What Is a Rhizome?

Posted by on Jul 6, 2008 in Ask Makaira | 0 comments

What Is A Rhizome?Andrew asked: I was wondering what the difference between a stem and a rhizome is. From what I have read a rhizome is a sort of “underground stem.” The following statements are included in your website: “The strongest kava comes from first generation roots and rhizomes, so we are constantly rotating our plants and crops to ensure maximum strength.” You also say this: “Please remember that the only time Kava Kava has been shown to be poisonous or cause liver damage is when the leaves and stems are consumed. This is why we use ROOTS ONLY in ALL of our Kava Kava products.”

Makaira says: The stem, as you suspected, exists ABOVE the ground, and has a very different chemical makeup than a root or rhizome that exists BELOW the ground. The sun is a powerful and magical force that can greatly alter the chemical structure of plants. For example, there are countless herbs that have poisonous flowers, but the rest of the plant can be made into a tea. It’s the same with Kava Kava; the rhizomes are no different than roots, except that they often exist laterally under the ground, connecting the various kava plants together. The rhizome is just a fancy name for a root, and we make note of the difference, just to be as clear with our customers as we can. I do hope that this helps!

Aloha no,


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