Kava Kava and Valerian Root

Posted by on Feb 18, 2014 in The Mind of Makaira | 1 comment

Kava Kava and Valerian RootAloha, dear readers, and welcome to a very trendy topic in the world of kava—herbal kava combinations, that is!. For instance, our Kavalovetone Capsules blend kava kava and valerian root, lemon balm, passionflower and other time-tested relaxing herbs, and there is a growing public curiosity in these combinations and the relaxing synergy they can provide. In the interest of keeping our customers as informed as possible, I thought I’d go a little more in depth about the popular combination of kava kava and valerian root and the uses of both of these valuable herbs!

Kava kava (Piper methysticum) has had many therapeutic uses throughout history, including for relieving pain, headaches, muscle tension and emotional or mental stress. Like valerian root, kava kava is also used to address difficulty getting to sleep and staying asleep. I can certainly say that after drinking kava of an evening, I generally find my sleep to be deep and refreshing, letting me tackle the tasks of the next day with renewed vigor and focus!

Now, dear readers, if you will but follow me north and west from the balmy shores of the South Pacific to the chillier climes of Europe, we’ll take a more in-depth look at valerian root! The root of valerian (Valeriana officinalis), a small flowering shrub native to temperate Europe and Asia, has been used to make a calming sedative tea for centuries. A charm made with valerian root was also believed to provide magical protection! The name “valerian” comes from a Latin word meaning “to make strong or resilient”, which is a good description of what this herb does! People still use valerian root (usually as an extract these days) to calm the nerves, reduce feelings of anxiety, and address stress-related sleeping problems.

One promising study demonstrated that kava kava and valerian root both show statistically significant action in reducing stress-related sleeping problems. Of course, I didn’t need a study to know that kava is a wonderful stress reliever, but the exciting part is that the study also suggested kava kava and valerian may work together to reduce stress and promote better sleep! Side effects were minimal, with the most common being the induction of vivid dreams in the test group who took kava kava and valerian root together. I found this especially interesting because at least one of our customers has asked whether kava can be used for dreaming!

Interestingly, unlike some classic “dream herbs” such as mugwort or Calea zacatechichi, which can cause fatigue the next day, both kava kava and valerian root provided the subjects with a refreshing sleep. However, this combination may produce some next-day drowsiness or difficulty concentrating. As with any herb or herbal combination your body is new to, it’s wise to always start with the smallest effective dose and pay attention to how you feel. Kava and valerian should not be combined with alcohol, or with any prescription medications without asking the advice of a physician.

Aloha no,

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One Comment

  1. Hi!! I read so many articles about the two, kava kava and valerian. It’s says they should not be combine because of the risk of side effects like drowsiness and liver disease. So which is more effective or better in terms of treating sleeping disorder? Kava kava or Valerian?

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