L-Theanine – Get your body and mind right

L-Theanine – Get your body and mind right!
Ever wonder why the Japanese regard tea so highly they’ve created a ceremony for it? Why the UK and Ireland set aside specific times in the afternoon to drink a cup? Tea is the second most consumed beverage on Earth after water. It has long been promoted for having a variety of positive health benefits. But most importantly did you know L-theanine may be the actual chemical behind that?
L-theanine for Relaxation
L-Theanine is defined as an amino acid, which is found in abundance in green tea. Able to cross the blood–brain barrier, theanine has psychoactive properties. It has been studied for its ability to reduce mental and physical stress, improve cognition, and boost mood and cognitive performance. For these reasons, theanine has been promoted for treating high blood pressure and anxiety, and improving sleep quality.
Background
In 1940, L-theanine was found to be an essential constituent of green tea. However, it took some years to get approved, and finally after seeking approval from Japan in 1964, it was used in abundance in food items like soft drinks, chocolates, as well as herb teas. In the year 1950, Kyoto’s tea lab successfully separated theanine from gyokuro leaf, which contains rich source of theanine. In 2007 it was been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as Generally Recognized as Safe(GRAS). Since then several companies have incorporated l-theanine into relaxation beverages such as Kalm with Kava (www.DrinkKalm.com).
Benefits of L-theanine on Stress
L-theanine is noted for multiple benefits. Some of the important are as follows:
  • L-theanine for Stress: With our hectic work schedule taking a toll on our lives, we find that stress and anxiousness has turned out to be an increasing factor in our lives. If you fail to take control of these issues, the conditions can turn out to be chronic, leading to problems like cognitive impairment, type 2 diabetes, cardiac complications, and insomnia. With several medications available in the market claiming to relieve each these harms separately, but then, what can be a better option other than natural alternatives?
  • This non-protein is found in abundance in fresh leaves of tea plant. It is noted for being an active anxiety and stress buster which lowers both physical and psychological stress. 30-40 minutes after ingesting L-theanine, it aids in deep relaxation that doesn’t give way to drowsiness as well. Rather, this natural supplement helps in enhancing concentration and attention. It is one of those rare supplements that cross the blood-brain barrier with ease. Besides, it also works by exerting subtle alterations in the brain chemistry by changing the dopamine and serotonin levels. It keeps your heart rate under control and regulates your blood pressure.
What are the other advantages of L-theanine?
Besides gaining popularity for being a naturally occurring anti-anxiety aid, L-theanine is also noted for other exclusive benefits like:
  • Lowering depression
  • Improving mental performance and concentration level
  • It ensures that you are well focused while performing crucial tasks
  • Helping prevent your body from the ill effects of stress that can result because of the hormone cortisol
  • It helps lower mental and physical symptoms of PMS
  • Enhancing sleep quality
  • Promoting thermogenesis aiding weight loss
  • It lowers blood lipid levels
  • It improves T-cells activities and supports the immune system
  • Help to regulate blood pressure

L-theanine is also noted for its cognitive effects. As per research, it enhances the activity of the brain which is usually related to concentration and attention. Another advantage is that it aids you in staying focused even if you are stressed out. Recent studies were conducted and it was found that this substance works wonders in lowering the interferences of external stimuli. Whether you are using this in the form of sedatives or not it also ensures to help with improved sleep quality. You can wake up the next morning refreshed and rested after having taken this natural supplement. For better sleep patterns, some prefer taking it in combination with 5 HTP and melatonin. It acts as an antagonist when compared to the glutamate receptors and for this quality, further aids in helping with depression. Depression or stress can activate glucocorticoids (stress hormones) which may further lead to disruption in brain chemistry. Drugs that aim in suppressing glucocorticoids work well in treating depression. L-theanine is further effective in blocking some signals which is produced by glutamate as well as suppresses the adverse effects of glucocorticoids so as to restore the brain’s chemical balance.

L-theanine also works wonders in monitoring the overall health of your hearth. It prevents the occurrences of low density lipoprotein. Besides, some researches in Japan have also discovered that it lowers the adverse effect of alcohol which can damage your liver on the whole. It accelerates the ingestion of acetaldehyde and helps by blocking hazardous free radicals. It enhances glutathione levels which can be lowered by excessive alcohol consumption. Moreover, it also ensures that your liver is able to restore the detoxifying effect.

In short, this versatile supplement ensures to restore the perfect balance in your body and mind. With new research developing every day, it is easy to see why tea has been so highly regarded throughout time. More recently, evidence is pointing toward L-theanine as being the major chemical responsible for these benefits. As always, consult your doctor before starting a new drug or supplement routine.

 

The Benefits of California Poppy for Relaxation

Benefits of California Poppy for Relaxation
Did you know the California poppy flower can be beneficial for sleep, stress and relaxation? California poppies, scientifically called Eschscholzia Californica, can be seen growing in many a yard. This foliage not only does look beautiful, but also contains properties which foster relaxation in the body and mind when consumed. Similar to a relaxing tea of Chamomile, Valerian, or Catnip, California Poppy has scientifically proven advantages and no it does not contain opium.
California Poppy for Relaxation

Benefits of California Poppy for Relaxation

Why California poppy?
If you search online about California poppies, you may probably get confused and eventually hesitate including this in your diet because of the contradictory opinions published about their qualities. However, there are experts who support its use. According to them, the plant contains sedatives but these are not harmful. In fact, there are some places in Europe where California poppies are used as an ingredient in sedatives for kids. The renowned herbalist Michael Moore in his book “Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West” has pointed out that this plant contains amazing relaxing properties. If consumed as a sedative, it can make your body feel relaxed infusing little bit of lethargy. Also, if consumed in higher quantities, it can work as a pain reliever as touted by Dr. Oz.
Some might wonder if its consumption in the form of tea can cause a positive drug test. To this, experts state that California poppies don’t have same alkaloids as present in opium and are highly unlikely to cause a false positive urine test. To be more precise, you’d probably be more likely to show up positive from a poppy seed muffin. To be on the safe side, always disclose this information to your healthcare professional.
How to consume California poppy?
As already pointed out in the beginning, California poppy is mostly consumed in the form of tea. Some say a tea made with poppy plant tastes bitter. If you don’t mind bitterness in flavor, go for this. For making tea, you can use leaves, stems and flowers of the poppy plant.
Apart from this, there are many extracts available at your local health food store. Most products list if you are suffering from anxiety, consume 30 to 60 drops of this herb over four times a day. In addition, there have been a few relaxation drinks to hit the market that incorporate this herb in their formula. One, Kalm with Kava (www.DrinkKalm.com)
Kava Drink Kalm with Kava Relaxation Drink
infuses California Poppy with Kava Root, another better known relaxant to “Bring that much needed oasis to your stressful day”
Remember to see how you react first before driving, operating machinery, or anything of such nature after consuming. If you are taking sedatives, talk to your physician first before making it a part of your diet. Also, pregnant ladies and women breast feeding their kids should also consult their doctors beforehand.

SELF CARE: Kava kava and other herbs that can help you sleep

Kava kava can help you sleep! Research has already established that insufficient sleep is linked to slower and fuzzier thinking, a weakened immune system, anxiety and depression, weight  gain, heart attacks and fatal car crashes.

Last week, we mentioned several supplements to help you get better shut-eye.  Here are some herbal remedies:

Valerian Root: In Germany, where many herbs are counted and  accounted for like drugs, preparations of this root are the country’s  best-selling over-the-counter sleep medicine.

Valerian is a simple and uncomplicated sedative. It doesn’t really focus on  anxiety or tension, discontent, or any of the other emotional factors that can  sometimes feed into sleeplessness. It’s just a nice gentle little knockout. In  about 10-15 percent of people, Valerian creates a paradoxical reaction where  they get more wakeful. Hard to predict…

Passionflower: First, ignore the name of the plant. The name  derives from the Spanish conquistadors who saw Christ-like symbology in the “crown of thorns,” etc. So, no, Passionflower will not assist with that other bedroom activity…

What Passionflower will do is help you relax. Allow me to quote the great  herbalist Michael Moore, from “Medicinal Plants of the Desert and Canyon  West”: “Passionflower is a simple, uncomplicated sedative… it has little of  the ‘downer’ sensation of other herbs and drugs… It is virtually devoid of side  effects in sensible doses and is more calming than narcotic. Some people like an ‘edge’ to their sedatives; Valerian would probably be their choice… There is no  edge to Passionflower; it lets you down a couple of notches, and it’s then up to  you to take it from there.” Going back to other of Mr. Moore’s writings (if I  may paraphrase the master), Passionflower is especially useful for heavier folk  who get all high-blood-pressure at work, and then hold on to that high  blood pressure into the evening. Again, the key phrase for me is “take it down a  notch.”

Kava Root : Whole dissertations can be written about this  South Pacific herb. Let me just say this: for most people, Kava is simply the  single best and most efficient herbal remedy for crushing anxiety – everything  from stage fright to lonely late-night, pit-of-the-stomach pangs.

Kalm with Kava is a Relaxation Drink blended with natural herbs including kava to help bring relaxation and enjoyment. Visit us at www.DrinkKalm.com for more information.

Kalm with Kava - The new alternative to alcohol

Kalm with Kava – The new alternative to alcohol

Excerpt from wickedlocal.com Read more: http://www.wickedlocal.com/concord/news/lifestyle/columnists/x915438770/SELF-CARE-Herbs-that-can-help-you-sleep#ixzz2jiZCL84p Follow us: @concordjournal on Twitter | 196842985828 on Facebook

Take Your Relaxation Seriously – Alcohol Alternatives

Wired? Amped up? Stressed out? With the ever increasing popularity of the energy drink movement and our society’s non-stop pace, there eventually had to come a yin to the yang. Previously, the only solution one might have at their disposal to slow down was alcohol, tea, or medication. Introduce the anti-energy or relaxation drink. Now, more than ever are there endless options to help kickback and wind down after that stressful day at work or school. With so many options it can be confusing what exactly you’re getting with these drinks. This article is to help serve as a reference to the many different ingredients they can contain and the usefulness or actions each provide.

L-theanine

L-theanine is an amino acid primarily found in tea. It is also available as a single supplement or an additive to a few relaxation drinks. It has been considered for its potential ability to reduce mental and physical stress, improve cognition, and boost mood as studied in articles by Nutritional Neuroscience and The Journal of Medicinal Food. There are very few reported side effects of L-theanine when used at recommended doses.

Valerian

Valerian as a dietary supplement is prepared from the roots of the plant. Valerian root is purported to possess sedative and anxiolytic effects although there has been many conflicting reviews in medical research literature if it is indeed effective in treating insomnia. Large doses may result in stomach ache, apathy, and a feeling of mental dullness or mild depression. Because of the herb’s tranquilizer properties, it may cause dizziness or drowsiness. Many relaxation drinks on the market contain this herb.

Melatonin

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone found in humans. Products containing melatonin have been available over-the-counter in the United States since the mid-1990s and it has gained wide popularity as a supplement to help facilitate sleep. Melatonin appears to cause very few side-effects in the short term, up to three months, when healthy people take it at low doses. The most common side effects reported are next-day grogginess and irritability.

Kava

Native to the western Pacific islands, the Kava plant is known around the globe for its calming properties. The plant has been scientifically proven to aid in the management of anxiety. In a 2003 study published in the Cochrane Databases of Systematic Reviews, it was found that the kava plant was an effective symptomatic treatment for anxiety disorders.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the Kava plant was historically used as a means to both treat insomnia and help people fight fatigue. It was also used to treat asthma, urinary tract infections and as an anesthetic.
Today, in addition to its use as a relaxing agent, kava has been found as an effective alternative to alcohol. It is known to create a euphoric calming state while not disrupting mental clarity.
In 2002 advisories were brought about that certain kava extracts may be harmful to the liver. Upon further analysis it was found that many of the reports lacked adequate clinical information to substantiate them. In a 2009 study by the University of Queensland, Australia, researchers found the study’s participants did not show any signs of potential liver damage, contrary to concerns that were prompted in 2002. It is also notable to add that German researchers estimated reported side effects at .008/million doses i.e. 1 per 125 million.

Summary

In summary, it is always important to conduct your own research before taking any new supplement. Always consult your doctor if you are unsure or if you are taking any medication that may interact with its ingredients.  Enjoy! Take your relaxation seriously and responsibly!

** Kalm with Kava does not contain Valerian or Melatonin to give you that hung-over, groggy feeling. Only premium extracted Kava root and L-theanine along with fruit juice purees. http://www.DrinkKalm.com

Hangover Causes

Hangovers are caused by drinking too much alcohol.

A single alcoholic drink is enough to trigger a hangover for some people, while others may drink heavily and escape a hangover entirely.

Various factors may contribute to the problem. For example:

  • Alcohol causes your body to produce more urine. In turn, urinating more than usual can lead to dehydration — often characterized by thirst, dizziness and lightheadedness.
  • Alcohol triggers an inflammatory response from your immune system. In particular, your immune system may trigger certain agents that commonly produce certain symptoms, such as an inability to concentrate, memory problems, decreased appetite and loss of interest in usual activities.
  • Alcohol irritates the lining of your stomach. It increases the production of stomach acid and delays stomach emptying. Any of these factors can cause abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting.
  • Alcohol can cause your blood sugar to fall. If your blood sugar dips too low, you may experience fatigue, weakness, shakiness and mood disturbances, even seizures.
  • Alcohol causes your blood vessels to expand, which can lead to headaches.
  • Alcohol can make you sleepy, but your quality of sleep will decrease. This may leave you groggy and fatigued.
  • Alcoholic beverages contain ingredients called congeners, which give many types of alcoholic beverages their flavor and which can contribute to hangovers. Congeners are found in larger amounts in dark liquors, such as brandy and whiskey, than in clear liquors, such as vodka and gin.

Excepted from Mayo Clinic Staff @ www.MayoClinic.com

Start taking your Relaxation Seriously – Enjoy a healthier relaxation without the worries of a hangover – Kalm with Kava – www.DrinkKalm.com

Kalm with Kava - The new alternative to alcohol

Kalm with Kava – The new alternative to alcohol

Guide to Health – Dr. Duke on Kava

Kava Kava

How could our society have erred in readily accepting a good-morning jolt from a cup of java without ever discovering the winding-down pleasure at day’s end with a cup of Kava ? The two beautifully balance and complement each other–one to wake up, one to wind down.

I’m a heavy coffee drinker, and while I don’t often have a problem slipping off to sleep, if a touch of insomnia does come on, I wouldn’t hesitate to take some kava. Usually, though, I reach for it when I want to mellow out with friends during a social occasion or, at the opposite extreme, following a stressful event. During a recent journey to the Amazon, for example, I was glad I had some handy. Whatever could go wrong did go wrong: Peruvian gardens reachable only by canoes and hour-long walks in the forest; a veritable mutiny among cranky passengers; people collapsing from severe dehydration; my sudden promotion to ticket dispenser for the entire tourist group; and the near loss of a wallet that contained my credit cards, a passport copy, and the money I set aside to buy a Peruvian guitar. It was a kava week.

Fortunately, kava and I are old friends. If everyone else knew what I know about this ancient shrub, we as a society would feel much more at ease about our lot in the world, and fewer of us would know the dangers of addiction to Valium and other forms of pharmaceutical sedation.

DR. DUKE’S NOTES Among Polynesians, kava is considered better and more socially acceptable than alcohol. That’s why it’s offered to the most honored of guests. Lyndon Johnson and Lady Bird enjoyed it on state visits to Pacific Island nations, and so did Pope John Paul II. Hillary Rodham Clinton drank some kava during a campaign tour of Hawaii, and the Queen of Great Britain enjoyed “high kava” (as opposed to “high tea”) when she stopped in Fiji for an official state visit.

What Kava Is and What It Can Do

Science has solidly established kava’s ability to relax muscles and hush harried nerves. No single substance in the plant deserves sole credit. Responsibility rests with a group of chemicals called kavalactones. Found in different concentrations in different parts of the plant, each kavalactone exerts a somewhat different physiological effect. Based on what I know about how phytochemicals interact synergistically, I’d say that the kavalactones are more therapeutic in concert than if soloing separately. In other words, to bring up again a favorite refrain, there’s no single magic bullet. You need the whole herbal shotgun blast.

The Kava Calm

One tremendous hurdle along the path toward establishing the superiority of herbal medicine is the dearth of research directly comparing the performance of a given plant potion to its pharmaceutical rivals. Happily, kava is an exception. Unhappily, few Americans have gotten the word. The bulk of the research has been conducted in Europe, leaving U.S. scientists, convinced that their chemistry can outsmart Mother Nature, to lag way behind. Here’s what they–and you–have missed out on.

To reduce tension, stress, and anxiety, kava extract clearly and cleanly wins out over the prescription drugs with which it has been compared. It’s similarly effective as tranquilizers, anxiolytics (anxiety-reducing agents), and other such medications, yet free of the side effects so typical of these drugs.

In one head-to-head matchup, the herbal extract was compared against two benzodiazepine tranquilizers, bromazepam and oxazepam, on 172 people with anxiety. After six weeks, researchers concluded that the natural medicine and the synthetic drug were therapeutically similar–but that kava was the obvious safer choice. It neither impairs mental reaction nor shows a potential for addiction. In fact, aside from an upset stomach or two, the only “side effect” was that the study participants’ mental functions improved! Though calm of body, they remained keen of mind.

Another study, this one eight weeks long, also concluded that kava extract was comparable to and safer than benzodiazepines. Two earlier experiments reached similar conclusions about taking the shrub for anxiety, tension, and menopause-related psychosomatic complaints. A 1996 German study of 43 women and 15 men suffering from anxiety reached the same judgment.

Kava’s effectiveness and safety persist even after long-term use, according to a six-month study conducted by researchers at Jena University in Germany. The trial’s 101 participants had been diagnosed with anxiety that stemmed from a variety of nonpsychotic causes, including agoraphobia and other specific phobias. Half the group took 90 to 110 milligrams of a standardized kava extract containing 70 milligrams of kavalactones; the other half took placebo pills. No one, not even the researchers, knew who was taking what. In the end, the kava users’ anxiety levels, unlike those who took the fake pills, improved significantly. They felt less agitated, experienced no detrimental side effects, and suffered no withdrawal problems at the end of the experiment.

Yet again, the natural medicinal compared more than favorably with Valium and its benzodiazepine brethren, especially because of the safety factor. Few studies, the researchers pointed out, have examined the long-term implications of such drugs.

I could go on, but you get the idea. As a stress buster and anxiety antidote, kava deserves a hearty “Brava! Brava!”

FROM MY SCIENCE NOTEBOOK If people have been doing something since time immemorial, odds are that they have a pretty good reason. As far as ingesting kava is concerned, they sure do. We now understand chemically why the plant has acquired such a long-lasting loyal following.

I hate to isolate individual compounds in a plant. They cohabitate for a reason and usually serve us best when working together, not on their own. Among the more important medicinal ingredients in kava, for instance, are substances called kavalactones. Each of them–kawain, dihydrokawain, methysticin, yangonin, desmethoxyyangonin, and dihydromethysticin–possesses slightly different physiological effects, but when they work synergistically, they’re anywhere from 2 to 20 times more active.

With that in mind, I’ll note that dihydrokawain (DHK) and dihydromethysticin (DHM) appear to be the most effective general relaxants and muscle relaxants of the phytochemical bunch. Together, they pack the analgesic punch of a typical 200-milligram aspirin. DHK is the primary sedative, while kawain is more of a tranquilizer. DHM gently depresses the central nervous system, as does kawain, to a lesser extent. For the most part, these phytochemicals affect only the lower central nervous system, which means they leave higher functions intact. In other words, your body mellows out, but your mind remains sharp.

In low doses, the overall kavalactonic impact is much like that of Valium or the other benzodiazepines, although it works in a manner different from this pharmaceutical family. The primary difference, a couple of studies show, is one of safety. Although physiologically similar to the benzodiazepines, kava is clearly safer, one study concluded. The plant displays no addictive potential and threatens no mental impairment. In fact, for study participants taking kava, cognitive function actually improved!

How Kava Can Help

Something that puts the slack back into a day’s worth of high-strung nerves certainly earns a place at home at night–or whenever else you might benefit from relaxed muscles, eased pain, and somewhat numbed nerves. Insomnia is an obvious application, but pay attention: I think you’ll be surprised by some of kava’s other potential uses.

Genitourinary concerns. For some reason, kava takes a notable liking to the urinary tract. Its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, muscle-relaxing qualities bring relief to a range of urinary problems, particularly in women. Kavalactones also are recognized specifically for their ability to relax the uterus, which is why the shrub has been a time-honored treatment for menstrual cramps and dysmenorrhea.

For almost any achy, inflammatory urinary disorder, medical folklore includes kava in the remedy. It’s been used against bladder inflammation, urethral inflammation, vaginitis, gonorrhea, cystitis, pyelitis, and burning or pain upon going to the bathroom. And while the plant is a strong diuretic, which helps encourage urination, it also supposedly helps to treat incontinence.

Headaches. Muscle relaxation might be the key here, but then you don’t need to single out a specific reason when the herb also blunts pain, discourages muscle spasms, settles seething nerves, and cools inflammation. Two specific kavalactones, dihydrokawain and dihydromethysticin, together have the analgesic power of a 200-milligram aspirin tablet.

Insomnia. No need for sleeping pills or nightcaps that whomp you with an 80-proof wallop. When worries and woes keep you wide awake, the plant’s muscle-relaxing, pain-allaying, tranquillity-inducing influence is a botanical blessing.

Some people claim that kava-influenced sleep is dreamless; others say that the deep, restful slumber it facilitates is lush with vivid, epic-length imagery. Your mileage may vary, I suppose. I don’t recall any obvious changes in my dreams. If you need help to fall asleep, you probably won’t care whether you dream or not.

excerpted from www.guidetohealth.com

For a great tasting ready-to-drink kava fix visit www.DrinkKalm.com

Kalm with Kava – The Relaxation Drink

We are excited to announce the launch of Kalm with Kava! Three years in the making. It is a relaxation drink considered to be a healthier alternative to alcohol. It provides relaxation and euphoria while not affecting mental clarity. It promotes a restful nights sleep with no concern of a hangover the next day. Kava has also been traditionally used for anxiety, depression, and most notably a social drink in place of alcohol in the South Pacific and Hawaii. We are bringing this relaxation mainstream. Currently it is available online and throughout the San Francisco bay area. We will be working on expanding this to the entire West coast, Montana, and Wyoming this year but it can always be purchased online. Please visit our website www.DrinkKalm.com

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