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Natural medicine practitioners all over Western Australia are rejoicing, as after many years there has been a change to state laws and we have now regained the use of a traditional herbal medicine, Kava, bringing us into line with the other Australian states.

Kava (Piper Methysticum) has been used for centuries in traditional medicine of many Pacific Island societies and used to soothe the nerves, relax the mind and body, induce refreshing sleep and ease pain – you can see the appeal!

Published clinical studies up to 2002 concluded a significant reduction in anxiety in those patients receiving Kava compared with those receiving a placebo (using the Hamilton anxiety scale). Traditionally Pacific Islanders use Kava to ease anxiety surrounding large rituals or gatherings, making it a useful herb to ease social anxiety.

The added benefits that were also found were a reduction in sleep disturbances, a reduction in depression and symptoms of menopause in addition to menopausal anxiety.

With professional dosing, Kava has demonstrated a good safety profile including a negligible effect on the liver. Self medication is not advised as there are some contraindications. There are many conditions that also fit the indications such as:

– skeletal muscle spasm and tension,
– pain such as neuralgia and headache
– sexual function due to anxiety
– improving cognitive performance
– sore throats

There has been controversy surrounding the use of Kava, due to reported effects on pre-existing liver diseases and the banning of Kava in Germany in 2002, which has since been reinstated as a safe traditional medicine .

To quote one of the most renowned herbal medicine practitioners and researchers in Australia, Kerry Bone, “..the health risks associated with conventional treatments for anxiety are probably much greater overall than those for Kava.”

We are delighted to offer our clients an alternative to the self-medicated glasses of wine to wind down or fall asleep, and reduce the anxiety surrounding the feelings of madness during menopausal symptoms! Call or email us to place your Kava order.

NOTE: It is important to only take herbal medicines prescribed by a professional. At NatMed we only use double bind placebo trialled, pharmaceutical grade herbal remedies that have been tested using thin layer chromatography, high performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. These tests are essential in identifying genus and species correlate with that proven to be efficacious in treating patient symptoms. Many commercially available herbal extracts may be species other than those clinically trialled and proven to be effective in treating symptoms.

Jacky Dixon

Jacky Dixon

Naturopath & Fertility Specialist at NatMed Natural Medicine Clinic
is a women’s health specialist and is the fertility consultant at NatMed. Having experienced intensive preconception care in order to facilitate a healthy pregnancy at 34 years of age, Jacky understands the trials and tribulations of fertility medicine. She now uses her personal and professional experience to support couples endeavouring to conceive. Jacky is a highly talented practitioner who won two of the four prizes in her graduation year including Most Outstanding Graduate in Clinical Practice and Most Outstanding Performance in the Study of Western Herbal Medicine. Jacky is a dedicated professional who has worked in natural medicine since 2001. She also presents at NatMed's Rawlicious Seminars.
Jacky Dixon

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