Science News: Nature’s Xanax is Making a Comeback

While the popular song suggests “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” for some, this statement doesn’t ring true. The holidays are times of peace and joy, but for many, the season is filled with anxiety. According to a poll by the American Psychological Association, nearly a quarter of Americans reported symptoms of extreme stress during the holidays. A survey, conducted by Healthline in 2015, revealed that 62% of respondents describe their stress level as “very or somewhat” elevated during the holiday season.

What is the treatment for anxiety?

While there are prescription drugs available that are designed to treat anxiety, such as Xanax, most of the conventional medications can not only be costly but also harmful for you. Besides the risk of addiction, these pharmaceuticals contain severe side effects including paranoia, suicidal thoughts, impaired memory, judgment, and coordination. The good news is that there are natural solutions for anxiety.

One herbal remedy has been coined, “Chamomile Tea on Steroids,” “Nature’s Valium,” or “Nature’s Xanax,” but it’s real name is kava kava or just, kava. Kava is made from the roots of piper methysticum—a plant native to the islands of the South Pacific. While those who live on the islands have been employing the benefits of this muddy-tasting root for generations, kava is gaining momentum across the United States. Kava has been used to treat a variety of conditions such as insomnia, menopause, muscle strain, as well as anxiety.

How does kava help with anxiety?

Kava contains substances called kavalactones—the psychoactive part of the plant. The kavalactones interact with the limbic system, the complex system of nerves and network in the brain associated with emotions, promoting relaxation. A study, conducted in 2013, revealed that kava helps treat social and general anxiety disorders. While anxiety is known as a robber of sleep, kava is a slumber-enhancer, containing properties that help you doze off and stay asleep. Another perk of this natural remedy is that it promotes relaxation without dulling your mental edge. What makes kava more appealing than the leading pharmaceutical is that it’s non-addictive and considered low risk. Kava comes in the form of a supplement pill or a powder that can be mixed with liquid.

So this holiday season, instead of allowing stress to overwhelm you, relax with a nice cup of kava tea and let your anxieties melt away.

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Distress or Chronic Stress

Distress or chronic stress is uncontrollable, prolonged, or overwhelming stress. Once stress becomes distress, the body manages to survive though not always to thrive. For example, when faced with periods of chronic stress, the body’s immune system function is lowered, and the digestive, excretory, and reproductive systems no longer function the way they should. In a state of distress, the cells of the immune system (and other body systems) are unable to respond normally and produce levels of inflammation which increase the risk of further health issues.

Homeostasis

Homeostasis refers to your body’s ability to regulate itself and maintain a comparatively stable internal environment despite external and internal conditions and events.

Your body is designed to be in a state of homeostasis, where all the systems within are functioning optimally.

Stressor

Stressor is anything that is perceived by the body as challenging, threatening or demanding.

Health Story

In the context of My Wellbeing Compass, your “Health Story” represents the combination of your dis-eases, conditions, symptoms and the history that binds them together. It is multi-layered and multi-dimensional. Unearthing and resolving the root causes at the core of your Health Story is the only way to truly rewrite this Story.

Natural Self-repair Mechanisms

The body is made up of intelligent, living cells that are dynamically connected. They communicate and just know what to do and when to do it in any given situation. They grow, replicate, repair, and age. Every 90 days, the body has a new bloodstream; every year, it manufactures billions of new cells; colon cells refresh every 4 days; the skin is entirely regenerated every 2-3 weeks; white blood cells regenerate in about 1 year; the liver renews itself at least once every 2 years; and the skeleton replaces its cells entirely every 10 years.

You are an incredibly complex, interactive, and dynamic living organism that is well-equipped with self-repair mechanisms that can fight infections, eliminate toxins, fix damaged DNA, destroy cancer cells, and even slow down aging.

This natural self-healing ability (also referred to as cellular intelligence or body’s innate intelligence) explains spontaneous remissions from seemingly “incurable” diseases.

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