Kava plants have heart shaped leaves that use to grow wild but now must be cultivated or planted, nursed and "grown." It is usually the root of the kava plant that is used to make a kava drink. The roots look like a winding, tangled cord.
A very short, 6 minute video about kava is included within this article, scroll to bottom for viewing. Native drinkers talk about their experience in drinking kava.
Kava is a plant that grows in the South Pacific islands of Hawaii, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Tahiti.
Kava is also referred to as, “kava kava,” “awa,” “ava,” “gea,” “gi,” “ yaquona” or “piper methysticum” which is the scientific name for kava coming from the latin meaning, “intoxicating pepper.”
Earl Mindell Rph, PhD; shares in his book All About Kava that,
“Kava doesn't intoxicate like alcohol. Amazingly, it even improves thinking abilities..."
Kava has been compared to the prescription anxiety drug, Oxazepam, a tranquilizer similar to valium and the results were "equal" to that of the prescription drug but Kava has no negative side effects.
In the majority of the United States and most European countries, alcohol and/or coffee are the primary social drinks used to ease anxiety and promote social interaction but in the Pacific Islands kava is the primary social drink.
Pacific Islanders have been using kava blended with water for centuries. Unlike alcohol, kava is a social drink that will not decrease reaction time after large amounts of consumption. One’s speech will not become slurred from consuming “too much” kava nor will one lose the ability to think clearly.
Kava has also been compared to the prescription drugs Xanax and Ativan which are both prescribed/used for anxiety, are highly addictive and tolerable in that one will develop a tolerance for a dosage amount and larger doses will be needed overtime; Kava, on the other hand has no addictive qualities and as mentioned, no negative side effects.
Both Xanax and Ativan leave users with symptoms of withdrawal that began psychologically but have the propensity to become physical; Such physical withdrawal symptoms can include “anxiety, trembling, low blood pressure, agitation, insomnia, dizziness, loss of appetite, ringing in the ears, blurred vision, diarrhea, psychosis and even seizures at most extreme.” (Mindell)
As mentioned, kava is not addictive, has no side effects but is just as potent if not more effective in relieving anxiety, maligning depression and creating a mood of contentment.
Pacific Islanders are very familiar with the usage of kava so it might be wise to seek advisory or information from such a native in usage of kava.
Anschutz Entertainment Group, Examiner.com nor I, the Sacramento African American Issues Examiner do not act in a professional manner in suggestion of usage of such drugs and should not be held liable or responsible in any way for use that results undesirably.
With usage of any substance, be wise and consult professional advisory prior to use. It is very important that persons currently taking anxiety drugs do not combine usage of such drugs with kava.
I encourage all to do their research and be smart about how you treat your body over, under or around the counter. For more about herbal remedy, you can view the following article:
For even more interest about kava, there are several interesting historical stories/legends about the origin of kava.
Some legends say it was created by the god, Tangaloa while others say it was created when a great chief sacrificed his own daughter in time of famine, buried her and the kava plant grew from the spot where her body remained.
Have you experienced drinking kava? What was your experience? What do you know about kava? Share your opinion or experience below. You may subscribe above.