The Western Pacific Islands plant Piper methysticum, also known as Kava-Kava plant, is historically recognized as a potential cognitive function enhancer as it improves relaxation and enhances concentration skills. In the recent years, however, certain health studies have established that prolonged use of Piper methysticum extract may cause damage in liver cells and lead to mild euphoria. The goal of many researchers in conducting studies on Piper methysticum extract is primarily to determine whether the extract is beneficial enough as to outweigh the risks of using it. Researches are also being conducted to fully determine the extent of healthy doses for use of Piper methysticum extract. Most studies claim that as long as the extract is taken within relatively low doses and within a limited period of time, it can provide health benefits which outweigh health risks.
What is Piper methysticum extract?
Piper methysticum extract is derived from the roots of the Kava-kava plant through extraction procedures. It is a popular social drink among certain societies across the Polynesian region as it has a bitter taste. Due to reports of the potential risks of taking the extract, it has been banned for use in Europe and Canada but it is not yet banned in the US market. It is currently being used in the formulation of health supplements, in combination with other healthy herbal extracts. The compounds found in Piper methysticum extract are believed to primarily affect the human brain. It may, however, increase toxicity when taken within large doses. Individuals seeking improved cognition are advised to take Piper methysticum extract but those who are suffering from certain health conditions must consult physician prior to use.
Health benefits of using Piper methysticum extract
Within recommended doses, for a limited period of time, Piper methysticum extract may provide the following health benefits:
- It may treat sleeping pattern disorders
Difficulty maintaining sleep pattern brought about by stress, tension and anxiety can be treated effectively with Piper methysticum extract supplementation, as proven by certain health researches. The compounds in the extract reduce anxiety and stress, thereby enhancing relaxation and prevent wearing out of brain cells.
- It may help treat depression
A quantitative health study conducted on depressive patients has shown that Piper methysticum extract supplementation may be helpful in treating the condition and preventing its progression. It is also claimed to reduce manifestations of symptoms of bipolar disorder especially among women.
- It may help prevent cancer
Certain compounds in Piper methysticum extract are also believed to help prevent development of cancer as they help eliminate toxic chemicals which cause destruction and alternation in genetic make-up. The claim is subject to further studies.
Many users of Piper methysticum extract say that it is quite beneficial but it must not be taken in long-term treatments. It must also be avoided by patients who have liver damage.