There is an old story that is told in the Pacific Islands about twin orphans, a brother and a sister. The two orphans were all they had, and they loved each other very much. One day a strange man came to try to take the sister away to marry her. The girl did not want to go with the man, so the brother defended her. After fighting for some time, the stranger grew upset and loosed an arrow. It killed the sister, and the man ran away. The brother sobbed mournful tears as he buried his sister. He would visit the site where he buried her every day. Only a few days after burial, the brother noticed a plant growing from where the sister was buried. It had grown quickly; faster than any weed or brush could sprout up. It was a strange looking plant that the boy had never seen before.
Days went by, and the plant grew larger. One day, the boy observed a mouse nibble on the plant and die almost immediately. Depressed and without any hope for happiness, the boy decided that he too would eat the plant, in the hopes that he might end his own life. What happened instead was that he was overcome with a wonderful feeling that made him forget his worries. He would return to eat from this plant regularly and knew that his sister still watched over him, still comforting him from beyond the grave.
This is the folk tale of the origins of the plant we now call Kava Kava, a plant that is in the pepper family, but one that has a special quality to calm the nerves and relax the body. Kava Kava has been grown and used for hundreds of years by the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Islands. It was brought to the Western World by Captain Cook, who observed the locals using it as a social and spiritual drink.
Today, Kava Kava (also referred to simply as Kava) is enjoyed by countless people from around the globe. It has many health benefits, and it is a natural high that is non-habit forming and safe for nearly everyone.
Kava can be ingested in a variety of ways, but the traditional way is a cold-brewed tea. Kavalactones, the active ingredient in Kava is destroyed in boiling water, so never use hot water to prepare the tea. Kava tea has a bitter taste, so many people do not drink it for the pleasure of the flavor. It is an acquired taste that is easy to get over since the effects of the tea are so pleasurable. Many people prefer taking Kava in pill form. This is convenient and just as effective.
Possible Benefits of Ingesting Kava Kava (besides feeling good!)
- May have antidepressant effects: This double-blind placebo-controlled study showed that Kava had antidepressant-like effects without any apparent side-effects. The study was done over the course of three weeks with 60 participants. While more studies should be done, the results of this study are very promising.
- Helps you sleep: One of the first things you will notice after ingesting Kava is a profoundly relaxing effect. It will be no surprise that this helps people sleep better. This study discusses the benefits of using Kava in order to help people with insomnia and for improving quality of sleep.
- Great for reducing anxiety: This meta-analysis of seven separate trails conducted on the effectiveness of Kava on treating anxiety showed that Kava was a very promising treatment for anxiety without any of the side effects so commonly associated with anti-anxiety medication.
- Possible Pain Relief: One thing that a first-time Kava drinker will notice is that your tongue and lips will likely go numb when you drink it! And that’s not all! Kava has been known for centuries to have analgesic properties. While the mechanisms that cause this effect are unknown, this study shows that it is not caused by stimulating the opioid system and does not appear to affect coordination or balance of the drinker.
- Immune System Boost! Anything that might boost my immune system function is something that I am going to try, and this study found that flavokawains, chalcones that are found in the Kava root, have been shown to increase T-Cell subsets without causing any toxicity. Two specific flavokawains (A and B) have been linked to a possible reduced cancer risk as well! Cheers! To your health!!
Kava not only has a pleasant effect on the way you feel, but it also might have many other benefits for your long-term health and wellness!!
Possible Health Concerns
There has been some evidence that people who suffer from liver disease or who take medications that affect the liver should avoid Kava. Kava should never be taken with alcohol, since when they are combined, the toxic effects of alcohol may be increased. Overall, the most recent research seems to indicate that moderate use of Kava is safe for the majority of people, but if you already suffer from liver disfunction, I would err on the side of caution, and avoid Kava.
I have listed below the brands that I know and trust, and I ask that if you have found this article useful, please use the links below. A small portion of your purchase will go back to funding other articles like this one. Thank you, and drink up! To your health!!!
(By-the-way, the pound bags will last you a long time.)