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By Zane Yoshida

Kava: A Legal Anxiety Treatment Across Australia

Great news for Australian kava enthusiasts and for the kava industry as a whole: it’s now legal for use as a medical anxiety treatment across the country.

Previously kava was legal as a medical treatment in all states except Western Australia and the Northern Territories. The restriction there was due to concerns of over-use in remote indigenous communities, where it is often used as an alcohol replacement.

This restriction has now been removed, so that kava is now available to treat anxiety across the whole of Australia.

Anxiety in Australia

According to this report from Ten News, at least one in seven Australians suffer from anxiety. Symptoms include a quicker heart rate, tightness in the chest area, and breathing difficulties.

The usual treatments for anxiety are a range of medications, including benzodiazepine-based drugs. These are tranquillisers that are commonly prescribed for panic and anxiety attacks. While they are generally quite effective in treating short-term anxiety, they also carry a long list of possible side effects and can even lead to dependency. Long-term use of such drugs is therefore not advised.

For these reasons, many people have turned to natural remedies for anxiety treatment.

Kava and anxiety

Naturopaths in Australia have used kava to treat anxiety, stress, and insomnia for the past 14 years; while this is a relatively recent practice in Australia, kava has been used for many centuries in the Pacific islands, where the concept of stress and anxiety is almost unheard of.

In Australia, kava has recently been the subject of several clinical studies led by Professor Jerome Sarris. Results from these studies have shown kava to be safe and effective for the treatment of generalized anxiety; though people with a pre-existing liver disorder should take medical advice first.

All this is further good news for the kava industry in general as word spreads about its many health benefits.

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

Taking Kava With Mental Clarity

One of the greatest things about kava is that it relaxes you without impairing mental clarity. That’s not just a throwaway remark; it’s been shown in a study, which we will talk about below.

The fact that kava is not associated with mental ‘fogginess’ sets it apart from many of the better known substances people take for recreation.

Used in moderation, kava is ideal for a range of situations – not only socially as a replacement for drinking alcohol, but as an aid for performance anxiety for those suffering stage fright; for studying before exams; to aid with fear of flying; as a supplement for yoga and spa treatment enthusiasts; to help soothe aching muscles and bones after a heavy workout; as herbal medicine for a range of conditions; it may even help with your sex life.

These are just a few examples that I’ve covered in previous articles, but here I’d like to delve a little deeper into the science behind kava.

Australian study on kava and mental clarity

An Australian study on kava and mental clarity from 2002 found that even habitual kava use does not impair cognitive function.

Kava is well known in the north of Australia and is a popular supplement for members of the indigenous populations there. In fact, they are reportedly some of the heaviest kava users in the world, outside of the Pacific islands.

The study authors note that kava induces “muscle relaxation, anasthesia, and has anxiolytic properties” because of “alterations on neuronal excitation”.

Their study focused on over 100 current, ex, and non-kava users amongst these populations and concluded the following:

“We found no impairment in cognitive or saccade function in individuals who were currently heavy kava users (and had been for up to 18 years), nor was there any impairment in individuals who had been heavy kava users in the past but had abstained for longer than 6 months.”

The authors also note previous studies that have found that “small doses of kava can improve attentional function”, which is perhaps why it’s popular amongst students.

While the study focuses only on mental cognition, and of course does not conclusively prove that kava is safe, it is useful to have scientific evidence to back up some of the claims that Pacific islanders have been making for many years: in this case, that people can still think clearly and make good, informed decisions when using kava.

It is worth noting that, in Fiji, kava has been present at all important ceremonies and meetings for millennia; these are not just social gatherings but often in meetings where important decisions need to be made.

So you can enjoy your kava that it’s not harming your brain – in fact it may just be helping it!

By Zane Yoshida

Now Shipping! Taki Mai Kava Shots, Powder & Capsules

Just a reminder that the Taki Mai online store is now open for business for customers in Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong…where you can order your supply of Taki Mai kava online and make sure that you’re always in the chill zone.

Not all Taki Mai kava products are currently available in every location. Here’s what you can expect right now, though this is likely to change in the near future:

  • AUSTRALIANS: take a break from your hectic lives with kava capsule supplements; these are particularly popular for people who are travelling (and can’t get near a kava bowl) or have just worked out; other use it just before sleep.
  • NEW ZEALANDERS: kick back with a flavored 3oz Taki Mai kava shot in coconut, chocolate banana, guava or pineapple flavor. These are shipped in packs of 6. Kava root powder (just add water!) is also available.
  • HONG KONG residents: enjoy the coconut, guava, pineapple, or chocolate banana flavored 3oz Taki Mai kava shots.

Free shipping is even provided with Hong Kong orders ($10 for Australia and New Zealand) – so why not check out the online store and never run out of kava again.

By Zane Yoshida

The Taki Mai Store: Now Open for Business!

Announcing the opening of the Taki Mai online store for customers in Australia and New Zealand…

Taki Mai has been available in stores in the US and Fiji for over a year now; we have been busy shipping wholesale orders, but an exciting new chapter has just started.

Now you can experience the tranquility of Fiji direct online through the Taki Mai store. You can also check out the gallery on our Facebook page.

Australians can take a relaxing break from their hectic lives by ordering kava capsule supplements online; these are great if you are travelling or have just worked out.

New Zealanders – you can kick back with one of the four flavored 3oz Taki Mai kava shots, or buy the kava powder (just add water!) or capsules.

This service will be rolled out to more countries in the near future, so watch this space if you are waiting to get your hands on a regular supply of high quality kava products at unbeatable prices.

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Kava: A Legal Anxiety Treatment Across Australia
Kava Helping Australia To Relax
Taking Kava With Mental Clarity
Now Shipping! Taki Mai Kava Shots, Powder & Capsules
The Taki Mai Store: Now Open for Business!