Kava and Social Anxiety
Social anxiety can be tricky to deal with for those who suffer from it. It’s common for people to get anxious from time to time when they are socializing, but for those suffering from social anxiety disorder, it can be debilitating.
People that suffer from social anxiety disorder often end up self-medicating with drugs and alcohol to cope with the symptoms or end up taking prescription medication which can be addictive and cause more significant problems in the long term.
There are excellent herbal remedies that can be used to help control the symptoms. One of the best, which we will be discussing throughout this article is Kava.
What is Kava?
Kava is a plant that is native to the Pacific islands. Natives have used the plant for centuries during social gatherings, and for a good reason.
When the plant is prepared correctly, it produces a very calm, relaxed state of mind. The root of the kava plant is the part of the plant that you should be using.
The kava plant is made up of many compounds called Kavalactones that all work synergistically together to produce the calming effects that make this plant so good for social anxiety.
How To Get the Most Out of Kava
Kava is widely available these days. You are likely to encounter many varieties of premade products claiming to produce the effects of kava without the hassle of traditional preparation.
However, these products are often weak in effect and may not be potent enough for those that are seeking relief from social anxiety.
Your best bet for getting the most out of the kava plant is to purchased powdered kava root from a trusted and reliable vendor. You can use the powdered kava root to make a beverage, which can be consumed to reduce the effects of social anxiety.
Making a Beverage out of Kava Root Powder
- Measure out one tablespoon of powdered Kava root
- Measure out eight ounces of water
- Find a muslin bag
- Find a bowl
To prepare a drink out of powdered kava root, you sure start with a tablespoon of ground root powder. Some people need more, and others need less.
You will have to do some experimenting to see what works best for you. After measuring out your kava root, you then place it inside of the muslin bag. After measuring and placing the kava in the bag, pour your eight ounces of water into a bowl.
Place the bag with the kava root inside of the bowl full of water. Once you have placed the kava filled bag into the water, you should “kneed” or massage the bag while it is submerged in the water.
After doing this for about thirty seconds, you should notice that the water has started to get cloudy and take on a light brown, milky color. This color change in the water occurs when you have effectively extracted the kavalactones from the powdered root material into the water.
Consuming Kava Tea
Kava has a very neutral, slightly peppery taste on its own. One of the tell-tale signs that you have properly extracted the active components from the Kava root into the water is a numbing sensation in the mouth after drinking the beverage.
This can be unnerving to people who do not know to expect this, but numbing of the mouth is entirely normal after consuming a cup of Kava and means that you have properly prepared the beverage. Make sure to save the powder for later.
You can often get 2-3 cups of Kava from the above method before the powder starts to lose its potency.
How You Can Expect to Feel
After consuming kava root, you should feel it starting to take hold within a few minutes. The numbing of the mouth is followed by a relaxed sensation in the body, and then you will notice the reduction of the mental symptoms that come along with anxiety.
The effects of kava peak for most people about 20 minutes after consumption and tend to last for about an hour. The fast acting, relatively short-lasting effects of Kava make it an excellent alternative to other more dangerous substances that people sometimes use to calm down.
If You Need a More Convenient Option
While making your own beverage out of Kava tends to be the most effective way to consume Kava, you are likely to find that some pre-made options that work very well if you are in need of a more convenient way to consume kava.
Many online retailers sell “instant” kava packets that simply require the user to add water to the powder. Kava can also be found it extracts and tinctures that can be placed under the tongue for quick absorption. As with any online product, just be sure to read the reviews before making a purchase. Stay away from any kava products that are made from companies that do not have a solid customer base.