Kava Kava Root
If you have had the chance to visit Hawaii or one of the other islands in the South Pacific, there’s a good chance you’ve come in contact with Kava Kava. Kava is an essential and integral part of life in the Pacific Islands often thought of as one of the most precious gifts from the Earth. Not only is it a pleasant drink that can be a safe alternative to alcohol, but Kava Kava has been prescribed as an effective folk remedy for anxiety, insomnia and back pain.
(If you have questions related to medical advice of any kind in relation to Kava, please see our Kava Medical Advice article for important information.)
Kava Root (the only part of the plant that is used) is largely employed as a celebratory drink much in the same way that alcohol is used in the West. It helps mark momentous occasions such as weddings, public festivals, political powwows and holidays, and it is even used in ceremonies honoring the dead. Unlike alcohol, kava does not produce or stimulate aggression. It does not condemn the user to a dreaded hangover, unlike alcohol. Alcohol literally kills hundreds of thousands of people a year, and Kava, when properly harvested, has never actually hurt anyone. Kava has even been known to help reduce alcohol consumption!
Many people find other uses for kava, including many medicinal ones. It’s interesting to note that kava has been shown to help ease anxiety, depression as well as producing a restful sleep. It is used by athletes, businessmen and diplomats to help “take the edge off” and focus concentration. Widely prescribed throughout Oceania and Europe to treat hyperactivity in children, it has also been used to aid children who have difficulty sleeping on occasion.
Kava Root was actually becoming more popular than Prozac in Europe and we here at Kava dot com, while doing our best to remain neutral, feel as though kava’s encroachment on pharmaceutical sales deeply concerned the drug companies. In turn, they became determined to do their best to tarnish the spotless reputation of kava – an ancient, safe and effective herbal supplement!
Much disinformation has been spread concerning kava and liver toxicity. The truth of the matter is that as the popularity of Kava grew in the early 2000′s, unscrupulous manufacturers used the potentially poisonous tops and leaves of kava plants in their kava supplements, thus setting off a chain reaction of rumor and speculation worldwide. Unfortunately, unjustified bans on kava subsequently spread across the world.
For a great article on this very topic, see “The Real Story of Kava” by Makaira Kealoha.
The best way to make sure you get safe and effective kava is to know where your kava comes from. Do your research. Support the small farmer. Make sure your kava is organically grown and that any supplemental kava used in your products contain only the kava root. Do not believe misleading studies that have been refuted, or any opportunistic lawyers who dedicate websites to “ambulance chasing” kava users. All in all, kava is a proven relaxant with thousands of years of history and safety in use behind it.
Frequently Asked Questions About Kava
Q: Is it addictive?
Kava has not been shown to be physically addictive. It has been used safely for over 3,000 years, without any reported withdrawal symptoms whatsoever.
Q: What does kava do?
• Relaxes muscles
• Calms nerves
• Creates a general feeling of well-being
• Induces a feeling of peace, relaxation and contentment
• Enhances mental alertness and concentration
• Has historical use as an herbal aphrodisiac
• Reduces inhibitions and makes people more sociable
There are many, many more properties of kava, so read on!
Q: Can I take it any time of the day?
In the South Pacific, drinking kava is mostly used for ceremonial, recreational and social purposes. Kava is consumed at the end of the workday, and the ritual of kava preparation and drinking provides one with both an opportunity for individual meditation as well as a social time. with inhibitions alleviated.
In our hectic, modern society “kava time” is anytime. The fact that kava does not slow one’s mental capacity that allows it to be used during the day especially when we find ourselves anxious or in stressful situations like:
• Going on a date
• Visiting the dentist
• Giving a presentation
• Attending a party
• Business meetings
• Enhance athletic abilities
• Boarding a plane
• Taking an exam
And for the most part, kava is best consumed after work when the kava’s delightful, pleasurable, relaxing effects can be experienced while one is able to relax into a happy, peaceful state with complete mental alertness. When kava is taken before bedtime, it induces a restful sleep and encourages a refreshed feeling upon awakening.
Q: Does kava have side effects?
Kava has no side effects when taken in moderate doses, although its abuse can lead to health problems. A study of heavy abusers in the South Pacific showed evidence of shortness of breath, dry scaly skin, and slight alterations in red and white blood cells and platelets. The reports of liver damage have widely been dismissed – it was one irresponsible kava manufacturer which used the poisonous tops of the kava plant in one of their products that lead to the liver damage. Even the country that hosted the study (Germany) has repealed their ban on Kava Kava because it has been proven a safe and effective herbal product.
Q: How much can I drink? Can I overdose on it?
The most significant anti-anxiety studies show that an effective daily dose of kava is 70-210 milligrams of kavalactones. The amount of kava to take depends on your purpose for using it and your individual sensitivity to the effects of kavalactones.
Death or severe illness from exclusive use of kava has not been reported in any medical literature.
Q: Is it safe?
Whenever you first try a new medicine, herb or supplement, it is always best to start with low dosages and build up. Kava, if used appropriately, can reduce the stress in our daily lives, as well as alleviate the amount of anxiety one might anticipate becoming exposed to, such as in a stressful negotiation. Studies show the occasional use of kava presents no health problems. Years of use in Germany have produced no reports of troublesome drug interactions as well.
If you have any questions or concerns about your health or possible interactions with prescription medications, simply consult your doctor.
Many people find other medicinal uses for kava kava. It is interesting to note that kava has been shown to help ease anxiety and depression, as well as help induce a restful sleep. It is used by athletes as well as businessmen to help “take the edge off” and focus concentration.
Q: Why so much negative press on Kava?
We at Kava dot com know that most people don’t want to hear “conspiracy theories” about “secret agendas” of the government or giant corporations. We here at Kava dot com agree that many we have met who espouse conspiracy theories are less than credible. There has been a major disinformation, conspiracy campaign about Kava Root – a safe and effective herb used by countless peoples for thousands of years – when it was demonized by the media and by those who wanted to see this safe and effective herbal supplement disappear from our minds and the market.
We won’t go over the details here, but a study conducted in Germany did a great job of making the world think that Kava caused liver damage, when in reality, this highly-publicized “study” seemed to be aimed at only doing whatever it could to damage the 3,000 year-old reputation of Kava.
The study was challenged and disproven, as were the methods used (most participants had a history of use/abuse of alcohol, and the study administered the ENTIRE Kava plant, including the parts that are NEVER used because they are known to be poisonous), but the echoes of that haunt the entire Kava world still today. As a counterbalance, we hope to offer you as much accurate information as we can gather, empowering you to make your own decisions, to see what a safe and effective herbal supplement Kava truly can be as has been for millions of people throughout history.
Lastly, although we try to remain as unbiased as possible, we’ve found a first-of-its-kind blog that is actually enjoyable to read and authored by the owner of an organic Kava Farm in Hawaii. The author’s name is Makaira, and she’s writing an informative, insightful, growing body of information about everything related to Kava. She offers the present legal status of Kava throughout the world on her very readable “Kava – Worldwide Legal Status” article, but what we most enjoy are her personal journal entries (which appear sporadically, but are always a joy to read). Look at “From the Mind of Makaira” – the section of her blog where she shares personal information about her life, her farm, and her family business, as well as official news of kava use throughout the world. She will also answer any questions that anyone may have for her.
Don’t worry about Kava Kava. As its popularity grows and as Kava Bars start popping up all over the world as mainstream gathering places, rather than oddities or curiosities, and as more and more people like you discover and enjoy the many benefits of Kava, feel safe that kava kava is here to stay. Even though we here at kava dot com have been offered more than 50K to sell our kava dot com website to large corporations, we’re still not going anywhere because we want to provide a free source for kava information.