The use of this sacred root predates written history, originating from the most remote and exotic parts of the world, it has been touted for its euphoric effects for centuries. The ancient origins of Kava Kava trace back at least 3,000 years and are associated with ceremonial celebrations of the Pacific Islanders in which several island cultures honor the root through ritual by drinking it while paying respects to their deities.
For the Pacific Island cultures of Fiji, Vanuatu, Hawaii, and Polynesia, Kava Kava is used to promote a blissful state of mind while connecting the soul to Mother Earth. Now the science behind her omniscient wisdom is being unearthed. Scientists have discovered the active compounds in Kava Kava and named them kavalactones. These kavalactones are responsible for feelings of euphoria and are found comprising more than 15% of the roots. Most of the benefits of Kava Kava can be credited to these compounds because they are able to cross the blood-brain barrier, affecting neurotransmitters in the brain like GABA which essentially decreases activity in the brain thus washing a sense of calmness over the mind.
This flowering plants use has been recorded from as far back as ancient Rome and Greece. It is commonly recognized for its relaxing and calming effects as it works symbiotically with your bodies chemistry to promote a feeling of tranquility. Traditionally, it has been valued in Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and many other folk medicine systems around the world. Today, it’s most commonly used as a supplement to aid in insomnia, anxiety, and other conditions such as depression. It’s thought to aid in various ailments due to its biosynthetic nature.
Valerian has even been approved in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, and France as an herbal sleep aid to be prescribed by doctors for patients suffering from insomnia. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study conducted by the Foellinge Health Center in Sweden, forty-four percent of patients reported perfect sleep after administration of Valerian extract while 89% reported improved sleep from the preparation. Similar to Kava Kava, Valerian has received attention for its interaction with GABA (a neurotransmitter in the brain). One of Valerian’s active compounds, Valerenic acid has been found to inhibit the breakdown of GABA in the brain and when blended with Kava Kava, the combination possesses the potential of tuning the mind to a flowing frequency, free of trepidation.
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