Kava for Stress
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: [No name given]
Posted on: August 27, 1998

My son’s girlfriend in her 30s was told to take kava for stress. Is that a good thing? Also, could you send me a little information about kava and I will give it to her. I have read your disclaimer.

The best source of information is the book we carry by Vincent Lebot et al. called "Kava: The Pacific Elixir, The Definitive Guide to its Ethnobotany, History and Chemistry." You can read about the book in our online catalogue (http://www.richters.com).

Kava does have the ability to calm. It has been used by many people to relieve the symptoms of stress. It does not work for all people, and there are some contraindications that are described in the kava book. Generally, it is considered a safe herb, but one should consult with one’s health care provider for advice.

The treatment of stress symptoms begins with lifestyle changes to remove sources of stress. Dietary change can often have a beneficial effect; we have noted that the body is less able to handle stress when you don’t eat properly. The use of herbal treatments for stress, such as sedatives and other calming herbs, should not extend over a long time, say over many months. If one cannot cope without treatment after a long period then the source of the problem has not been solved, and further medical advice is needed.

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