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Kava: Nature's Answer to Stress, Anxiety,…
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Kava: Nature's Answer to Stress, Anxiety, and Insomnia

by Terrence McNally

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0761516670, Paperback)

What St. John's wort is for depression, kava is for everyday anxiety. Native to exotic locales including the South Pacific island of Vanuatu, kava is a ritual and medicinal herb that's been used for centuries. It may not taste fabulous, but it effectively relieves tension and anxiety without affecting one's alertness or mental capacities or resulting in addictions, unlike prescription drugs such as Valium. Written by Hyla Cass, M.D., a well-known alternative medicine consultant and assistant professor of psychiatry at UCLA, Kava: Nature's Answer to Stress, Anxiety, and Insomnia is an intelligent, engaging reference to this increasingly popular herb.

Cass clearly explains the herb's chemical composition without delving into turgid scientific mumbo jumbo, or relying on lifeless quotes from scientific papers. She also thoroughly covers the herb's various forms--tinctures, tablets, pastes, powdered extract, and sprays--and suggests appropriate dosages for various treatments (for insomnia, for instance, you'd take a larger dose than if you just wanted to calm yourself before a plane flight). Cass also covers herbs that can be used in combination with kava, including valerian, licorice, and Ginkgo biloba; suggested dietary changes to improve overall mood and health; possible side effects; and techniques for managing stress in the first place, so antianxiety treatments aren't as needed. For anyone who wants to know all about what they're putting into their body, this is a solid primer.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:06 -0400)

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