Kava kava for insomnia?

by | Oct 24, 2016 | Columns, Healing Lyme, Herbs, miscellaneous, SLEEP, Symptoms | 3 comments

Dear Stephen,
I was wondering what you thought about the herb kava kava as a treatment for insomnia? I am wondering because it is a bit of a controversial herb but it seems to be one of the few things that really helps. Thank you.

Stephen’s response:
I think that withania and/or melatonin liquid work best for this (well, marijuana is awfully good, too) but kava kava can also help, sometimes. IF it works for you, then go for it.

  • Stephen Harrod Buhner

    Stephen Harrod Buhner is an Earth poet and the award-winning author of twenty-three books on nature, indigenous cultures, the environment, and herbal medicine including the acclaimed book Healing Lyme: Natural Healing & Prevention of Lyme Borreliosis & Its Co-infections.

    Stephen comes from a long line of healers including Leroy Burney, Surgeon General of the United States under Eisenhower and Kennedy, and Elizabeth Lusterheide, a midwife and herbalist who worked in rural Indiana in the early nineteenth century. The greatest influence on his work, however, has been his great-grandfather C.G. Harrod who primarily used botanical medicines, also in rural Indiana, when he began his work as a physician in 1911.

    Stephen’s work has appeared or been profiled in publications throughout North America and Europe including Common Boundary, Apotheosis, Shaman’s Drum, The New York Times, CNN, and Good Morning America. Stephen lectures yearly throughout the United States on herbal medicine, the sacredness of plants, the intelligence of Nature, and the states of mind necessary for successful habitation of Earth.

    He is a tireless advocate for the reincorporation of the exploratory artist, independent scholar, amateur naturalist, and citizen scientist in American society – especially as a counterweight to the influence of corporate science and technology.

This protocol was incredible. After only a few weeks most of my symptoms were gone. After six months all my symptoms were gone… it has given me my life back.

– Amazon review by Joseph

Please note:

Stephen Buhner has retired from answering questions here, but this Q + A column on Planet Thrive is kept open so readers can access vital information in the archives, communicate with each other in the comments section, and find herbs, books + lyme adjuncts in our directory. If you want to reach Stephen, please try contacting him through his personal website at stephenharrodbuhner.com.

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  1. Nanci

    Hi Stephen,

    Lyme confirmed and I have began treatment with my naturopathic dr. I would like to use marijuana for my leg pain as well as insomnia. I know that everyone is different, and the strains are different, but the few I have tried (I am a newbie) seem to make my brain race and it doesn’t help the pain or sleep problem. Marijuana is legal here in WA so its easy for me to get, but so far no luck with relief. Any recommendations? also, my son is telling me that if I have ADD it is possible that the strains may have the opposite effect of what most people would experience as far as the high or drowsiness.

  2. Greg

    The only “controversial herbs” are the ones that work hence Big Pharma have a vested interest in making the sheeple believe they are dangerous (ha ha compared to the poison they sell)or at least sowing the seeds of doubt. They fund most of the web sites where you read all this nonsense. The liver scare is their favourite with kava. Been debunked many times as rubbish and yet every second web site mentions it. There is no one answer with insomnia. Some people fall asleep with valerian, others find they can’t switch off with valerian. Low dosage melatonin or 5HTP is always helpful though taken with a herbal remedy like ashwagandha/valerian/kava. I take crumbs the size of sugar granules from a crushed 3mg Melatonin tablet and I pass out. One tablet lasts me around a month! On the other hand the entire tablet has the opposite effect. It’s just too much and you feel drugged and in a stupor, and you don’t sleep! When it comes to the brain you need to experiment with what’s right for you.

  3. Mary Sue

    Kava forte from Mediherb can be trusted for safety. It helps with anxiety. Liquid melatonin held in my mouth for a minute before swallowed is working now along with Ashwaganda (withania). My naturopath did a test on me that showed I was not making enough melatonin on my own.

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