Anxiety disorder- a state when a person worries abnormally and excessively- is known to affect many in Australia. Statistics show that nearly 14% of the population is affected by anxiety disorders.
According to lead researcher Jerome Sarris, from University of Melbourne, Kava seems to offer a strong natural alternative for the treatment of chronic clinical anxiety with reduced risk for dependency. It also had fewer side effects.
The research so far has shown a lot of promise, but more clinical trials are required to confirm it as a first-line treatment for generalized anxiety disorders (GAD).
"We are not saying kava is a replacement for integrated care. People with anxiety should seek appropriate advice from a health professional, which could include a GP, a psychologist or a degree-qualified naturopath," says Dr Sarris.
The study looked at 75 patients with clinically diagnosed GAD for eight weeks. Some patients were given kava while some others got a placebo. The study found that there was a marked reduction in anxiety for the Kava group.
However, people should consult their doctor before they take any medication for anxiety.