As we explore the magnificent world of botanicals, there is no denying the abundance of incredible, health-promoting plants around us. This exploration intensifies when we focus on Kava Kava and Kanna. These are two potent and diverse botanicals that offer astonishing health benefits. In this enlightening deep dive into Kava and Kanna with herbalist Ezza Valdez, we learn about their extraordinary qualities and how they can elevate our self-care journey. 

Kava Kava: A Pacific Island Wonder

Kava Kava (Piper methysticum), is an intoxicating plant indigenous to the Pacific Islands, including places like Fiji, Tonga, and Vanuatu. It has a rich history in these regions, traditionally used in various ceremonies for its sedative and calming effects. Usually referred to as simply “Kava,” this herb has been used for centuries by the peoples of its origin islands. 

Many indigenous users consider Kava an ancestral herb that transcends what we mainlanders may consider helpful for herbal supplements. Kava is present at special ceremonies and use much in the same way alcohol is to facilitate a more open mind and heart. Communication is made easier with a single sip. This is the true power of Kava Kava. 

kava kava

Health Benefits of Kava Kava 

Today, Kava is acknowledged globally for its therapeutic benefits. It has remarkable anxiolytic effects, promotes relaxation, reduces stress and anxiety, and aids sleep. Kava Kava is typically consumed as a drink, produced by infusing its roots, or as an extract. It’s essential to note that it should be consumed in moderate amounts, as overconsumption could have adverse effects.

From a health perspective, Kava Kava is traditionally utilized for pain relief, seizure prevention, and muscle relaxation. Some individuals use it as a treatment for conditions like anxiety and stress due to its calming effect. It is also used to manage insomnia. . It’s commonly available in capsules, tablets, or alcohol-dissolved tinctures and beverages.

However, there are certain risks associated with Kava usage. The main risk comes from the reported potential liver damage, which includes conditions like cirrhosis, hepatitis, and liver failure in some cases. While it’s not definitively proven that Kava is the direct cause of these cases, this concern led some countries like France and Canada to ban Kava.

Further side effects can include nausea, dizziness, and skin rash. If large amounts are consumed, hallucinations and loss of motor control can occur. Regular consumption of large quantities might result in weight loss, shortness of breath, or liver damage. Always include your regular doctor in any new supplements you plan to take to ensure that you remain healthy and happy.

The Divine Herb: Kanna 

Shifting our focus to South Africa, we encounter Kanna (Sceletium Tortuosum), also called Channa or Kougoed. Kanna has a history as impressive as Kava’s, having been consumed for centuries by the San and Khoi people of South Africa, who used it for its mood-enhancing properties.

In the same way Kava enhances conversation and facilitates a welcoming community, Kanna brings forth a similar change to one’s mental state and heart. It can improve mood and induce a sense of tranquility, and is gaining popularity in clinical settings for its potential in treating conditions such as anxiety and depression, along with various psychological and psychiatric disorders.kanna

Health Benefits of Kanna 

This perennial plant possesses significant mood-elevating properties owing to its main active ingredient, Mesembrine. Kanna effectively manages stress, enhances mood, reduces anxiety, and boosts cognitive function. It is traditionally chewed, but nowadays, it’s available in various forms, including teas, capsules, and extracts.

The compounds isolated from this plant, including its alkaloids, exhibit several beneficial bioactive properties, acting as antimicrobials, anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, and potential anti-depressants. Some evidence suggests it may aid in managing physical pain, though scientific validation in this regard is limited, and further research is necessary.

That said, Kanna, like any herbal substance, is not without potential risks and side effects. Some individuals may experience gastrointestinal disturbances, headaches, or insomnia when starting to use the supplement. Furthermore, its psychotropic properties could interact with medications, particularly those involving the central nervous system, potentially altering their effects. 

It is paramount to consult with a healthcare provider or a qualified herbalist before incorporating Kanna into any health routine. More research is needed to fully understand and verify Kanna’s efficacy and safety in humans, especially regarding its long-term use.

Kanna: A Success Story

Jake had approached The Alchemist’s Kitchen’s own Ezza Valdez, having read about the potential effects of Kanna, and expressed interest in trying a more natural alternative to the usual over-the-counter mood enhancers. Lucky for Jake, The Alchemist’s Kitchen is well-versed in Kanna and has access to various kinds.

Understanding the importance of an integrated healthcare approach and being familiar with Kanna’s traditionally recognized health benefits among the indigenous San and Khoikhoi tribes of South Africa, Ezza found Kanna to be a promising choice for Jake’s current depressive state ailments.

Ezza recommended an introductory regimen outlining proper dosage and possible side effects. Jake started by taking our Relax Kanna Capsules. Soon, Jake began to notice changes in his daily disposition. He went from finding no joy in his usual hobbies to wanting to spend every second creating and learning. His productivity increased, too!  

In the next few weeks, Jake reported feeling a heightened sense of well-being and appeared generally calmer. Stress from work was becoming less overwhelming. He was beginning to experience fewer moments of anxiety and was slowly getting into a more consistent sleep pattern. Over the subsequent weeks, I observed an improvement in Jake’s mood, decreased stress and anxiety levels, and a noticeable sense of relaxation and peace. He stated he felt more in control of his thoughts and more grounded.

Kanna is a fantastic herbal supplement to help get you back on your feet! Jake’s story is one of hundreds already trying out alternative mood enhancers, and yours could be next!

Kava Kava and Kanna: Herbal Harmony Reborn

Ezza strongly advocates using these powerful herbs as part of a holistic self-care approach. Kava Kava and Kanna promote a balanced, stress-free lifestyle vital for overall well-being in our fast-paced, stress-laden lives. For further details from our educator, be sure to watch this video:

While we continue to unlock nature’s profound wonders, it becomes abundantly clear how vital these natural remedies are to our health and wellness journey. 

With benefits ranging from stress management to cognitive enhancement, Kava Kava and Kanna present an inviting promise to all seeking natural avenues toward a healthier life. Their legacy remains robust in their respective places of origin and worldwide, where they are used extensively in alternative and holistic medicine.

Check out the rest of The Alchemist’s Kitchen’s herbal collections. You may just find precisely what you’re looking for! Also, be sure to check out our Eventbrite to see if you can attend the next herbal or holistic class on the docket!

The Alchemist's Kitchen

The Alchemist's Kitchen is dedicated to connecting you with the power of plants. We believe strongly in the education and instruction on the use of all whole plant formulations and herbal remedies.

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