Withdrawal occurs when those who have developed a psychological addiction to or a physical dependency on a substance abruptly stop its use. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal often include anxiety, nausea, insomnia, and pain and these symptoms often begin within just eight hours of an alcoholic’s last drink. Thankfully, a natural remedy called kava can help with anxiety from alcohol withdrawal.
Want to find out how kava works to alleviate these unpleasant symptoms? Read on for a basic introduction to the science behind kava use for alcohol withdrawal to get started.
How it Works
Kava has been proven by modern science to induce a state of relaxation and to combat stress and anxiety. These properties can be extremely beneficial in managing the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. It can help those going through withdrawal improve the quality of their sleep, manage their nausea and pain, and reduce their anxiety.
The Neuroscience Behind Kava Use
Although kava has been in use by traditional cultures for centuries, modern science has only recently been able to explain why it works. When used to treat alcohol withdrawal, the kavalactones contained within this root are known to bind to the same GABA A receptors that are stimulated by alcohol. As a result, those who take it typically find that their cravings are reduced.
The Psychological Dimension
Kava also activates the reward centers in the brain and increases feelings of empathy. These positive sensations can combine to alleviate the anxiety and restlessness that often accompanies alcohol withdrawal. They can also improve overall psychological well-being, making it more likely that those who take kava will succeed at staying sober.
While kava can be very helpful in dealing with many of the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, it cannot be used to treat delirium tremens. Severe alcoholics sometimes experience potentially life-threatening seizures, shaking, and hallucination along with the other symptoms noted above and these symptoms cannot be alleviated through the use of this admittedly impressive herbal supplement. Those whose symptoms of withdrawal include delirium tremens should seek professional help in managing their symptoms.
Is it Addictive?
One of the best things about using kava to manage alcohol withdrawal is that it is not addictive or habit-forming. When consumers no longer feel that they need it, they can simply stop taking the kava extract or drinking the tea without negative effects.