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 is reportedly used as an alternative to alcohol, but Kava Kava has been prescribed as a folk remedy to help with anxiety, insomnia and back pain for thousands of years!
(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 official ceremonies. Unlike alcohol, kava root is not known to produce or stimulate aggression. (And we’ve never heard of a Kava hangover here at Kava dot com!) Kava, when properly harvested and properly manufactured into a dietary supplement, has proven to be very safe and effective at supporting a wide range of conditions as it naturally promotes relaxation and helps ease the mind from daily stress.*
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.
(While we’re on the topic of kava root, we just had to briefly mention something about our new excitement over vegan chocolate. To us, it’s the perfect accompaniment to all-things Kava, and just wanted to let you know you can read all about our excitement on our “Kava & Chocolate: A Match Made in Heaven” article.)
Anyway, it seems that much disinformation may have 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 may have used the potentially poisonous tops and leaves of kava plants in their kava supplements instead of just the kava roots, thus setting off a chain reaction of rumor and speculation worldwide. Unfortunately, unjustified bans on kava subsequently spread across the world, most of which have been since removed, but the mindset still remains.
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 ethically 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. Where Can We Buy Kava?
This is, of course, our #1 asked question, and we’ve got a NEW answer we’re super excited about. We list anywhere between 6-12 of our favorite Kava suppliers on our “Where to Buy Kava” page, but after a great deal of contemplation, we decided to open the KAVA MARKETPLACE, which offers Kava from as many high-quality Kava Kava suppliers as we can find, in one convenient place!
We’d love to list YOUR Kava Bar, online store, or Kava-related service here at Kava Dot Com. Just drop us an email at “kava at kava dot com”, and we’ll get you on here as quick as we can. We’re always happy to post eZine like articles from anyone’s Kava-related business as well; just submit them to the same email address, and we’ll add you in the place we feel is most appropriate here at Kava Dot Com.
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.
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 may have one irresponsible kava manufacturer which used the poisonous tops of the kava plant in one of their products that lead to potential liver damage after long-term use. 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 was a major disinformation, conspiracy campaign about Kava Root – a safe and effective herb used by countless peoples for thousands of years – when it was perhaps demonized by the media and by those who wanted to see this safe and effective herbal supplement disappear from our minds and the market.[/box]
Lastly, although we try to remain as unbiased as possible, we’ve found a blog that is actually enjoyable to read and authored by the owner of a 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 fair sums of money to sell our kava dot com website to a large corporation, we’re still not going anywhere because we want to provide a free source for kava kava information.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to cure, treat, diagnose or prevent any disease.