Herbal Supplements
Kava kava: the Herb of Mystery and Pleasure

The world is a two-facet coin: there are many things familiar to us, as we think; however, if we look deeper into the matter, it becomes obvious that we know next to nothing.

Kava kava is a traditional herb for preparing beverage, known and used by the inhabitants of the Pacific islands since ancient times. People in other parts of the world got acquainted with this herb long time ago as well, still, we know very little about the power and effect of this mysterious plant.

Kava kava is from the pepper family, having a botanical name Piper methysticum. A shrub, which usually grows 6 feet high (sometimes twice higher), has large cordate leaves, short spikes of flowers, and a spotted stem.

The plant has been cultivated in many parts of the Pacific islands for centuries; therefore, it is now quite a problem to identify its home. Botanists suggest that Kava is indigenous to a group of islands in eastern Melanesia, and it was domesticated about 3000 years ago. Nowadays it is widely used by natives of the South Pacific islands (Fiji, Tahiti, Hawaii, Vanuatu, Tonga, New Guinea, Polynesia, Micronesia, and others).

The aborigines of the above mentioned islands use and always used Kava kava for different reasons. First of all, they confirm that the beverage made from either fresh, dried, or chewed Kava roots is a healthy and natural way of relaxing, which helps suppress nervousness and relieve muscle tension, having a significant sedative effect.

The juice from the plant was also used as a tranquilizer, which helped people gain access to the spirits world and communicate with gods and ancestors during the religious ceremonies. The traditional celebrations of marriages, births, and deaths, the rites of curing from diseases and removing curses were always held with Kava juice drinking.

Since ancient times the beverage, made from this plant, was associated with a sexual intercourse. Drinking Kava kava tea was a prerogative of males. In spite of the myths that Kava kava plant was discovered by women, consuming its juice by them was perceived as a symbol of lesbianism.

However, the most significant role of the plant is observed in the traditional medicine. The islanders used and still use Kava kava for treating gout, rheumatism, bronchial congestion, tuberculosis, leprosy, urinary tract and vaginal infections (cystitis, prostatis, gonorrhea, venereal diseases and menstrual problems).Women even tried to provoke abortions, putting Kava kava leaves into the vagina.

This folk remedy was mentioned in the scientific works for the first time in 1886. These days it is gaining popularity all over the world mainly due to its sedative and relaxing effect. Food and Drug Administration of the USA classify Kava kava as a nutritional supplement, which can be used for reducing anxiety. Indeed, those, who consume the beverage or Kava kava extract in capsules report of the state of relaxation, lessening of muscle tenseness, peacefulness, mild euphoria and the feeling of being more sociable and capable to communicate.

Recent clinical trials also showed that Kava kava is effective for the treatment of anxiety disorders.

The beverage from the plant is usually made of the dried ground Kava roots, but the drink tastes bitter, therefore, many people prefer to take it in capsules.

The active compounds found in the roots of Kava kava are called kavalactones. There are six of them: kawain, methysticin, demethoxy-yangonin, dihidrokawain, dihidromethysticin, and yongonin. These chemicals are responsible for the relaxing effect. Actually, they produce soporific and mildly narcotic influence, nevertheless, unlike opioids, they do not cause addiction.

Scientists recommend taking Kava not more than 3-4 days a week, making one-week pauses every month. They suspect that long-term usage or drinking great amounts of Kava can cause either liver damage, especially in those predisposed to this condition, or kawaism (red, dry, flaking skin, red eyes, puffy face, muscle weakness, and blood abnormalities).

Multiple clinical trials are being held these days, still, we do not have much information on side effects and possible influence of Kava on our bodies.

The world is old, but we are young and still have so much to learn about the nature around us.

More About Kava Kava...

Kava: Relief for the Anxious

Kava, or Piper methysticum, has been used for centuries. Once a wild plant, kava needs to be cultivated in todayís world for it no longer grows ...

2011-10-16 23:29:59
Why is it that natural herbs with only rumoured side effects unproven are removed, yet proven bad medicines from Pharmaceutical Corporations remain, with only a package warning needed.

and how come you can still but cigarettes then, its a herb killing millions yearly????
Noot Man
2011-09-26 22:09:42
One year ago Noot Man was a wreck: achy, shy, sleepy all day anxious

Night time: Kava + L-Theanine
= sleepy chilled

Lunch time: Kava + L-Theanine + 2 x 800mg Piracetam
= Relaxed, focused, vigilant

NOW Noot Man is mindful, friendly, enthusiastic!!!
2010-07-23 14:07:43
I agree with Fizz to an extent. The FDA is not about puritanism. If it was they would be protecting us at least. It is really a front organization that is all about outright exploitation and consumer manipulation. They approve horrible poisons constantly, its all about supporting the pharamaceutical rackets (which evolved out of royal/illuminati-controlled British East India Company, and I don't care if you think that sounds crazy, do the research and refute it or leave me to my opinions), as well as weakening and dumbing down the population. ANYWAYS The study I read on Kava, though seemed to only indicate that Kava EXTRACTS *might* be harmful because of the extraction process which uses acetone instead of water. It also said that 58 out of the only 60 cases of liver problems reported either had other concommitant liver damaging drug use or preexisting liver problems, so chances are, these people were using harmful FDA APPROVED synthetic medications, heavy alcohol abuse, etc. Either way, in the traditional usage of the root there are no reports of liver toxicity, at least that I have found.

Here is my source for any interested:
2010-04-27 17:09:28
there's no FDA puratainism, look what they feed us: chemicals, and acetometaphan that kills our liver, the list drags on, they illegalize all kinds of helpful herbs so they can make them into drugs with worse chemicals. i.e. opium, then make oxycontin which is the equivalent of heroin. the studies about kava are taken from the people who drink kava the most, the islanders. they're not demonizing kava, just saying that you need to moderate it. and they tell the truth about it cos they don't make any money off of kava
2010-01-31 12:41:01
My introduction to kava was ten years ago... I bought one of those Odwalla or Naked Juice bottles (can't remember which it was) called kava, which was completely unknown to me at the time. I drank it down, the taste was not bad, it tasted like a vanilla soy protein shake. Fifteen minutes later, WOW!! I was Buzzin' good, very relaxed, and had a huge smile on my face. I couldn't wait to buy it again... looked for it maybe a week later, it was GONE. Not ONE store carried it anymore. I thought, the F'in government has gotta take THIS away too? They didn't outlaw it, but I know they put some pressure on the Juice company because some idiot who couldnt hold his kava probably ran his Pinto into a pole. Recently I went through some severe opiate withdrawls, and now I'm kickin' myself in the head for not thinking to order kava. I think it would be a GREAT product for anybody coming off any kind of addiction. Such a great plant.
2008-09-27 10:37:01
My uncle was diagnosed with an enlarged liver, he went the natural way...with herbal medicine and he added KavaKava help him with his anxiety, he got cured from his anxiety and now all his test show his liver condition has improved.
2006-07-04 18:31:49
kava doesnot hurt your liver im sick of fda puritanism i need it everyone of every age needs kava.toddsaynotoparents/myspace and saynotoparents.blogspot.com
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More About Kava Kava...

Kava: Relief for the Anxious

Kava, or Piper methysticum, has been used for centuries. Once a wild plant, kava needs to be ...

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