Kava Kava is a plant belonging to the nightshade family, native to the South Pacific Islands. Its scientific nomenclature is Piper methysticum, which literally translates to “intoxicating pepper”.
The name “Kava” has Tongan and Marquesan origins, meaning “bitter”. Kava was historically grown in the Pacific islands of Hawaii, Vanuatu, Fiji Islands and Micronesia. The understory crop thrives in humid environments with plenty of rainfall and grows well in loose, well-drained soils.
Kava is traditionally consumed for its sedative effects throughout the Pacific ocean cultures in Hawaii, Polynesia, Vanuatu and Micronesia. It is also exported to various other nations where it is consumed as a herbal medicine.
Traditional Uses of Kava Kava
Kava kava has been used for the longest time in the Pacific Islands cultures of Polynesia, Micronesia and Vanuatu both as a cultural drink as well as in traditional medicine. The Pacific islanders traditionally use Kava to bring about a state of relaxation during ceremonies.
They use the root of the plant to make beverages that have mild sedative effects.The plant is also known to elicit feelings of euphoria. Many traditional cultures consume kava the same way as alcoholic beverages are consumed across the globe. On a side note, if you suffer from alcohol abuse, these CBD oils can surely help you.
Kavalactones are the active components present in the root, stems and leaves of Kava Kava. There are approximately 18 different types of Kavalactones found in Piper methysticum. Kavalactones account for 3-20% of the dry weight of the plant, with the majority of the active ingredient being found in the roots.
These compounds are known to offer a mood enhancing intoxication without drastically affecting the motor skills and thought processes of the consumer.
The Health Benefits of Kava Kava
Beyond its ceremonial and recreational uses, Kava Kava is also used as a natural anxiolytic (an anxiety reducing drug). It is also used to improve the overall sleep quality of people suffering from insomnia, with fewer side-effects compared to pharmaceutical over-the-counter drugs.
Studies have shown kavalactones being effective in reducing anxiety, protecting neurons from damage, reducing pain sensations and even reducing the risk of cancer (However, Kava Kava’s anti-cancer properties have been tested only on mice).
According to a 2002 study involving 7 clinical trials on 645 people, Kava Kava was deemed as an effective symptomatic treatment for anxiety. This study was further backed up by a 2011 study from Australia, which claimed Kava to be effective in treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
Kava Kava is also well known for its ability to improve sleep quality. Most of its sedative effects is attributed to a specific type of kavalactone known as Kavain.
For the Pacific Islanders Kava Kava played a very important role in their culture. These days, however, the potency and efficacy of Kava Kava in treating anxiety, social awkwardness and insomnia is making the plant quite popular worldwide.
At Botanical Spirit, we have created a product that any kava lover would truly appreciate. Our Hawaiian “Black” 60% Kavain Capsules are an amazing formulation created by an intricate system that draws out 60% Kavain from a full spectrum extract making it extremely potent.
The Kavain extract is then encapsulated in a 500mg capsule for your convenience. So, you can appreciate the true benefits of Kava Kava with just a single capsule.