Kava kava has long been used as a stress-relieving and relaxing drink. For thousands of years now, this plant (its roots actually) has helped calm the drinker as well as provide relief for a number of conditions (such as insomnia, stress, pains, depression and anxiety). Based on years and years of experience, kava kava calms the nerves, provides a feeling of contentment and well-being, while at the same time increases one's concentration and alertness. For those who are having problems with sexual capacity, it can also act as an aphrodisiac.
Kava kava (the supplement and drink) is taken from the root of the plant called Piper methysticum. The piper shrub is around six feet tall but with favorable conditions, it can reach to as tall as 20 feet. It has heart-shaped leaves and small flowers. The roots (and the bumps) are pounded, ground or chewed and then the pulp is soaked in cold water.
Kava is sold as tablets, capsules, soft-gel, a drink, a tincture and ground into powdered form. The kava is freeze treated to ensure that its healing and the therapeutic powers are preserved without adding substances that may harm the drinker.
Now, kava kava is a very useful drink – great for relaxing and relieving one of stress. However, you must also remember, that, like other supplements, kava kava is to be taken with care. There are some reports that drinking too much may cause liver damage. There are even reports that in rare cases, it may even be linked to cirrhosis, hepatitis and liver failure. Side effects may also include double vision, the loss of muscle control, hypertension and abnormalities in the blood (such as problems with blood clotting). So be sure to take only the recommended dose. Also, consult the doctor to ensure that it will not react negatively to pre-existing conditions or remedies. Those who suffer from Parkinson's disease, kidney or liver disease are not allowed to drink kava. The same goes for those who are nursing and are pregnant.