Kava Roots Are Serious Business

Posted by on Oct 21, 2014 in The Mind of Makaira | 0 comments

We take bringing you the best Kava we can grow and/or source as seriously as we have taken Kava as a business in our family for many generations.  We take great pride in the Kava we offer, partly because it’s the same Kava that we take ourselves on a daily basis.  That means we treat every customer as we would treat ourselves automatically!  If we were interested in “cashing in” on the next Kava craze; we’ve already been through several of them, and we’re still here, doing the same thing we’ve always done.

We’re far less interested in making some knock-you-on-your-pants Kava product, than we are in providing you with a consistent Kava experience time and time again.  We carefully craft our Kava in fully FDA-compliant facilities that follow strict GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) standards set out by the Food and Drug Administration of the United States Federal government.  What this mostly means for our customers is that our Kava is the safest Kava available on the market, while also being the most pleasurable Kava you can find as well!

Our Kava has become known as “Happy Kava” and that’s no accident.  From the first moment we harvest mature roots from our prized Mahakea cultivar of Kava, to the Kava that we carefully source from elsewhere in Oceania; we’re often there pulling the roots out of the ground ourselves.  We want to see and smell and feel the kava while it’s still a living energy in the ground it’s nourished in.


And just because the Kava looks and smells and feels right; that’s not good enough for what we ultimately bring to our customers.  To anyone here at Kona Kava Farm, there’s fewer things that bring more joy to any of us than to not only be there when Kava roots are carefully harvested, but to enjoy the very first cup of Kava from those roots.

This is when we get our first sense of what the Kava will be like, and whether it’s something we want to eventually bring to our treasured customers.  Anyone who’s experienced fresh Kava roots will tell you that nothing compares to a Kava drink made from freshly-harvested Kava roots.  So, unless we feel that “kick” and that initial rush of stress-melting energy as any anxiety we have dissolves away, we don’t go any further.

And, rest assured, we have never even considered harvesting anything other than Kava roots.  Virtually every report, including the extensive study by the World Health Organization, has concluded that any occurrences of liver damage from Kava were because of unscrupulous manufacturers who used stems and leaves in their Kava products.  We harvest only lateral and underground roots, and never go anywhere near stems or leaves of the Kava plant!

If you want a full story on the True Side Effects of Kava, head on over to Kava.com.

But when we do; that’s when the long journey from farm to your package of Kava truly begins.  If it’s Kava that we harvest ourselves in Hawaii, then the trip is much shorter.  If it comes from somewhere in Oceania, such as Fiji or Vanuatu, then the first order of business is to carefully prepare the Kava for export, following strict regulations set up by the United States and any consumable products, especially when they’re plant-based products such as Kava root.  This is a difficult, and paper-laden process that can take a couple of weeks to properly prepare.  This is where experienced Kava exporters are worth their weight in gold, as the effort involved in simply getting Kava into the United States is a task only someone who loves Kava would likely be willing to take on.

Usually, because of the expense of air freight, we bring Kava over in large shipping containers by good old fashioned boat.  The boats (ships) are quite modern, but it always amazes us that most of your Kava arrives by way of ocean-faring vessels just like days gone by.  These containers can fit a couple of cars in them, so we’ve got to be extremely sure of the Kava we bring over long before we actually bring it over.  Just as in any business, there are a lot of shady characters around, so it’s critical that we get to know our farmers, agents, exporters, importers, shippers, and everyone else involved in the chain.  This is accomplished by some more good old fashioned methods; in-person visits with plenty of hand-shaking, and lots of phone or Skype conversations.

Speaking of, before that Kava even thinks about leaving port, we run a battery of tests on that Kava, tests that now include Flavokavain-B tests.  We always test for the Kavalactone lineup we want most, which is a 4-2-6 or a 2-4-6 Kavalactone lineup.  That, to us, makes for the happiest Kava, and 4-2-6 is the lineup of our often out of stock Mahakea Kava.  Even our discerning palettes have a difficult time telling the difference between a 2-4-6 and a 4-2-6 Kavalactone lineup, but there definitely is a difference in experience between Kava with different Kavalactone lineups.lab-results2_vanuatu-noble

Either way, part of what we test for in our Kava root is dangerous metals such as mercury, lead, arsenic and cadmium.  Believe it or not, there can be dangerous levels of any one of these metals in plants, and in Kava we’ve personally tested, we’ve found unacceptable levels of lead once.

Beyond testing for dangerous metals, we also test of any any other dangerous pathogens such as Pseudomonas, E.coli, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus.  This is a root that’s been growing in Mother Nature for a number of years, in or on the ground, so we take extraordinary care not only in what we harvest, but how the Kava roots are cleaned when they’re harvested.

Kona Kava Farm goes the many extra miles to ensure that the Kava you put into your body has absolutely nothing harmful in it whatsoever, and that’s something we’re super proud of.  One of the many ways we assure that is to get every last fiber of Kava tested from the farm, and several more times before it reaches you.

gmp-kava-facilitySpeaking of, once we actually get the Kava into the United States mainland or into one of our GMP manufacturing facilities,  both of our GMP manufacturing facilities were designed, from the ground up, to handle micro runs of product to both fulfill our own retail orders, and to contract manufacturers for a select few Kava companies who we trust to follow the GMP regulations as strictly as we do.  Our spacious rooms begin with strict temperature control and humidity control, and are always rooms within rooms to ensure that no pests or other contaminants have any chance of making it into the places we process the Kava roots.

In fact, we not only have HEPA filtration on the environmental controls, we have a bio filter that runs 24/7 in both the area that houses our Kava inventory, whether it’s raw material or a finished good, or the actual room where all of our Kava products are carefully crafted.  We only bring in Kava once we know it’s pure, and we go above and beyond to ensure that purity remains right down to the packaged product making its way into your belly.

We may be just farmers at heart, but to us, Kava is quite serious business, as is the safety of our product and the great care we take in ensuring the absolute safety of every one of our loyal and treasured customers.  And for those who aren’t yet our loyal customers, ask your current Kava supplier if their products follow the strict standards that 100% of our Kava products adhere to.  Find out if the Kava you’re getting has a Birth Certificate, a Phytosanitary Certificate, Lab Results for Safety,  and most of all; a Personal Seal of Approval from the folks bringing that Kava to you.

We’re often told that we should speak more loudly about how seriously we take the business side of Kava, and this and other posts are perhaps our way of trying to make that happen.  We’re pretty darn proud of all the steps we take to bring you the best Kava products in the marketplace, to bring you products that you can rely on, time and time again, to deliver the same powerful, stress-relieving, anxiety-reducing, and just plain pleasurable experience package after package, bottle after bottle, drop after drop of the finest Kava we can grow and source for you and for us.

Check out “Is Your Kava GMP Kava?” or “Proud of Our GMP Products!” for more on this topic.

Aloha no,

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