For those of you familiar with the effects of kava aphrodisiac properties might not be the first thing that springs to mind. In general, kava has the effect of relaxing you, reducing anxiety, and promoting sociability; while none of these effects are directly aphrodisiac in themselves, kava’s ability to help people let go of their inhibitions and loosen up in social situations is enough for many people to label kava aphrodisiac as well as anxiolytic in its effects. Like alcohol, kava consumption has the effect of lowering social inhibitions: people often find it much easier and more relaxing to make conversation with others after a bowl or two of kava, especially those who suffer from social anxiety and related anxiety disorders. Yet while kava encourages conversation and openness, unlike alcohol it won’t disorient you or dull your thinking; you won’t have to worry about getting “drunk” or losing control with kava!
The romantic legend of kava as an aphrodisiac begins in the plant’s home in the South Pacific Islands, possibly Vanuatu or Fiji: the story goes that two sisters were out gathering wild yams and went to wash them at the water’s edge. Unbeknownst to them, a passing warrior had planted a seedling kava plant beside the water, and as the two sisters squatted by the water’s edge, the kava plant sprouted a shoot that touched one of the sisters in an intimate place. Surprised by the pleasurable sensation this gave her, the woman said to her sister, “Oh sister, what is the source of my happiness?” When the sister found the fledgling kava plant, both of them took it as a sign and removed the plant from the water’s edge and back to their village. After they introduced this cultivated kava to the men of the village, all of them decided it was tastier and far better in its effects than the wild kava they’d been using up until that time, and kava domestication was born.
Today, kava is a recognized empathogen that many people have called the “anti-shy” herb for its ability to spur even normally shy or anxious people to greater emotional openness and sociability. Drinking kava kava can boost overall self confidence as well as sexual confidence in people, and can enhance the potential for emotional connection in both long-term relationships and couples who are just getting to know each other. The empathogenic and anxiolytic effects of kava can be quite conducive to sexual experiences because it removes certain inhibitions but still leaves you in control of all your faculties.
As such, kava is emerging as a major contender to what sometimes seems to be the prime aphrodisiac and social lubricant in Western society, alcohol. Although alcohol also has the effect of reducing anxiety and relieving many people of their inhibitions, if consumed in excess alcohol can cause impaired thinking and judgment, loss of control, and even blackouts and alcohol poisoning. The uncomfortable specter of a hangover the next day is another drawback to alcohol used as an aphrodisiac, not to mention the perennial question, “Was it just the alcohol that made it happen?” In contrast, kava won’t intoxicate you or result in a hangover the next day; this plant seems to work its aphrodisiac magic by gently enhancing your own natural affection for your partner, making it just that bit easier to get over your inhibitions, nervousness, or lack of confidence.
Furthermore, drinking a kava brew may also have a direct aphrodisiac effect on the body: in the South Pacific, consuming kava is believed to generate a feeling of warmth throughout the body, and possibly even a tingling in the genitals of both men and women, that can act as a potent encouragement to sexual desire and intimacy. Some anecdotes have also suggested that kava use may increase the intensity of climax through these direct tactile effects. In Polynesia, kava is also taken medicinally as a treatment for sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea, gall bladder problems, urinary tract infections, nighttime incontinence, and other uro-genitary ailments. While it’s not a direct kava aphrodisiac effect, curing these kinds of uncomfortable conditions would certainly increase a person’s sexual performance and enjoyment.
As its South Pacific legend suggests, kava kava seems to be aphrodisiac for both men and women, by directly stimulating the tissues to greater warmth and sensitivity, and by reducing or eliminating the inhibitions and anxieties too many of us carry around everyday about our attractiveness, desirability, and romantic abilities. However, used in moderation, the encouraging warmth and calm of a kava kava brew can help anyone realize their own capacity for emotional connection and romance, whenever the time is right!