Dried Kava Kava Root
is an ancient crop of the western Pacific and is known by a variety of names including: awa
(Fiji), and sakau
is consumed throughout the Pacific Ocean cultures of Polynesia (including Hawaii), Vanuatu, Melanesia and some parts of Micronesia and Australia
is best known in alternative medicine for its use as a soothing drink. The name "kava"
refers to both the plant and the beverage produced from its roots. The Kava
root is known to have sedating properties and is consumed for its ability to relax without disrupting mental clarity.
is consumed in various ways throughout the Pacific Ocean cultures of Polynesia, Vanuatu, Melanesia and some parts of Micronesia and Australia. Traditionally, Kava Root
is prepared by either chewing, grinding or pounding the roots of the kava plant
. Grinding can be done by hand against a cone-shaped block of dead coral. The ground root is generally combined with a little water, as the fresh root releases moisture during grinding. Pounding is done in a large stone with a small log. The pounded Kava
is then added to cold water and consumed as quickly as possible.
In modern culture, the Kava beverage
is usually made from dried kava root
. Generally one tablespoon of is added per cup of water. The mixture is then soaked in water for approximately 30 minutes to allow the water to completely soak through the fibers (lecithin is often added to aid in the process of emulsifying the kavalactones with water). The Kava, water, and lecithin are blended in a blender for several minutes then strained into a straining cloth. The pulp resin is discarded and the beverage is enjoyed. Often coconut water, coconut milk, lemongrass, cocoa, sugar, or soy milk is added to improve flavor.
Kava Kava herb is also consumed to aid in the reduction of social anxiety.
As with any herb or supplement, a physician should be consulted prior to use.
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