The Road to Lower Anxiety: Kava Kava Pic: © Cindy Fahnestock Schafer
Kava Kava works for me reducing stress, anxiety and lowering my blood pressure naturally. I’m not a medical doctor so this is simply my story, not advice to you. I’m here to tell you my personal experiences with Kava Kava, and you can decide for yourself how to research and talk to your doctor if you suffer from any or all of these things. Keep in mind my brother had suffered a major stroke at 36 years old and my mother died of hypertension. I am medically required to take prescribed blood pressure pills and my family history suggests I should do so. It was my sole decision to stop taking medically prescribed blood pressure medicines and only take Kava Kava, Passionflower, etc to naturally reduce my hypertension. It is my opinion that there are natural cures for everything, but the medical profession will have you think otherwise.
First let’s start with the bad , then we’ll go to the good.
Supposed Dangers of Kava Kava
Before I go any further I want to explain some studies exist that may indicative if you are taking any medically prescribed medication and Kava Kava it could pose dangers to your liver. This one, from the University Medical Center in Maryland indicates 25 cases of liver damage however it does not indicate what “combinations” or if any, that people may have been taking. The same study indicates dangers are unknown.
Let’s not forget that liver damage can also be said for large amounts of Tylenol…. I want to be clear I do not take any prescribed medication from doctors. It is rare that I even have to take Tylenol.
Kona Kava Farm, who make Kava Kava and sell it in various forms, (Oceanic and Pacific people have used it for years), indicates more about the hype on the dangers of Kava. Mainly they suggest not mixing it with alcohol (due to calming effects this can be a dangerous combination do not drive or use machinery) , and to be wary of a small percentage of allergic reactions (same as people allergic to black pepper.)
Contradicting, is numerous medical opinions linked at the bottom of this article who suggest it’s a natural cure for lowering anxiety and blood pressure….hmmmm
My Family History Suggests I Should Take Medically Prescribed Blood Pressure Pills
Coming from a long line of family DNA which include hypertension, anxiety and high blood pressure combined with a hectic work life, I soon found my blood pressure to be unstable and through the roof.
First of all, I’m a nervous wreck being in a doctor’s office. Often times I have rushed to the doctor’s office having had to take off work and then being stuck in traffic so the whole experience just raises your blood pressure going to the doctor…..and not to mention my morning coffee. Caffeine raises blood pressure. Then them placing a tight cuff around your arm over and over doesn’t help either. I would sit in a chair at the doctors office and get reads of 140/90 then 165/100 then 166/90 then 143/90 always jumping around. Then I start getting high anxiety. If my blood pressure isn’t good they will keep taking it. This delays my return to work so naturally now my stress level rises. I find myself now getting hooked up to an EKG in the doctor’s office. I’m fine, but, irritated.
Soon then they sent me as a precaution for sonar testing on my arteries. This man was a specialist and it cost me over $600 out of my own pocket with insurance to have him run little sonagram-thingie-ma-bobs up and down the arteries in my neck to make sure I wasn’t having any blockages due to my blood pressure fluctuating. The specialist rendered me perfect for 43 years old and was as perplexed as to why I was there as I was.
False Readings vs Home Readings
I purchased a machine Omron $45, and tested it at home and myself without medicine. I would read 119/80 at home, or 135/90 at work. Remember work readings are after a long drive, during stress and drinking coffee. All of these factors can add points to the monitor.
When I had major stress at work I am sure I had spikes much higher, but to say these spikes would stay high is unknown.
The problem was, the doctors office readings said something worse as does my medical history, and the fact I’m overweight didn’t help either.
Which was false and which is correct? Probably the facts are the facts: at home you are in your element, relaxed atmosphere and feel safe at home. Home readings that come back normal may very well be true. Take yourself out of your home element and test your pressure at work, it’s going to be different.
If you have whitecoat syndrome like me, every time you go to the doctor’s it’s going to be super high!
Let Big Pharma Begin
It’s a doctor’s job to make sure their patient has normal blood pressure. I love my doctor and I don’t hold any of this against him. He is going off the readings in the office.
First they plied me up with Losartan 50 mg with HCTZ ($54 a month) that made me want to urinate constantly. I was dizzy and tired, got to the point I was worried about actually having an accident because my bladder felt like it was going to explode.
After I complained about that they switched me to Amlodipine (Norvasc ) 5mg ($30 a month) which swelled me up like nobody’s business. My ankles were so swollen I could not fit into my shoes. Then when I complained about that, they wanted to give me another pill to remove the water retention. I said no, I’ll do it myself.
I started to drink 12 glasses of water a day to get things moving faster. When I would drink water and urinate naturally it was altogether different than using a blood pressure pill with a diuretic in it. At this time they switched me back to Losartan, but instead of 50mg with the diuretic they gave me 100mg with Potassium (cost $43 a month).
I felt drugged and sluggish and the pill was a 24-hour pill. I took it in the morning one day, and just for fun took my blood pressure at night in my house when I felt drugged from the pill. It read: 118/86 then 112/80 . I felt these were too low. This proves that without the pill my range would be normal in the 130’s as the machine indicated, and possibly only slightly elevated due to work stress.
I immediately stopped all prescriptions against my doctor’s suggestion and switched to Anxietall which has Kava Kava and Passionflower in it. I read many articles suggesting that the effects of the Kava Kava are “accelerated” with the addition of Passionflower. Some studies give Anxietall a bad review, but it works for me. I want to say perhaps this is due to the fact these pills are HUGE and they naturally stink an unpleasant odor. I almost wondered how to swallow them.
Now, I am only taking 1 pill per day and my blood pressure is reading normal at home. The bottle indicates to take more, but I am low-tolerance due to the fact I don’t use medicines. So for me, the one pill a day is working to keep me in normal range and I’m checking my pressure with the Omron machine I will be going back to the doctor in 3 months (at which time I will report all results here.) I will be getting a full analysis and tests on my liver .
How to Further Lower Blood Pressure
I have also lost 6 lbs naturally as the Anxietall makes me not hungry. I also continue drinking a lot of water and now take daily walks to help reduce stress and lower blood pressure.
I have also began taking a shot of organic apple cider vinegar in the morning made by Bragg’s. Some people I have read put this in water, but I just drink it down.
All of this combination has kept my blood pressure in normal range and I’m starting to feel much better and not like a drugged elephant.
I take the Kava Kava when I arrive at work, since the main source of my stress and anxiety come from work, and I rarely have to drive anywhere once I am there.
I can only tell you what is working for me. I kept a dog alive naturally for six years with natural supplements when he had cancer in his lymph nodes. This story is here bassethoundcancer.wordpress.com . This is why I always question the medical industry. I hope Kava Kava remains legal, as it’s helping me.
Poland Bans Kava Kava…Germany Reverses Ban…
It is being banned in some areas, namely Poland according to Wikipedia. Why? I can’t help but thinking, it’s because the natural supplement aka “cure” costs less as the medical ones and creates less side effects. Big Pharma is not happy and so, reduce a few “liver studies” (25 of them out of millions who use Kava Kava) and bam, there is it, widespread panic. A few years back, it was banned in Germany, but then the court’s opinion reversed and the ban lifted.
I will continue to update this post over time. Send me your comments here if you have used Kava Kava, good and the bad.
— C Fahnestock-Schafer (@IraMency) May 3, 2017
By the way, I’m not getting paid for this post, nor did I get any “free bottles” or samples for writing this. I simply speak from my own experience, in an attempt to help others .
Medical Journal Links and Research include Harvard Studies: