Kava Kava: A Unique Plant with Anxiolytic Properties

Piper Methysticum

Humans colonized the area of New Guinea and Australia about 40,000 years ago. They gradually spread out into the islands of Western Melanesia, and later to islands further east.  It has been suggested by many that the cultivation of Piper methysticum aka Kava Kava began in earnest in Vanuatu about 3,000 years ago.  From there it was spread eastward by seafaring islanders, into Fiji and Polynesia, and west to New Guinea and Micronesia.

How Does Kava Plant Spread?

The kava plant is spread not by seed, but by the cutting of “cultivars” which are transported and replanted by humans.  The plant was then, and still is, made into a thick brew to serve as a folk medicine, the consumption of which is usually accompanied by some type of religious ceremony.  Kava was used as currency in trade, offered up at weddings, and consumed daily as an integral part of island society.  The earliest records of kava in the west come from the logs of Captain Cook’s second voyage to the South Pacific in the late 18th century.  Kava was prepared by pounding or chewing the root.

Kava has four main therapeutic properties – Get Kava Powder Here.

First, it is one of the most powerful of all the herbal antispasmodics especially useful for relieving nervous tension throughout the mind and body.
Second, it is an anti-anxiety herb that will quickly almost instantly dissipate the effects of the many fears and apprehensions that are so much a part of the hectic lifestyle of the nineties.
Third, it is an effective diuretic with potent anti-spasmodic and anti-pathogenic properties making it useful for a variety of genitourinary dysfunctions ranging from cystitis, prostatitis, venereal disease (such as gonorrhea), vaginal leucorrhea (including yeast infections), nocturnal urination and general fluid retention.
Fourth, Kava is a carminative that improves appetite and digestion. The combination of these properties makes Kava useful for the treatment of arthritic and rheumatic conditions, which is one of its traditional medicinal uses among South Sea Islanders.

How Can You Apply Kava? Get Organic Kava Here.

Topically, kava can be applied as a fomentation or ointment for mild general anesthesia for the local relief of sore muscles. It can also be chewed and kept in the mouth for the temporary relief of toothaches.

A word to the wise. When you are using an herb, use it in the traditional way it has always been used. The traditional use of Kava has always been the use of the root, not the leaf or bark.

See the article below for what can happen when companies try to increase profits without following the traditional use of Kava.

At the start of 2002, prospects were bright for Hawaii’s Kava producers.   During the previous decade, the consumer base for Kava had expanded beyond drinkers of the traditional water-based Kava beverage to include the much larger nutritional supplement market.   Kava capsules were prescribed in Europe to treat anxiety and insomnia.   Statewide farm revenues for Kava had more than quadrupled in one year, from $120,000 to $585,000.

By year’s end, the Kava industry had collapsed.   At least 68 suspected cases of Kava-linked liver toxicity had been reported, including nine liver failures that resulted in six liver transplants and three deaths.   Countries in Europe, Asia, and North America had banned the sale of all Kava products.   In the U.S., where the Federal Drug Administration issued warnings but did not institute a ban, supplement sales plummeted.

In an article soon to be published in the journal Phytochemistry, Prof. C.S. Tang (MBBE), his doctoral student Klaus Dragull, and Mr. Wesley Yoshida (Dept. of Chemistry) characterize several chemical compounds present in above-ground portions of the Kava plant but absent from the underground tissues used by Kava drinkers.   The UH scientists hypothesize that these compounds, called alkaloids in the bark and leaf, may be responsible for the liver toxicity observed in some users of Kava supplements.

Kava Kava and TheHerbProf.com: A Match Made in Herbal Heaven!

Kava Kava Knowledge: At TheHerbProf.com, we’re all about kava kava! We delve into its calming properties and its place in herbal medicine.

Herbal Highlights: Learn how kava kava can transform your herbal routine. It’s not just a plant; it’s a ticket to tranquility!

Culinary Creations: Kava kava in the kitchen? You bet! We whip up tasty recipes that bring out the best in kava kava.

Health and Wellness: We’re all about health and wellness, and kava kava fits right in. It’s brimming with compounds that promote relaxation and well-being.

Community Connection: Join our tribe of kava kava enthusiasts! Share your journey, learn from others, and make some new friends.

So, whether you’re a kava kava veteran or just beginning your herbal odyssey, TheHerbProf.com is your trusty companion. Dive in, explore, and stay healthy!


Little Herb Encyclopedia, by Jack Ritchason; N.D., Woodland Publishing Incorporated, 1995
The Ultimate Healing System, Course Manual, Copyright 1985, Don Lepore
Planetary Herbology, Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., Lotus Press, 1988
Handbook of Medicinal Herbs, by James A. Duke, Pub. CRP Second Edition 2007
The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Published by Dorling Kindersley

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