Kava and Fibromyalgia – Is it Safe?

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Kava and Fibromyalgia

Kava is resident to the islands of the South Pacific; Fiji, Hawaii and Vanuatu are all recognized for their exceptional kava. The people of the Fiji islanders use Kava as a social beverage much like we use coffee or alcohol in the states. Before current medicine, herbs were the way many societies used to treat fitness problems.

As western medicine developed in the 20th century, people thought that herbs were just part of old wives tales and really did not work. But, in reality, many of our present medications originated in the form of herbs, aspirin most likely being the most widespread. Now, science is finding that certain herbs really do work for alleviating many symptoms. Milk Thistle and St. John’s Wort are among the most studied herbs. Research is increasing in the area of herbal supplements as people look for more natural remedies without the side effects of the prescription drugs used so extensively in modern western medicine.

The main benefits of Kava are leisure, stress and nervousness relief, and psychological enhancements. Kava is use to help relax striated muscles as well. Striated muscles are the muscles that can be voluntarily moved such as arm and leg muscles groups, or neck muscles. Kava does NOT affect smooth muscle such as the heart muscle or diaphragm muscle used for breathing. It is proposed that the reason Kava enhances mental capacities is because relaxation of stressful situations coupled with relaxation of tense or spastic muscles such as the neck muscles, allows more blood flow to the brain. Additionally, by putting some of the stressful affects aside, anyone can think clearer.

Although herbs do contain nutrients, I recommend making sure you get your basic nutritional needs met first. For instance, make sure you have enough good oils in your diet, like found in The Blessed Seed, before trying to target certain symptoms with fibromyalgia herbs. If your body is not capable to function properly because of nutritional deficiencies, herbs may not assist as much.

First, go to the Solutions taby at the left and look for the links to the Symptoms Page and the Nutrition page of this website. Of course we know that there are not any cures for fibromyalgia, but anything that can help soften some of the symptoms is usually worth trying and Relaxation is very important. Whether that relaxation is experienced via deep sleep, or herbal support such as with Kava, the primary point to consider is allowing the muscles to relax as much as possible, with the hopes that greater amounts of blood will perfuse into the tissues, carrying with it the molecule of life, Oxygen.

Many fibromyalgia herbs can help various ailments. A little of them can be somewhat strong and unsafe. Always be careful about the amount and frequency of herbs taken for relief of symptoms.

Is kava safe?

Kava may have severe side effects and should not be used by everyone. Kava has caused liver failure in previously healthy people. You must not use kava for longer than 3 months without consulting your physician. Before you use kava, consider that it should not be combined with alcohol or psychotropic medicines. Psychotropic medicines are used to treat psychiatric disorders or illnesses and include antidepressants and mood stabilizers. Alcohol exaggerates kava’s sedating effect.

People who are suffering from a liver disease or people who are taking medicines that can influence the liver, they should consult a physician or pharmacist prior to using products that include kava. People who use a dietary supplement that contains kava and experience signs of illness should consult a doctor. Symptoms of serious liver disease consist of brown urine as well as yellowing of the skin or of the whites of the eyes.

Other symptoms of liver disease may include nausea, vomiting -colored stools, unusual tiredness, weakness, stomach or abdominal pain, and loss of appetite. Always remember to consider herbs a drug and take them with caution. Consult with your physician and herbalist before mixing herbs with any medications you may be taking for fibromyalgia. Sometimes certain herbs are not meant to be combined with medications that are hard on your liver or if the herb acts in the same way as a medication you are taking.

Also remember to research herb companies that have a good track record and are reputable. The FDA does not regulate herbs or any supplements, so anyone could put some grass in a bottle and call it an herb. Make sure you do your research before buying any herbs. Like conventional medicines, dietary supplements may cause side effects, trigger allergic reactions, or interact with prescription and nonprescription medicines or other supplements you might be taking. A side effect or interference with an additional medicine or supplement may make other physical conditions worse. Kava can help surmount the challenges of drug and alcohol addiction.

Due to its relaxant effect and anxiolytic abilities kava can help people cope with cigarette cravings and the associated anxiety. Taking Kava before going to bed has been shown to result in relaxing sleep. It primarily improves sleep quality and decreases the time needed to fall asleep. Results of some studies suggest Kava may be as effective as certain anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications, without the harmful side effects. Because of the relaxant consequence it has on the muscles, Kava can counteract pain coupled with a muscle spasm.

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References:

  • Kava – Topic Overview via Web MD
  • KAVA FOR FIBROMYALGIA via My Fibromyalgia Diet

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