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Kava kava dosage, how much should you take?

Kava kava dosage depends upon age, user’s health, existing disease conditions and continuing medicines. Kava kava is a herb derived from plant Piper methysticum. The roots of this plant are used for sedative and healing properties. It has been used as ceremonial drink in Pacific island for over 3000 years. Apart from that, it is used for its medicinal effects such as sedative, diuretic and muscle relaxant. Roots and rhizomes are used for preparing the medicine. It is used in the form of powder, fluid extract and tonic. The beneficial effects of Kava kava are due to the presence of kava lactones in it.

It is a mildly psychoactive beverage which is used for its relaxing and calming properties. It is a mood enhancing beverage that is used to reduce anxiety. It is also effective in treating insomnia, stress, restlessness, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome and depression. Other medical conditions like neck pain, throat pain, headaches, respiratory tract infections, menstrual problems and chronic bladder infections. It produces physical and mental relaxation and a sense of wellbeing. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it is used in relieving symptoms of gout, cystitis, prostatitis and bronchial congestion.

Traditionally Kava kava is used in the form of non-standardised extract (without adding any chemicals) to get the benefits of the whole plant. In some parts of the world, whole kava roots are chewed for their medicinal value. Kava kava liniment is directly used externally as a local anaesthetic or pain reliever. It is chewed to give relief from throat pain as it produces numbing effect on the throat and tongue. It is important to know about the concentration of kava lactones in the product. Avoid products that do not mention kava kava dosage on the label.  Kava kava should be taken under doctor’s supervision!

Recommended dosage

Doctors recommend starting with a low dose and gradually increasing intake over time. The recommended Kava kava dosage ranges from 50 to 250 mg of kava lactones per day. The dosage is divided into 2-3 doses throughout the day.

When To Avoid Kava Kava

Kava kava has to be avoided in certain conditions like pregnancy, breast feeding, liver disease (cirrhosis and hepatitis) and any allergies. Chemicals in kava may pass into breast milk with unknown effects so it is avoided in nursing women. Kava kava is not given to the children.

It should not be taken for more than 3 months without a 2 week rest period. Alcohol is to be avoided when one is taking kava as it increases the risk of liver damage. It is not taken in combination with certain other drugs due to drug interaction. For example, kava has to be avoided when one is taking sedative medications, phenothiazine medicines, medicines for depression or alprazolam. There is limited data on interactions of other herbs with kava. Doses generally recommended for kava have different effect on different people.
Kava Kava induces a feeling of relaxation, peace and contentment along with sharpening of senses. By taking the recommended Kava Kava dosage, one can experience its beneficial effects.


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