It is no secret that we are one seriously stressed-out society. Many of us are busy from the moment we get up in the morning until our heads finally hit the pillows late at night. Interestingly, a lot of the technology that is supposed to make our lives easier may have actually made it more stressful—like when we are trying to do our grocery shopping and paying for our purchases while simultaneously checking our email and texting on our BlackBerries or any of the other multitasking scenarios that we do all day long.
As a result of all of this go-go-go activity, many of us are dealing with truly health-threatening levels of stress and anxiety. Some people respond by making an appointment with their physicians and many walk out of the office with a prescription for an anti-anxiety or anti-depression drug. These medications, while they can be effective, also come with a pretty impressive laundry list of side effects. Plus once you start taking them, it seems a lot of people end up staying on these medications for years.
In an ideal world of course, we would simply do away with many of the stressful situations and over-packed schedules that caused us to feel anxious and depressed in the first place. But we all know that this is not an ideal world. We can do our best to cut back a bit on activities and perhaps incorporate some soothing activities like deep breathing or yoga but chances are, we will still deal with more stress than we probably should. Wouldn’t it be nice if instead of turning to costly prescription drugs, we could try a natural herbal remedy that would make us feel better? Actually, such a supplement does exist. Called kava or kava kava, it has been used throughout Europe for years as a natural tranquilizer, and in recent years it has become more well-known and used in North America as well.
First, a little history of kava is in order.