Taki MaiTaki Mai

By Zane Yoshida

Stress-Induced Insomnia and Treatment With Kava

Insomnia may be caused by a variety of physical and psychological factors but stress-induced insomnia is a particularly common complaint in many industrialised nations.

There is good evidence that kava on its own or in combination with other natural substances may be of use in the treatment of this type of insomnia.

Stress, anxiety, and insomnia

The Sleep Foundation reports that anxiety-induced insomnia affects ‘most adults’ at some point in their lives. But when this becomes a regular pattern, it is more serious and can affect health, performance at work, and ability to carry out everyday tasks.

The types of psychological factors that can interfere with the regular sleep pattern are:

  • Depression
  • Tension
  • Thinking about past events
  • Worrying about future events
  • Feeling overwhelmed by responsibilities

These types of factors can cause either trouble falling asleep or waking up during the night and not being able to get back to sleep. Both can deprive you of valuable rest and, if they occur regularly, will likely impact your quality of life.

Kava: a proven insomnia treatment

Though not technically a sedative, kava is well-known to decrease anxiety, which would point to it being of use in treating stress-induced insomnia.

This is not news to people in the Pacific islands, who have been using kava for its soothing, soporific effects for many centuries. In the west, it has been widely reported in respected medical journals that kava may be as effective as benzodiazepines like Valium for treating anxiety.

Then there is a study from 2001 that specifically looked at the use of kava and valerian in the treatment of stress-induced insomnia. In this study, 24 patients with this type of insomnia were treated with kava, then valerian, and finally a compound of both. The following results were very encouraging:

“Total stress severity was significantly relieved by both compounds individually (p < 0.01), with no significant differences between them; and there was also improvement with the combination, significant in the case of insomnia (p < 0.05).”

While it was a small study and further research is needed, kava has no risk of dependence or any major side effects, unlike many of the sedatives and sleeping pills on the market. So, if you’re suffering from stress-induced insomnia, it’s safe to try as a natural, alternative treatment.

By Zane Yoshida

How To Chill Out When You Get Back To Work

With the New Year starting and many people returning to work after a long break, it can all get a bit much at times. How can you chill out in the office when all you want is to be watching your favourite movie on the couch, taking a swim, or enjoying a long, refreshing winter’s walk?

Whatever it is you’d rather be doing, there’s no need to stress out because of work. Here are a few tips for staying cool in the office:

  • Take frequent breaks

This first one is pretty obvious. Getting snowed under with work and stress is easy if you’re not prepared to walk away every now and again for a break.

There’s a point where trying to plod on will get you nowhere. Either take a walk outside, give yourself five at the water cooler, go kick a ball around, or shoot the breeze with a colleague for 10 minutes…the point is to divert your mind from the cause of the stress. It doesn’t really matter what you choose to do, but music is well-proven to be a great mood changer: try listening to your favourite song a couple of times before returning to your desk.

  • Do a little redecorating

Does your desk area delight you? Or is it just another reminder of how much you hate your job? If the latter then there could be deeper issues at play!

Even so, it’s worth changing things around a bit; put up some new pictures of your family or friends (unless they are the cause of your stress J) or of your favourite holiday destination. There are studies that show that staring at pictures of loved ones reduce pain and stress! Alternatively, pin up your favourite quotes to inspire you or make you laugh. Laughter is a great stress-reliever.

  • Meditate or do breathing exercises

The full health benefits of meditation are only just becoming known. It’s not for everybody but even if you sit quietly and close your eyes for 10 minutes and become more conscious of your breathing it will help relax you.

Shutting out the rest of the world for a few minutes and then returning to it refreshed and with a new perspective will help to calm those negative emotions.

  • Have your favourite brew at hand…

You know where I’m going with this! Whether it’s kava, green tea, coffee, chamomile tea, or Tibetan yak’s hair tea (Ok – I made that one up) it’s important to keep a brew handy for those moments when nothing else will do.

Of course, with the proven relaxing benefits of kava, most people reading this will have a kava shot or maybe even some instant kava at their side ready to mix up for a quick hit to bring tranquillity and calmness to a troubled mind.

Whatever way you choose to de-stress when you return to work, here’s hoping that 2017 will be healthy, profitable, and stress-free for you!

By Zane Yoshida

De-Stressing With Kava As We Head Into 2017!

For many people around the world, it’s been a really testing year. Anxiety-inducing events have arrived seemingly from all angles! De-stressing with kava is a great way to unwind and head into into 2017 with a relaxed, positive mindset, knowing that things will be better in the year ahead.

Let’s face it! There’s been plenty to get pulses racing, debates raging, and tempers rising this year.

From sporadic terrorist attacks throughout the year in Europe to the migrant crisis, the Brexit vote in the UK that still angers many, the ongoing war in Syria, and Trump being selected in the United States. People are voicing a lot of concern for the state of the planet as we head towards the New Year.

Whatever your political viewpoints, or your take on how world events have unfolded this year, there’s one thing certain: worrying too much about it isn’t going to solve anything.

We need to be relaxed, consider things with a clear and calm mind, and then make decisions to make sure that the planet, and all life on it, is better looked after in the coming year and beyond.

So what better time to enjoy kava?

Clarity, relaxation, and de-stressing with kava

Kava has been scientifically proven in clinical studies to help with mild anxiety. Beyond that, just observe the Fijian people in general, or understand how they have used kava for millennia to unwind in social situations, as well as ceremonially, and you get the picture of how kava can help the world.

In fact, just look at the picture above and you’ll get the message 🙂

The last thing we need is another energy drink in this fast-paced, heart-thumping, pulse-racing world of ours. Instead, we must head in the opposite direction and calm down.

Most people use various substances to help them relax – from a cup of coffee, to a glass of wine, to prescription medication, to illegal drugs.

The beauty of kava is that it de-stresses you without major side effects. There is no hangover and the mind does not become foggy – you stay sharp and capable of sound decision-making; and, unless you take too much, your motor skills are not impaired, so you can go about your daily business without too much concern.

So, what better way to deal with whatever the world throws at us in 2017 than with a Taki Mai flavoured kava shot or some instant kava made to perfection with Fijian farmed kava?!

By Zane Yoshida

Kava Helping Australia To Relax

The first kava bars are just opening in Australia, indicating that the word about kava’s relaxing and medicinal qualities is spreading.

Kava and Australia are no strangers. The root has been in widespread use in indigenous Australian communities for many years, often as a substitute for alcohol. But there is little doubt that attitudes towards kava are changing and it is becoming more ‘mainstream’…

Kava bars opening their doors

The news that kava bars are starting to be a feature of the Australian ‘bar scene’ is interesting. Australia is known as a bar-loving country, but strictly the alcohol variety. Aussies love their beer!

Kava bars are already a feature of the beach communities in the U.S. and more are opening in major urban centres there. But in Australia, they are still something of a rarity. The Kava Hut Bar in Adelaide is one of the first – and it’s not very big.

Kava bars generally serve only kava and are completely alcohol-free, meaning that there are no hangovers to contend with the next day and the mental clarity of customers is not impaired. The atmosphere, like the beverage, is best described as ‘relaxed’. Compare that with a Friday night in a typical bar in urban Australia!

Kava: available in some parts of Australia

Kava has been available in Australia as a supplement sold in health stores for some time. However, only in some areas. It is now banned in Western Australia and the Northern Territory, where there have been problems when combined with alcohol; kava tends to heighten the effects of alcohol and the two should never be taken together.

But kava taken on its own and in its purest form is a known treatment for anxiety, though many Australians are still unaware that there is a natural and scientifically proven remedy for mild anxiety.

Stress is a common health problem in Australia, as it is in most urbanised populations around the world, so spreading the word about kava should be a big help to many anxiety sufferers around the country.

You should feel quite confident in kava’s general safety as the government lists it on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG). You can read more about that here.

Note that, in the states where kava is legal, there are usage and importation restrictions.

By Zane Yoshida

Can Kava Improve Your Sex Life?

Has the bedroom been a bit of a barren desert recently? Things not going ‘bump’ in the night? The answer to sprucing up your sex life may be quite close to home: up the kava!

Aphrodisiacs have been sought ever since Man first walked the earth and met Woman. Many of these have been used and abused, both natural and man-made. But kava is rarely mentioned.

In fact, the whole topic of sexual dysfunction is often treated as taboo; this in a world where we are constantly bombarded with images of sex on TV and in printed media, in advertisements, from online services to movies. It’s enough to make us fall a little inadequate when we are constantly presented with beautiful, sexy people from all angles, yet we can’t even get it on with our partner!

It’s time we had the discussion to see whether kava can, indeed, help.

How can kava help in the bedroom?

There could be many reasons why one’s sex life is not exactly bouncing along –physical, mental, and relational issues abound. That’s what makes us human and interesting. But some believe that kava is the aphrodisiac you need to add some much-needed ‘zip’ to your love life.

Kava WON’T necessarily make things happen instantly, like some well-known pharmaceutical remedies (especially those small blue ones, I’m told). But it WILL calm you down and chill you out, and that may just be the tonic you and your partner need; it’s important to be relaxed, de-stressed and anxiety-free in the bedroom.

Stress and tension are major contributors to loss of libido in both men and women. Eric J. Leech from Planet Green puts it like this:

“The mind is a very powerful tool for improving health, but it can also be a factor in our own self-induced sexual dysfunctions if we let it.”

Kava produces this relaxing effect without the drowsiness or mental ‘fogginess‘ that can come with some sedatives. This could mean that indulging in a little kava before indulging in a little love-making may be beneficial.

Some people use alcohol to relax, remove tension, and to shed inhibitions before getting romantic, and kava could be a great replacement for this – without the negative side effects of alcohol (I think we all know what that can mean, gents – shall we just call it ‘performance anxiety’?)

It’s also worth noting that in South Pacific folk medicine, kava was an important treatment for genito-urinary infections. Because of its antiseptic qualities, it was used to treat a variety of conditions from gall bladder problems to vaginitis and sexually transmitted diseases. So, kava has traditionally been used to help restore sex lives after health problems.

A natural solution to an age-old problem?

Sexual problems are far more common than people admit; whether it’s erectile dysfunction or females failing to reach orgasm, few relationships can honestly claim to be immune to problems in the bedroom.

With kava being 100% natural, there is no risk of unpleasant side effects like some people get with the erectile dysfunction pills. This includes shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, and sudden hearing and vision loss, for instance.

There are also none of the stigmas attached to buying or taking kava, which some people experience with the pills.

The bottom line? The effects of kava may work as an aphrodisiac for some; but there is really only one way of knowing…

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Stress-Induced Insomnia and Treatment With Kava
How To Chill Out When You Get Back To Work
De-Stressing With Kava As We Head Into 2017!
Kava Helping Australia To Relax
Can Kava Improve Your Sex Life?