The Kava plant, a member of the pepper family, is native to the islands of the South Pacific. The Kava bush grows well in loose, well-drained soils where plenty of air reaches the roots. It is tall, upright and bushy with large, heart-shaped leaves. The flowers are bright yellow and are sterile. The lower stems, shallow roots, and attached rhizomes are the useful parts of the plant. The roots are usually ground into a fine pulp which is then infused with water. Kava used to be used by Pacific Islanders to help with bladder cancer and to help relieve anxiety.
History and Folklore:
Kava has been used for thousands of years in the Pacific islands as a social, cultural, and ritual drink. The name Kava, meaning intoxicating pepper, was bestowed upon the plant by Captain Cook. It is uncertain how the name Kava Kava came into popular use.
Cultivation and Harvest:
Harvest the roots from plants that are at least three years old and preferrably older. If few roots and rhizomes are harvested carefully from any individual plant, you can harvest without endangering the entire plant.
Do not take while pregnant or nursing. Do not take if you have liver disease. Kava Kava has a mild euphoric effect so should not be taken with other mood altering drugs like antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, or alcohol. Stop using Kava Kava at least two weeks prior to surgery.
Traditional Herbal Actions:
Anticancer, Antispasmodic, Antibacterial, Anti-inflamatory
Ava, Awa, Gea Gi, Kava, Kawa Kawa, Methysticum, Yaqona
Crataegus chrysocarpa, C. columbiana, C. douglasii, C. crythropoda, C. oxyacantha, C. rivularis
Ingredients: Kava Kava (Piper methysticum)
None of these items or statements are approved by FDA. Consult your physician before taking any supplement. Do not take herbs or tinctures during pregnancy without consulting your healthcare provider. This product is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. All information here is for entertainment and educational purposes only.
*This statement has not been verified by the FDA and is only referenced here as a fun fact and/or for historical commentary, is not to be used as medical advice in any way. Consult your doctor before ingesting any herbal product.