RELIEF FOR STRESS
How Kava Can Help Relieve Your Stress
Stress is seen as a contributor to many of the major causes of death in Australia – notably heart disease, stroke, some cancers and chronic lower respiratory diseases.
In truth, chronic diseases have been on the rise for the past few decades and they are, undoubtedly, linked to lower activity levels and diets rich in processed food, as well as rising stress levels. Each of the causes we can do something about: we can get more active, we can start to make our own food and eat less processed junk…and we can take steps to lower stress and anxiety in our lives.
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Stress is a natural response to situations we perceive as threatening – in small amounts, it is not a concern. In the wild, stress might be from a life-threatening scenario. In the modern world, it’s most likely to be job, financial, or relationship based. The problem is the persistent nature of it. Day after day, our bodies aren’t built to deal with consistent high levels of stress and therefore they generally react badly to it. In the short term this becomes apparent through fatigue, stomach upsets, nausea, headache and a short fuse. I’m sure many of you have experienced these symptoms at a point in your life, however the confronting truth is that long term effects of stress can bring on chronic diseases.
The most common course of action for managing stress these days seems to be reaching for the pill bottle. We have become a society that believes drugs can cure all when in the case of chronic diseases. And yet, often they are merely masking the underlying cause and helping to “manage” the disease. In many cases, this ‘blanketing treatment’ leads to other side-effects which cause further problems.
It was recently estimated in a study out of the United States, that around a third of Americans feel they are living with extreme stress. The annual prescription numbers for anti-stress and anxiety drugs in the US are alarming: over 40 million for Xanex, 25 million for Lexapro and 14 million for Valium. This statistic is similar in other developed countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada.
HOW CAN KAVA HELP?
Speak to a Pacific islander about stress and they will probably ask you what it is! Life on the islands of Fiji, for example, is a lot slower and less ‘cluttered’ than the modern city life that many of us have become accustomed to.
Fijians also have a kava culture that is alive and part of their everyday life. Just as many westerners drink their coffee and tea socially, Fijians drink kava – benefiting from the relaxing effects it has on their mind and body. Studies at the University of Queensland demonstrated the effectiveness of kava in relieving stress and anxiety, with results revealing it is just as effective as many of the prescription medicines – without the potentially harmful side effects.
It is worth noting that kava has been used medicinally, as well as socially and ceremonially, for many centuries in Fiji and other Pacific islands. Traditional preparations of kava root using cold water extraction are both safe and effective in producing a calming and relaxing effect, which can enhance mood and help ease many of the negative effects caused by stress. It should also be noted that the underlying causes of stress need to be addressed, however, many people are finding that kava assists in ‘winding down’ whilst achieving mental clarity, enabling them to focus on their life with a stress free mindset.
Kava has been known for centuries by pacific island people as a stress remedy. At Fiji Kava, it’s our mission to get the word out to the world that there is a safe, natural remedy to the mentioned ailments above, that calms and soothes without side effects.
Other Benefits of Kava
Kava is traditionally used in Pacific Islander medicine to promote sleep
Kava is traditionally used in Pacific Islander medicine to soothe and calm nerves
Kava is traditionally used in Pacific Islander medicine to promote body relaxation
Kava is traditionally used in Pacific Islander medicine to relax the mind