WHAT IS KAVA?
Piper methysticum (kava or kava kava) is a plant that is grown in the South Pacific Islands. The root is used to produce a drink with sedative and anti-anxiety properties that is capable of inducing relaxation and mental clarity. For over 3000 years, kava has been used in the islands for medicinal, religious, political, cultural and social purposes.
Kava helps ease anxiety, stress and depression, as well as help to induce a restful sleep. It will “take the edge off”, promote sociabilty while helping to focus and concentrate.
HISTORY OF KAVA
The plant thrives in the islands of Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Pohnpei, New Guinea and Hawaii. No one knows exactly where the kava plant originated from however, there is strong evidence to suggest that Vanuatu is its origin. Captain James Cook was the first known encounter with kava during the voyage of 1768-1771. Captain Cook gave the kava plant its name of “intoxicating pepper.” Kava was prepared by pounding or chewing the root. In many areas virgin boys or girls were selected to masticate the kava, since they were considered to be pure and clean. The kava drink has many uses in the South Pacific Islands. Primarily it is consumed in ceremonies such as funerals and other religious events amongst tribe members however, it is also consumed in social manner.
Kava began to make its way into the mainstream in the United States in the early 2000’s.
MEDICINAL BENEFITS OF KAVA
- Kava is used medicinally for all types of ailments. The main active components in the kava root are called kavalactones.
- Kava is primarily used as an anti-depressant, stress reliever and muscle relaxant.
- Kava calms nerves and/or eases stress as well as anxiety.
- Kava can also treat migraine headaches and cramps.
- Kava keeps the mind alert as the body relaxes.
POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS OF KAVA
- Temporary numbness of the mouth, throat and lips
- Relaxation of muscles
- Calms nerves
- General rise in social behavior and well being
- Induces feeling of peace and contentment
- Enhances mental alertness and concentration
- Reduces inhibitions and promotes socialbility
What is kava used for?
Kava is used primarily to relax your body muscles. Not only does kava relax your body/muscles, it also relaxes your mind; bringing clarity, unlike alcohol.
What will I feel when I drink kava?
Immediately after drinking kava, you will feel a slight numbness to your tongue and lips. This is due to two topical anesthetics that are active ingredients in the kava root (kavain and dihydrokavain)
When should I drink kava?
Kava is usually consumed after sunset/at the end of the day. However, in our hectic, modern society, kava can be consumed at anytime of the day since it does not effect ones mental state.
Is kava addictive?
No. Kava has not been shown to be chemically addictive. It has been used safely for over 3,000 years without any reported withdrawal symptoms whatsoever.
How much kava do I need to drink to feel the effects?
Everyone has different metabolisms and sensitivity levels so there is no definitive answer. However, we suggest you drink two (2) shells of kava back to back and then wait approximately 10-15 minutes for your third (3rd) next shell. This will help your body break down the enzymes so that the kavalactones will build up in your body. Your body will typically begin to feel the effects of kava in about 15-30 minutes after consumption and will last for approximately 2-4 hours.
The first time you drink kava, the effects may only be minimally felt. After about 3 or 4 drinking sessions, the effects will increase. Unlike alcohol where your tolerance builds up, kava is the exact opposite. As more kava is consumed, the effects become greater with less kava.
Can you drink too much kava?
Yes. If you drink too much kava, you will begin to feel extremely sleepy. As a matter of fact, kava has been proven to be a cure for insomnia. However, death or severe illness from exclusive use of kava has not been reported in any medical literature.
Can I drink alcohol with kava?
No. Never drink alcohol with kava. It is very unhealthy and will make you nauseated.
Who should not drink kava?
Pregnant and nursing women, children, and people with liver or kidney disease shouldn't use kava.
*Statements on this site have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These products are not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease. Please consult a qualified healthcare practitioner for medical advice.