Can I Use a Solvent to Extract Kava?

Posted by on Jan 3, 2008 in Ask Makaira | 0 comments

Can I Use a Solvent to Extract Kava?Jon asked: I’ve heard you you can extract the kava root with nail polish remover instead of water and it has no negative effect on the kava. Because the nail polish remover evaporates a lot faster than water this would lessen the time you have to wait for preparing a pure solid/paste form of kava, and the only thing you have to differently is, after the paste seems to have dried it just mix it up and let it air out to make sure you get all of the nail polish remover out.

Makaira says: Wow, just when we thought we heard it all! – Since we advocate the most natural use of this plant that we hold so dear, it has never occurred to us to speed the extraction process along, or to introduce a dangerous chemical such as nail polish remover into the mix. Most nail polish removers are made from acetone, but not all of them, and none are meant to be near anything that we intend to consume. Since nail polish remover typically uses petroleum-based products as a main ingredient, there is no way to know what you might be introducing into your body. Furthermore, non-purified, non-food grade acetone often contains all kinds of nasty petroleum products such as benzene, which is extremely toxic to the human body, and has been shown conclusively to cause cancer in humans.

Also, kava isn’t just kavalactones; it’s a synergy of many different plant elements. Some extract into fats, such as coconut milk, and others extract into water. To use a single chemical not only can be hazardous to your health, especially when it’s something like nail polish remover, but you are cheating yourself and your body on the full spectrum extract of this plant. ‘Awa is not about speed and chemicals; it’s about kicking back, relaxing, and enjoying something that is conducive to long ceremonies and friendship.

Aloha no,


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