Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
Does kava really have a positive effect on anxiety?
A: In Europe, the herb kava is widely prescribed for anxiety. Kava is a member of the pepper family that has long been cultivated by Pacific Islanders for use as a social and ceremonial drink.
According to studies, kava appears to be an effective treatment for symptoms of anxiety. One study tested kava’s effectiveness in 100 individuals with various forms of anxiety, evaluating its effect on symptoms such as restlessness, nervousness, heart palpitations, stomach discomfort, dizziness, and chest pain. By 8 weeks, participants who were given kava showed significantly less anxiety.
If you decide to use kava, be patient because the benefits may take a while to develop. As always, discuss the possibility of using kava with your physician before you begin using it.
Additionally, to help calm the mind and body you may like to try the Traditions of Tao herbal formulas “Calm-fort/Sleeping”, “Anxiety/Sleepless” and “Five Elements of Health”. Of course, discuss with your physician before beginning any new health regime.