Beneficial Use For Kava

Kava kava is a plant that has, in recent years, attracted much attention in the modern world, but many still wonder: what is a beneficial use for kava? People may know of it as an increasingly popular herbal supplement, or as a strange drink that has been used by many Oceanic cultures, such as Hawaii, Fiji, Micronesia, Indonesia, Vanuatu, and New Guinea. They may have heard that Kava is a natural herbal substance that increases sociability, and can help to manage daily stress in the user. But these little tidbits only scratch at the surface of the many benefits of this remarkable root. Let me tell you about some more of its effects and properties.

Piper methysticum, commonly known as kava kava, is the single most important traditional beverage in Oceania. In these cultures, it frequently (almost ubiquitously) is served to participants in both social and ceremonial occasions. And, I can tell you from both personal experience and a survey of ethnobotanical writings on the topic, that the effects are wonderful. What is a beneficial use for kava, you ask? I would answer that there are almost too many to name!

Kava has a long history of cultural use as a traditional medicine; In Samoa, it is used as an aphrodisiac and a natural energy booster. In some South Pacific island cultures, Kava is also used for magical purposes -- both for casting spells against someone (in Vanuatu) and for removing them (in Hawaii).These cultures clearly believe there is more than one beneficial use for kava!

There are many social benefits of kava use in the South Pacific: from Hawaii to Micronesia and even Northern Australia, drinking kava is a social activity that promotes communal bonding and harmony. In Vanuatu, friendships are created and reaffirmed over bowls of kava, which is taken in the evening with a sweet or spicy snack to cleanse the palate. Furthermore, no South Pacific ceremony, be it social or political, is complete without ritual kava drinking: the brew commonly appears at weddings, coronations, holidays, and greeting ceremonies for honored guests.

The beneficial uses of kava in a social context may be related to its ability to support relaxation*. According to the scientific literature, when one ingests a traditional kava beverage, the sensations, in order of appearance, are slight tongue and lip numbing, mildly talkative and sociable behavior, clear thinking, calmness, relaxed muscles, and a sense of well-being. Users occasionally report longer-term effects up to two days after ingestion, including a feeling of mental clarity, patience, and an ease of acceptance. Several noted ethnobotanists have observed that, in their own experience, kava drinks quench thirst better than beer, and have mild stimulating and invigorating effects that help to revitalize the body after strenuous exertion, clear the head, and also stimulate the appetite.

Kava also has a reputation for mild aphrodisiac effects: for instance, many South Pacific cultures regard kava as a relaxing aphrodisiac, especially for women. Although this is less substantiated in the scientfic and ethnobotanical literature, some researchers have suggested that use of kava may reduce daily stress*, which can otherwise interfere with libido. There almost certainly exists a beneficial use for kava beyond what is currently known, which more scientific research may one day discover.

As for my own experience, well, to me, kava is one of the best herbal supplements out there for managing everyday stress. Kava helps to support healhy mental focus by enhancing cognitive performance and short-term memory. With kava, I am able to perform well in many daily activities (including writing this article!). And when I finally retire for the evening, I glide down into sleep and awaken feeling refreshed and clearheaded.

Apart from the benefits of kava when used in recommended amounts, it should be noted that excessive amounts can impair physical coordination, in which case one should not drive a car or operate heavy machinery*. Kava should not be mixed with alcohol or other substances that may induce drowsiness.

I hope I have helped you to see that there is more than one beneficial use for kava -- many more, in fact! This ancient plant-based beverage has a wide variety of beneficial uses, which is why it's the go-to drink at social gatherings in the South Pacific. Furthermore, kava has been shown to have no qualities of physical or psychological addiction, and may thus be used without worry of dependence. With this plant possessing so very many wonderful qualities, I’m sure you will be able to find your own beneficial use for kava*.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to cure, treat, diagnose, or prevent any disease.