People native of the South Pacific satisfy their desire for a relaxing drink with a beverage made from the root of the Kava plant. Besides its recreational use, there are uses for it in their traditional medicine. Scientific researchers recognize that kava possesses many curative qualities, but the possibilities of misuse raise health risks. In the USA and Western Europe, you find kava sold in the form of tea, tablets, drops, powder or extracts. The kava name is only one of several applied to this product. It also goes under the names of Lewena, Sakau, Yaqona and even Grog.
The growing number of people who reach old age only to become disabled by Alzheimer's or other neurodegenerative disorders is one of today's significant social and medical challenges. Our understanding of the causes and knowledge of treatments is still very limited. This is one of the reasons for the interest in the used of kava to prevent or slow down damage to mental facilities. Research made on laboratory mice suggest that extracts from kava could protect brain cells against harm through oxidative stress. There are hopes that it could affect humans in the same way.
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