Kava is a popular herbal plant known to be a part of the pepper family and is commonly grown in the Pacific Islands. The active ingredients in the kava plant (also botanically referred to as Piper methysticum), are called kavalactones. Kava is a strong perennial plant that grows up to a height of 3 – 4 meters. It is said to have originated from Melanesia, and grow exceptionally in the sunny islands of Polynesia. In most countries, Kava root extracts are mostly used as food supplements and are highly recommended for the treatment of the premenstrual syndrome, occasional insomnia, anxiety, and stress. In most cases, the supplement is available in form of concentrated plant extracts or raw plant material. The extracts are acquired using either ethanol or acetone extraction.
Kava extracts carry a good amount of the plant’s active properties that stem from the kavalactones located in its roots. This makes drinking the kava beverage a pleasurable experience for every kava drinker. It drinks has a mild antianxiety and psychoactive properties. The plant has been used by the Pacific Islanders in traditional festivities for the last 3000 years to prepare liquid refreshments. Kava is said to effectively treat ailments such as migraine headaches & cramps and best of all, it helps keep the body relaxed and the mind active. Based on different randomized controlled tests, kava root extracts are known to be effective for treating mild anxiety and stress. However, the relative effectiveness of kava extracts compared to normal doses of pharmaceutical anxiolytic prescriptions is not known.
Uses and Benefits
As mentioned earlier, kava root extracts are commonly used in North America and other parts of the globe for its medicinal value. This is a mimic of the mildly psychoactive drink that has been part of the South Pacific Islanders’ culture since time immemorial. The drink was used socially and ceremonially, reportedly for its body calming properties.
Kava root extract is a wonderful pain medication, though its modus operandi as a painkiller is not yet clear. As such, it is widely used as a muscle relaxant and can help eliminate back pains, a sore neck, and basically any other sore, cramped or injured muscle. Products that contain the herbal additions of kava root extracts are also recommended for sleeplessness, treatment of fatigue, treatment of urinary tract infections and the suppression asthma.
The best way to make kava kava is to learn from the experts from an actual kava bar like Rooted Kava Bar in San Diego. A solution made from kava root extracts/powder can be used to prepare tinctures. The liquid is then taken directly or mixed in with beverages or packed into capsules for easy intake.
Kava may also be prepared in an electric blender for greater convenience! Simply place 2-4 tablespoons of dried kava powder and 1 cup of water into the blender and mix for 3-5 minutes. Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth or other strainer, discard pulp, and enjoy. You can also blend your kava powder with a wide variety of delicious additions, including coconut milk, honey, cinnamon, chocolate, and so forth.
In a nutshell, Kava is an amazing, healing plant which brings peace and relaxation to people all over the world. Whether you choose to prepare it in a more traditional method, or whether you go for the quick, easy and creative modern methods, you will surely experience the healing power of kava herbal extracts.