Taki MaiTaki Mai

By Zane Yoshida

Fear of flying?

You’d rather be anywhere else than in that darned plane?

Kava could be just what you’re looking for: some mile-high anxiety relief!

Flying is one of the most common triggers of anxiety and stress for people; it can be caused by an actual fear of flying or by the conditions inside an aircraft, such as the fear of enclosed spaces (claustrophobia) or the fear of heights (acrophobia).

In severe cases it can prevent people from travelling entirely, making it very restrictive – such people often have to travel vast distances over land and sea; or at the very least it can make a journey unpleasant and stressful – and something to be dreaded.

The fear of flying

Like many phobias, fear of flying is not easily understood except by those who suffer from it. The statistics say that air travel is one of the safest forms of travel, with one in ten million flights ending up with a plane crash, but still large numbers of people experience anxiety when taking to a plane. Statistically speaking, in the row of seats that you are sitting in next time you are on a flight, there will be someone there who suffers from it – maybe that’s you, even.

A few notable sufferers from history include Joseph Stalin, Isaac Asimov,Dennis Bergkamp, Doris Day, Kim Jong-il and Stanley Kubrick.

How can kava help with anxiety relief on flights?

People handle flight anxiety in different ways – with anti-anxiety medication like Diazepam/Xanax, sleeping pills, the use of alcohol, the use of herbal remedies or through cognitive therapy.

Kava is relatively new on the flying scene despite having been widely used as a stress reliever in the Pacific islands like Fiji, Vanuatu and Hawaii for many centuries.

The advantage that kava drinks (prepared in the traditional way) have over anxiety medication is that they are natural and safe, with no side effects; and kava prepared with the cold water extraction method has been proven to be an effective short-term anxiety and stress reliever.

While some of the popular anxiety medications out there may do the job of relieving stress for a while, their side effects make them less desirable; one double-blind study by the Stanford University School of Medicine with a commonly taken anxiety medicine showed that, while patients reported lower stress levels, their heart and respiration rates actually increased.

Other possible side effects of these drugs include constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, light-headedness and nausea, as well as possible weight changes.

The advantage of kava over alcoholic drinks is that there is no “hangover” with kava and it is not so harsh on the liver.

Unlike sleeping pills there is no feeling of drowsiness or lack of mental clarity after the effects of the kava have worn off.

Drinking kava produces a natural calmness quickly, safely and effectively and the effects can last 2 to 3 hours so, rather than  popping pills or hitting the beer or wine, a kava supplement might help with your flight anxiety.

Next time you are flying why not take a few shots of your favourite kava along or, if travelling on a Pacific airline, check if they serve it in-flight!

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Anxiety Relief in the Skies with Kava