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What Is Kava Kava? The Alcohol Of The Pacific

Introducing Kava (Kava Kava Root)

The term “kava” is used by most people to describe to both the plant piper methysticum (“intoxicating pepper”) and the soothing beverage produced from its rootstock. This term is also used interchangeably to refer to both. In this section, you’ll learn some fundamental facts about the plant, including its primary properties, types, and key issues that everyone interested in consuming kava should be aware of.

So What is Kava?

Kava is a South Pacific beverage that is both calming and non-addictive. It’s prepared from the kava plant (Piper methysticum) and is firmly rooted in the people’s culture. For millennia, it has been employed in a variety of social, political, ritual, and even therapeutic activities. In the early 2000s, kava became popular in the West, and it was hailed as the best natural anti-anxiety supplement available.

Piperaceae is the family of peppers that includes Piper methysticum (just like the black pepper you use in your kitchen). It is a shrub that is propagated through vegetative reproduction (just like many other South Pacific crops). According to Dr. Vincent Lebot, the most convincing evidence is that kava originated in Melanesia (most likely modern-day Vanuatu), from where it traveled throughout the Pacific. There are hundreds of different kava cultivars, each with its own set of growth conditions, looks, psychotropic qualities, and even flavors.

What Effects Should I Expect When Taking Kava?

  • Friendship and Communicaton-

“You cannot hate with Kava in you,” says one of our favorite kava quotations. Tom Harrison stated this in his book “Savage Civilization,” which was released in 1937. He explains how kava makes you feel pleasant and never crosses you. Friendship and avoiding getting angry with your partner, friends, and family are the foundations of great relationships. Drinking kava can help you create wonderful relationships with those you care about and foster pleasant social interactions.

There is historical evidence to support the idea that a kava drink might help people form friendships. Kava was formerly one of the most important items that ocean sailors carried with them when they headed out to seek new islands. They recognized that offering a kava root drink to another tribe or community would bring peace and happiness to that tribe or community. Then, and only then, were debates more likely to be open and kind. Even today, when Pacific island people desire to resolve a problem or a conflict through communication and mediation, kava is exchanged and consumed first.

  • The Anti-shy effect-

Going out for the evening in the hopes of meeting new people can cause anxiety. It’s difficult to approach and talk to someone new, especially someone you like. It can be a nerve-wracking experience. Before you leave the house, a kava root drink is a perfect remedy. It will help you relax mentally by removing your concerns and nervousness.

You’ll feel more friendly and talkative after drinking a decent, heady kava. It has the effect of lowering any social inhibitions. Kava is renowned as the ‘anti-shyness’ plant because of this. So, if you have a new date coming up and are nervous about it, drink some kava before you go.

  • Aphrodisiac-

There’s one more powerful, romantic reason to drink kava if you want your date to go really well. Kava has aphrodisiac properties. Did you know that the leaves of the Kava plant are shaped like a heart? Early legends of kava’s discovery and use in the South Pacific undoubtedly include tales of kava’s euphoric effects. A 2013 University of Melbourne study indicated that kava improved women’s libido considerably.

So, why not invite your date home at the end of the night? Instead of coffee, I’ll have a cup of kava. A cup of Coconut Hot Chocolate Kava is even better — it’s the ultimate formula for love!

These are some of the reasons why a kava root drink is ideal for unwinding and socializing. Remember, if you can’t hate with kava in your system, it stands to reason that you’ll be like and loving instead with kava in your system. That is precisely what socialization entails!

Is Kava Legal?

In the United States, buying and selling kava is fully legal. Kava root powder and supplements are widely available, and the United States is home to the majority of the world’s online kava suppliers.

Kava bars can also be found in most major American cities, providing kava to customers.

Is Kava Safe to use?

Kava isn’t anywhere close to becoming lethal. Of course, getting a high-quality kava prepared from the root-stock is essential. If you have a history of liver problems or are taking drugs that can harm your liver, kava may not be the best therapy for you. However, there is very little risk if we use herbal treatments responsibly and with respect for the plants and ourselves. According to German experts, kava causes 0.008 incidences of harmful effects per 1 million doses, which is an extraordinarily low quantity in any event. Because no medicine is safe for everyone, be cautious and responsible, and only take medicines that you are confident are appropriate for you. Consult your doctor if you are unsure as to wether kava is right for you.

Are There Different Types Of Kava?

Kava has been present for generations on the Pacific Islands. Kava has been at the center of Pacific Island culture for decades, with profound, ancient origins. Kava is a unique plant found on the Melanesia and Polynesian islands in a variety of forms. Kava growth, flavor, and drink style are all affected by the environment and growing circumstances on each island. Despite the differences, one thing remains constant across the islands: the importance of kava to the locals. Let’s take a look at the kavas produced by the various island nations.

  • Tongan Kava

Tonga is a Pacific island nation located in the southwest Pacific Ocean. Tonga, often known as the Friendly Islands, is an archipelago made up of 170 islands. Only 36 of them are inhabited. The Tongan islands are divided into two chains by undersea volcanoes. Several of the islands are still active volcanoes, giving them rich and distinctive soil.

 About Tongan Kava: Tongan Kava is a smooth, easy-to-taste kava produced by Tonga’s distinctive volcanic soil. Furthermore, all of Tonga’s kava variants are Noble kava variations. These kavas are regarded for being uplifting and are best used during the day. Our Pouni Ono Kava, for example, is a fantastic social kava that can help with mental relaxation and mood enhancement. Tonga is the originator of the word “kava,” but the other kava-producing nations use different terms.

  • Vanuatu Kava

Vanuatu is a Pacific archipelago located in the southwest Pacific Ocean. Sixty-five of the 83 tiny islands are inhabited. In several of the Melanesian languages spoken locally, the name Vanuatu means “Our Land Forever.” Geographically, Vanuatu is quite diversified. It includes rocky mountains, rolling hills, coastal terraces, and active volcanoes, among other things (found on several islands).

About Vanuatu Kava: Pacific Island kava has its origins in Vanuatu! In Vanuatu, there are approximately 80 types of kava, many of which are unique to the islands. We sell three types of Vanuatu kava at Kalm With Kava: Borogu, Borongoru, and Melomelo. These kavas are beneficial for mind and body relaxation as well as assisting in the transition to a mellow, tranquil state of mind. The Ni-Van people refer to kava as “malok.”

  • Samoan Kava (Ava)

Samoa is a country in the center South Pacific Ocean with a population of about 200,000 people. Because Savai’i island is considered to be “Hawaiki,” the Polynesian homeland, Samoa is frequently referred to as the “Cradle of Polynesia.” Samoan culture is prevalent throughout the Pacific Islands and is rapidly expanding throughout the world.

About Samoan Kava: Kava is known as Ava in Samoa. We sell Samoa Ava Kava at Kalm With Kava, which is our first and only kava variety from Samoa. Because Samoa doesn’t grow a lot of kava, it’s quite unusual. Samoa Ava is a cheerful, energizing kava with minimal to no drowsiness. Most importantly, it’s one of the best-tasting kavas on the market!

  • Hawaiian Kava (‘Awa)

 Hawaii is a state in the United States of America’s western region. It is the only state that is both an archipelago and a tropical state. The Hawaiian chain is made up of 137 volcanic islands. The following are the eight major islands: Hawai’i (The Big Island), Maui (The Valley Isle), O’ahu (The Gathering Place), Kaua’i (The Garden Isle), Moloka’i (The Friendly Isle), Lana’i (The Pineapple Isle), Ni’ihau (The Forbidden Isle), and Kaho’olawe (The Forbidden Isle) are the islands of Hawai’i (The Big Island), Maui (The Valley Isle), O’ahu (The (The Target Isle).

 About Hawaiian Kava (Awa): Kava is known in Hawaii as ‘Awa, pronounced “ah-vah.” There are currently 13 traditional Pacific Island kava types available in Hawaii, all of which are suitable for consumption. All of Hawai’i’s ‘awa is regarded as noble. On the Hawaiian islands, two imported Tudei kava types (Isa and lwi) that are not native to Hawaii are presently grown. Kava has a long and illustrious history in Hawaiian culture, religion, and history.

  • Fijian Kava

Fiji is a country and archipelago located in the South Pacific Ocean. Viti Levu is the largest and most well-known of the 300 islands and 540 islets that make up the archipelago. Volcanic activity created the majority of Fiji’s islands. Geothermal activity can still be found on several of the islands.

 About Fijian Kava: Kava is the official national drink of Fiji, where it is known by the names Yaqona and Malogu. The earthy, distinct flavor of Pacific Island kava is referred to as yaqona (which means bitter). Malogu (which means “to subdue”) refers to the calming properties of kava. Vula Waka Fiji kava and Loa Waka Fiji kava are available at Kalm With Kava. Both of these kavas are strong and have a calming impact on the mind and body.

Kava from the Pacific Islands has a rich history that is as diverse as the countries and islands from which it originates. The diverse geology of the islands, as well as the vivid volcanic soil and diverse growth circumstances, produce remarkable, diverse kavas. Each kava has its own own flavor profile, so it’s worthwhile to sample kavas from several islands to pick the one that’s right for you. Here you can get several Pacific Island kavas.

How Do I Prepare My Kava?

Below we share all you need to know to learn how to make kava root tea using medium ground kava root powder as well as a quick and easy kava preparation method using a blender. Choose the method of preparing kava that best suits you and your lifestyle.

  • Traditional Kava Preparation Method-
    Traditional kava preparation is much like brewing tea. Kava root powder is placed in a straining bag and steeped in warm water. Gather together all you need to prepare a kava drink the traditional way and then follow the simple steps below to make kava the traditional way.
    Things you’re going to need:
    • High-Quality Medium Ground Kava Root. Available in our shop.
    • A Strainer Bag (A muslin bag is best but you can use cheesecloth, or even an old T-shirt).
    • Warm / Hot water (tap hot is perfect).
    • A medium-sized bowl to prepare the kava in.
  • Step One

Measure out the right amount of kava root. Typically, in kava preparation, a standard serving size for one individual is 2-4 Tablespoons for medium grind kava. Many times people will double this amount and plan on having 2-3 servings in an evening and just make it all at once (putting the extra in the fridge to start cooling it).

Add the kava root to your strainer bag and place the bag into your bowl.

  • Step Two

Measure out 8-12 oz. of tap hot water (about 100-120 degrees*) per serving. Vary the amount of water depending on how strong you want your kava root tea to taste. Next, pour the hot water directly into the bag with the kava powder.

Let the kava steep in the bag in the bowl for 10 minutes. Traditional kava preparation involves steeping just like you brew a tea.

  • Step Three

The third step in kava preparation is an important one. Twist the top of your kava strainer closed and press out all the air. Knead the kava root in the bag in the water in the bowl. Alternate between kneading the kava and squeezing the bag to strain the liquid into the bowl. Be careful not to let any actual root escape the bag.

The water in the bowl will turn a nice milky brown color and begin to look like chocolate milk. After 5-10 minutes of kneading, wring the straining bag tight to remove all liquid. Leave the root in the bag, possibly for a second wash or brew.

  • Step Four

Lastly, since kava liquid goes down easier chilled, either refrigerate your liquid for a short while and/or throw in a few ice cubes.

Once your kava is sufficiently chilled pour into a cup and start enjoying right away.

Note: for maximum relaxation effects kava is best consumed on an empty stomach. 

KAVA PREPARATION PRO TIP

We recommend using hot water from your faucet for kava preparation as overall this is generally the right temperature (around 120 degrees) and extracts the most active ingredients, or kavalactones, from the root. There is debate on whether using boiling water in kava preparation better extracts the lactones or kills their effectiveness. Boiling water will leave your resulting kava tea with more of a bitter taste. And water over 140 degrees can cause kava to congeal and make it harder to strain.

  • Quick Kava Preparation-Blender Method
  • Step One

Add 2-4 tablespoons of kava root powder and 8-12oz. of hot tap water per serving to a standard blender.

  • Step Two

Blend on high for approximately 4 minutes.

  • Step Three

Empty and strain this through a cloth strainer. 

  • Step Four

Chill and enjoy!

Can You Mix Kava With Kratom or Other Supplements/Nootropics?

In short, you can absolutely mix kava with kratom or other nootropics. Many common sleep/relaxation supplements add kava in addition to other roots such as Valerian Root and Gotu Kola to produce a calming effect! Check out some of the benefits of mixing kratom and kava below!

Kava and Kratom are frequently compared since both produce sensations of relaxation and anxiety relief. In addition, when both medicines are taken simultaneously, they have potent effects such as inducing profound euphoria, enhancing emotions of contentment, boosting attentiveness, and reducing tension.

• A significant decrease in anxiety assist in the fight against depression

• After being exposed to a stressful setting, you will experience an incredible sense of well-being after drinking them.

• Drinking them together brings improvements in cognition

• It helps you sleep better

• Taking Kratom and kava results in the activation of serotonergic and dopaminergic mechanisms, which improves mood.

• They also help in alleviating significant pain.

• It is generally believed that combining Kratom and Kava enhances their effects and produces a more potent fragrance. In addition, there is a considerably more evident sensation of well-being when they are taken simultaneously.

Check Out Combining Other Herbs With Kava Below!

The general consensus within the field of herbal interactions is that you will experience a heightened sedative effect when combining any other herbal sedative with Kava; this is an effect that may or may not be desirable [1, 3, 6]. Since Kava is in some way also a sedative and acts on the same enzymatic pathways – the two naturally coincide. In terms of safety there isn’t really any information with regard to Kava and herbal mixture health concerns or precautions. But, nonetheless you should always research your combination of interest or ask a health practitioner.

  • Passiflora (Passionflower): One study directly monitored the effect of passionflower and Kava alone and in combination. The results indicated that there was a doubling effect, meaning that the combination of the two increased the effect of each individually by 50%. The study demonstrated that in terms of sedative effects, there was a 91.6% prolongation of sleep duration when the combination of kava kava and passionflower was administered.
  • Valerian: There was an extensive study conducted on the effects of Kava and Valerian independently and combined with each other. The results indicated heightened levels of stress reduction and anxiety alleviation in three categories: social, personal and life events. Also, there was a significant improvement with subjects experiencing insomnia – ie. insomnia was decreased. One of the most common effects indicated by the subjects who took the combination of Kava and Valerian was vivid dreaming 

Now, let’s talk about the single most popular Kava combination: alcohol and Kava. I won’t go into too much depth here.

However, I will state categorically that, while many individuals have successfully combined Kava with alcohol and survived to tell the tale, it is not always safe or prudent to do so. There have been various studies on the effects of combining Kava and alcohol, and the general view is that you should never combine the two, as the combination dramatically increases your risk of hepatotoxicity (toxicity of the liver).

After all, why not just drink Kava instead of alcohol? Many individuals prefer Kava to alcohol since it has very comparable effects and is widely thought to be a non-addictive and healthful alternative to consuming alcohol.

Where Can I Get Kava Products?

Kava Tincture: 

Relax with this award-winning fusion that washes a sense of calmness over your mind for a rejuvenating night’s sleep. This CBD tincture combines the magic of CBD, the calmness of Kava Kava and the tranquility of Valerian Root to give you a great nights sleep.

Kava Capsules:

  • SUPPORTS NORMAL STRESS LEVELS: Prepared from Fresh Kava Root of the Piper Methysticum plant to help support a normal RELAXED MOOD.*
  • EASY TO SWALLOW CAPSULES: Avoid the Pungent Flavor of Kava Extract Drinks & Sprays with our Potent and easy to swallow Kava Kava Capsules.
  • Our Kava Supplement is KOSHER and GLUTEN FREE. Feel Secure Knowing You’re Only Putting the Absolute Best Product in Your Body, Made with NO Harsh Preservatives, Fillers or Flowing Agents – NO Sodium Benzoate, NO Magnesium Stearate, NO GMOs

Kava Chews:

Zion Herbals Tropical Fruit Organic Kava Chews boast 30 percent kavalactones to give you the rest and relaxation you need after a hard days work!

12 chews per container each containing 30mg kava extract per chew.

Kava Shots:

Tropical Evergreen Extracts

Coconut, Kava root, Yohimbine Bark,  Thai leaf powder, and Grapeseed

promotes relaxation and quality sleep

Kava And Kratom Tablets:

A Kratom and Kava Extract Combination perfect for sleep!

If you have any additional questions or recommendations don’t hesitate to reach out to support@earthgrownwellnes.com and we’ll have one of our Kava Experts answer to the best of their knowledge! 

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