Kava-kava, also known as just kava (translates as “intoxicating pepper”), a perennial shrub from the South Pacific, with heart-shaped leaves. Root of the plant hold a great significance. When the plant is approximately eight feet in height, it is ready to be harvested. Ideally, the plants should be at least five years old for that’s when the roots reach their full potency.
Hawaiian kava root is used to treat asthma, arthritis, depression, insomnia, muscles spasms, rheumatism, seizures and wounds.
if used in large amounts on a daily basis, intoxication will follow, as will weight loss, skin disorders, weaken the immune system, and cause pulmonary hypertension. Pregnant women and those suffering from severe depression should refrain from using kava. Not recommended for children under the age of 10. Refrain from mixing kava with alcohol. If using prescription drugs, please check with your doctor.
Researchers have shown that the kava plant contains 15 lactones- also called kavalactones or kavapyrones- which are chemicals that can affect the central nervous system. Specifically, six of these lactones have been shown to affect our psychological balance by acting on a part of the brain known as the amygdala, which regulates feelings of fear and anxiety. Several other types of tranquilizers and relaxant drugs also act upon this area of the brain. Like many other tranquilizers, the relaxant and mild euphoric effects of kava occur rapidly after ingestion.