Notices

Kava for anxiety?

Old 12-03-2009, 08:19 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
c49
Its time for bed
Thread Starter
 
c49's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Undisclosed Location
Posts: 343
Kava for anxiety?

So most of us have a high level of daily anxiety. Mine certainly fueled a need to drink and drinking eventually fueled the anxiety. But I quit drinking and so many things are falling into place and I am happy with myself. ANXIETY is better but still present.

I see a therapist every few weeks, I have tried every med worth trying, I eat well and exercise very often. Sure, there are other avenues I have not tried yet but I will when I get to them. But for now I am trying KAVA KAVA... its an herb and I wonder if anyone else has tried it??

I've taken it a few days now and I actually feel a difference. I'd say it can have about 1/2 the effect what ativan or klonopin can do. My shoulders feel more relaxed and my thinking is more stable -- greatly reduced the obsessive thinking that fuels my nervousness. From what I've read on websites it can make you drowsy at high quantities but I suppose I am not taking more than recommend amounts. Apparently you can make teas with this.

Now there are some things that website caution about. First, it is an herb and while the root of the herb is safe, apparently the stem and leaves of the plant are not. This can hurt your liver and the product label needs to be clear about this.

Second... I almost purchased a liquid extract but noticed at the last second that this extract is made with alcohol. Not an option. I bought capsules instead.

Supposedly this is why Polynesians are so happy as kava has been part of their culture for a bizzillion years or something like that. I hope there is truth to that.

So far no side effects, just less anxiety. Thoughts? Similar experiences?
c49 is offline  
Old 12-03-2009, 08:48 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
c49
Its time for bed
Thread Starter
 
c49's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Undisclosed Location
Posts: 343
Originally Posted by keepcominback View Post
because it is not medically approved, just something some people say works, just don't know, what is safe!
Difficult to know with certainty what is safe. I've taken some FDA approved meds and was really close to calling it quits on life.

And just because it is an herb doesnt mean its safe. Marijuana is just that - While low risk, its difficult to function. Poison Ivy is all-natural and a natural way for me to scratch until I'm skinless.

What was absolutely UNSAFE was self medicating with alcohol!!!
c49 is offline  
Old 12-03-2009, 09:19 AM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Bristol TN/VA
Posts: 12,278
Sleepytime tea and Sleepytime extra tea have calming effects for me.
Live is offline  
Old 12-03-2009, 09:27 AM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Rockstar
 
Sikkisirus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Wales, UK
Posts: 634
Never heard of this to be honest - I cut out all caffiene (just another irritating drug to me) and stick to chamomile tea
Sikkisirus is offline  
Old 12-03-2009, 09:28 AM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Grateful to be free
 
Threshold's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 3,680
I'd suggest being careful about putting any substance, on a regular basis between your mind and dealing with reality.

I have taken Kava Kava in the past for anxiety, before I got clean. I've also read about the way it is used in it's own culture..there are Kava Kava bars where people go in the evenings, do Kava and stumble home afterwards....

just something to think about...it may make the Polynesians happy, the same way a lot of hippies were happy.

I know anxiety is a real issue. I have it myself, and have suffered from debilitating panic, it's one of the worst things in the world and led to me using to escape it...but Kava Kava, natural or not, and Valerian..in the hands of an addict like me...are one more way to use.

Your results may vary
Threshold is offline  
Old 12-03-2009, 09:33 AM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Bristol TN/VA
Posts: 12,278
Sleepytime tea is chamomille tea.
Sleepytime extra is chamomille and valerian.
I can't do caffeine either.
Live is offline  
Old 12-03-2009, 10:03 AM
  # 7 (permalink)  
not little, a stranger no more
 
Lionne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: in the crowd
Posts: 410
Kava (piper methysticum) products are banned over here in many european countries because there were some 40 known cases where the use of pharmaceutical kava kava products may have been a factor in severe liver damage. Research seems to iindicate that it may have to do with what part of the plant has been used and the dosage. I came across the ceremonial use of this plant in social anthropology classes and I have consumed it once years ago in this context. It tasted like drinking a spoonful of mud diluted in a glass of water and it makes the tip of your tongue go slightly numb. It has a certain mood elevating ability, reduces inhibitions and from what I remember, it had (although mildly) some carateristics associated to doing a drug or drinking.
Aside of the health contoversy about liver damage that has not been completely solved yet, I wouldn't recommend to use it regularly over an extended period of time. In fact, from how I experienced it, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who has dealt with any form of addiction to be honest, since it is mood altering and there is a potential for abuse in my opinion.
Lionne is offline  
Old 12-03-2009, 10:19 AM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Member
 
ClosetExtrovert's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 232
Here comes my American lousy attitude, but if a drug was released by a pharma company here, it would certainly be banned, least the natural version cut into sacred profits.
It's probably safe for the short-term, but I never use drugs for the short-term.
ClosetExtrovert is offline  
Old 12-03-2009, 10:31 AM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Member
 
ANEWAUGUST's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: The Sunny South
Posts: 1,666
c49999-

I, like Live, use the Sleepytime teas.

I have also taken Valerian Root (an ingredient in the tea)., along with GABA which is recommended in a book here Under the Influence.

I always considered myself more a naturalist and health nut...but, you bring up
a great point...I did drink lethal quantities of alcohol.

Peace
ANEWAUGUST is offline  
Old 12-03-2009, 02:18 PM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Dee74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 204,748
Like Threshhold I suggest to everyone - always be careful about self-administering any substance on a regular protacted basis.

I did that for 20 years, with less than stellar results.

Check with your Dr - especially with something like Kava, which has been found to be dangerous in some cases, especially to people with existing liver damage.

Having also used the natural plant as an intoxicant, I myself would be leery of using it again.

D
Dee74 is offline  
Old 12-03-2009, 02:51 PM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Not all better, getting better
 
tyler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: The Beautiful Inner Banks of NC
Posts: 1,702
Tried it a number of years ago with little effect. Of course I was self medication 24/7 with marajuana, so that may have had something to do with it.

Like Dee said, I'd suggest talking with your doctor about it and being honest with him about your drinking problem as well (if you haven't already). Many of the chemical drugs we take today have their basis in herbs, so that doesn't necessarily make the herbs any safer than the drugs.

As far as this particular one goes, it seems like you've done a bit of research on it, which is good. I guess I'd treat it like any mind/mood altering substance, with a great deal of care, as you know you already have issues in that department. Take care.
tyler is offline  
Old 12-03-2009, 04:03 PM
  # 12 (permalink)  
Member
 
Ainslie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Bali, Indonesia
Posts: 645
Originally Posted by littlestranger View Post
I came across the ceremonial use of this plant in social anthropology classes and I have consumed it once years ago in this context. It tasted like drinking a spoonful of mud diluted in a glass of water and it makes the tip of your tongue go slightly numb.
So true, it does taste like muddy water!!! Ive taken the pills myself more to aid with sleep than anything else, and we can buy the root powder over the counter here.

We have shops that sell all sorts of legal herbs and potions and provide accurate information regarding all sorts of detox plans also. Come to Australia everyone!
Ainslie is offline  
Old 12-03-2009, 04:19 PM
  # 13 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Dee74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 204,748
...but not before checking with your Doctor, right Ainslie?

D - also in Australia.
Dee74 is offline  
Old 12-03-2009, 04:22 PM
  # 14 (permalink)  
Member
 
Ainslie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Bali, Indonesia
Posts: 645
Wink

Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
...but not before checking with your Doctor, right Ainslie?

D - also in Australia.
That is a wise idea
Ainslie is offline  
Old 12-03-2009, 04:24 PM
  # 15 (permalink)  
c49
Its time for bed
Thread Starter
 
c49's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Undisclosed Location
Posts: 343
The Dr. and I have discussed alternatives to medication before and is fully aware of my drinking history. I struggled with and eventually quit trying all of the conventional medications since it seems like they all make my anxiety worse.

My Doc is open to trying these other herbals (St. Johns Wart etc) and has echoed the need to be aware of the risks. I will mention my use of Kava of course, we meet next week.

I guess there are all sorts of ways to deal with my anxiety. Some, not so good:

*Drink it away... 24/7.... May hurt the liver.

*Stay sober and do nothing proactive about it.... May make for a miserable mental and physical life too.

*Stay sober, continue therapy and SR, eat right, exercise often, continue breathing/meditating, helpfull reading material... Healthy yes, but the anxiety remains.

*Stay sober and live healthy (see above) plus Kava.... seems to be working but there are question marks with regards to the overall safety of Kava.

mmmm still thinkin about it
c49 is offline  
Old 12-03-2009, 04:33 PM
  # 16 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Anna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Dancing in the Light
Posts: 58,603
When I first got sober, I tried Kava for awhile. Then, it was banned in Canada for some time. I think it's available here now, but I have great concern about the liver problems that it can cause. I'm not sure there is enough information on the product containers to let me know what part of the plant is being used.
Anna is online now  

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:46 PM.