Kava (Piper methysticum) - a species of traditional medicinal plant commonly known as kava or kava kava; used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes and relaxation in the countries of the South Pacific by drinking the brew, cooked-from fresh rhizomes, or more often - from the root. It is the root contains many active substances with a slight psychoactive, spasmolytic and anxiolytic, i.e. Kavalactones (mainly methysticin, yangonin, kavain, marindinin and their dihydro-deriavatives). Despite this is not qualified as addictive drug.
The mechanism of Kava-Kava
The mechanism of action of this plant is complex and not entirely understood. At the moment, it is known that Kava works by GABA-A receptors nerve ends stimulates the secretion of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), inhibit monoamine oxidase activity in the brain, i.e. enzyme degrading lots of neurotransmitter having the structure amine.
Many clinical studies have confirmed anxiolytic effects, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, sedative, calming, centrally relaxing muscles, putting the plant on a par with such medicines as opipramol and Buspirone - the comparison was made in the testing of the German drug Maoni, which included just a standardized extract of kava. Moreover, scientists study the operation of the plant for the suppression of the symptoms of menopause in women.
Properties and used kava-kava
Kava - like many users are reporting - can cause slight euphoria, enhance mood and stimulate eloquence. It creates a state carefree, retaining the brightness and sharpness of mind and the ability to concentrate attention, which is a much better option than drinking alcohol. In addition, unlike alcohol, does not cause aggression, anger and foolish behaviour, making it a potential mean against addiction. It is recommended that the use of kava in the states of fear, anxiety, increased tension and emotional symptoms nervous-anxiety.
Kava in reducing the symptoms of menopause
Researchers in 1990 studied the effects of an extract of Kava Kava for anxiety and some vegetative symptoms among women (approx. 52 years of age) undergoing menopause. Treatment lasted 12 weeks, the dosage was 60 mg per day kavalactones. Using a specialized index (KI - Kupperman index, ASI - an index of anxiety) reported beneficial effects of therapy after 4 weeks of starting supplementation. Subsequent studies also confirmed the effect of reducing anxiety. Furthermore, kava showed a synergism in combination with hormone replacement therapy (HRT), including the use of estrogens and progestogens.