Kava is a traditional drink from the south Pacific, such as Fiji, Vanuatu, Hawaii and Samoa. Prepared from the ground roots of the kava plant (Piper Methysticum), the drink is known for its relaxing and mellowing effects. Scientific studies suggest that kava can help with anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
Kava Has been used for over 1000 years in the South Pacific Islands. It is ground up to a powdery consistency and brewed as a tea. Kava has a plethora of benefits:
Mostly used to help treat:
- Anxiety – The majority of evidence shows that certain kava extracts (extracts standardized to 70% kavalactones) can lower anxiety and might work as well as prescription anti-anxiety medications called low-dose benzodiazepines. But it might take up to 8 weeks of treatment to see improvement
May also help to treat:
- Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms – Some research suggests that slowly increasing the dose of kava while decreasing the dose of benzodiazepines over the course of a week can prevent withdrawal symptoms and reduce anxiety in people who have been taking benzodiazepines for a long period of time.
- Cancer prevention – There is some evidence that taking kava might help to prevent cancer.
- Insomnia – Research on the effectiveness of kava in people with sleeping problems is unclear. Evidence shows that taking 200 mg of a kava extract (WS1490) daily for 4 weeks reduces sleeping problems associated with anxiety. However, a study using a different kava product found that it did not reduce sleeping problems associated with anxiety.
- Anxiety related to menopause – Early research
shows that taking 300 mg of a kava extract product (WS1490) daily for 8
weeks reduces anxiety and hot flashes in women with menopause.
Stress. Early research suggests that taking a single dose of kava by mouth might reduce the physical changes associated with mentally stressful tasks.
- Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
- Respiratory tract infections
- Achy joints (rheumatism)
- Chronic bladder infections
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Menstrual problems
- Other conditions
Information provided by webMd
Traditionally kava is drank from a coconut shell and downed all at once. In Fiji before drinking kava, “bula!” is said, which means “to long life and good health.” At Bula Kafe, kava is typically drank as a community or group function where everybody waits for each other to get their shell, “bula!” is said, and then we all drink together.