed the fact that Kava Kava can reduce the anxiety symptoms after only one week of treatment!
What’s more, several recent studies showed that if the Kava Kava doses are administered under close medical observation and control, they can be as effective as or even more effective than the antidepressants and anxiolytics pills. The studies resulted that the diazepam and Kava Kava supplement both act in a very similar way, relaxing and calming the mind.
On another hand, there are experts who believe that Kava Kava should be only an option for treatment when the stress and the anxiety are symptoms of a certain condition, such as cancer. Cancer patients often have feelings of anxiety. Regarding reducing the levels of stress, it seems that Kava Kava can do that in postmenopausal women and also in men that have arrived at andropause. If athletic people may suffer from anxiety after a severe overtraining or after periods of extreme physical fatigue, it is recommended for them to use the Kava Kava supplement in order to deal with these symptoms.
How does kava kava treat insomnia?
Even if the most of the studies focused more on the reducing anxiety with the help of the Kava Kava supplement, there are a few ones that have analyzed the Kava Kava’s ability to eliminate or treat insomnia. It has been shown that Kava Kava supplement is helpful because it can improve the quality of our sleep and it can also shorten the time we need to fall asleep. So they seem to be pretty good results over the insomnia issue.
Who can benefit for the positive effects of the Kava Kava supplement?
Well, pretty much those who have very anxious and stressed periods of time should consider taking Kava Kava supplements. But it is highly recommended that in case of stress, the Kava Kava supplement should be taken under close medical observation and only on medical advice, because there is the potential risk of developing side effects for the liver.
There is also another category of people that can benefit from the positive results of the Kava Kava supplement and these are the athletes, especially when they are trying to recover after exercise and in order to prevent their overtraining periods. For them, Kava Kava supplement is good because it contains analgesic, and this can combat the muscle pain. It also induces a more restful sleep. Furthermore, Kava Kava supplement has a direct effect on the muscle growth training. According to medical opinion, the recommended doses of Kava Kava supplement is between 60-120 mg per day, and it should be taken for no more than 3 months. However, certain doctors can prescribe certain different doses, according to the patient’s needs.
And we’ve got to the point that interests us the most, which is: what are the kava kava supplement’s side effects?
Except the fact that it is toxic for the liver and that there were 25 liver damage reports worldwide, the Kava Kava supplement’s side effects can also include the developing of the hepatitis and the cirrhosis. However, pregnant women, drinkers and nursing should not take Kava Kava supplement. Other side effects of this supplement include the allergic reactions of the skin, the rashes, restlessness and some gastrointestinal problems. At the present time, the Kava Kava and its supplements are prohibited in the European Union.