While kava and kratom may be offered alongside one another at local kava bars and sold together online, they are very different from each other. The main difference is that kratom can be addictive, while kava is not. Kava also doesn’t have the potential for liver toxicity like kratom does.
Kava, a plant kratom and kava to the Pacific Islands called Piper methysticum, has long been used for both its cultural significance and as a herbal remedy. Studies support kava’s anxiolytic and stress-reducing properties. Its calming effects are thought to be based on its interaction with GABA receptors without impairing cognitive function. It’s consumed during social and ceremonial gatherings and is believed to foster a sense of community.
The Power Duo: Exploring the Benefits of Combining Kratom and Kava for Relaxation
Major liver problems associated with kava initially led to its ban in Europe and the United States. These problems include hepatitis and cirrhosis, which can lead to liver failure in some people and sometimes to the need for a liver transplant. The liver damage is thought to be caused by kava’s ability to deplete glutathione, a chief antioxidant in the liver, and its inhibition of enzymes involved in the metabolism of many drugs.
While kava is considered safe at doses recommended by doctors, it’s important to remember that the FDA doesn’t regulate kava products and you can’t be sure what you’re getting or where it came from. Doctors recommend starting with a small dose and only taking it for short periods of time. If you do take it, don’t drink alcohol while taking kava and tell your doctor about any other medications or supplements you’re using.