Kava Kava Extract

For those who are "in the know," it appears that more and more people are getting interested in the world of kava. Kava is a plant whose roots have soothing effects*; in terms of genetics, it's related to the black pepper plant. The kava plant has long been used by the people of Hawaii, Polynesia and in the Pacific Islands.

Traditional ritual use includes the legendary kava ceremony, as well as using the plant for magical purposes. Kava ceremonies date back thousands of years and are still practiced today in Hawaii, Fiji, Samoa and Vanuatu. Kava ceremonies range from the formal ceremony to the informal gathering. They can function as a greeting custom for guests, as a component of tribal negotiations, and as part of the soothing social drinking get-togethers that take place in the evenings.

Many people who use kava find that it helps them focus, relax, and be more at ease in a social context. These effects have been documented by the Pacific Islanders who have made kava use a part of their traditional customs. Kava produces an effect on the body like no other botanical. Unlike other herbs, kava helps to calm as well as focus, and it is used by everyone from athletes to businessmen to those who just want to have a peaceful ending to their day*. Perhaps the best part about kava is that despite all of these benefits, it is completely non-addictive*.

Here at Kona Kava Farm, we grow and sell our own organic kava to the public. In addition to kava drinks and kava-infused products, we also sell kava extract. Our extract makes it fast and easy to enjoy a kava drink anytime you like. Simply add the kava extract to cold or warm water (hot water destroys the active constituents), and you've got an instant source of relaxation and calm.*

You might be wondering what exactly makes a kava kava extract. To extract means "to draw out"; a herbal extract is simply a concentrated version of the compounds within a plant that have been drawn out by a physical or chemical process. Fresh-squeezed fruit juices or tea made by steeping plant material in hot or cold water are types of weak extracts. Although we don't normally think of it this way, a kava brew prepared by steeping the root in cold water is in fact a type of extract under this definition.

A herbal extract generally comes in two forms, standardized and full-spectrum extracts. The difference between these two kinds of extracts lies in the range and ratio of constituents extracted from the herbal material. In a full-spectrum extract, all the constituents present in the whole plant are extracted and preserved in the same ratio in the extract. In contrast, a standardized extract is tested to ensure that it contains a certain percentage of active constituents. However, it may not reflect the same ratio or range of constituents as the plant material used to make the extract.

When it comes to kava and other herbal extracts, there are different forms to consider. You can buy kava kava extract in powdered form, as a liquid, or as a paste. Kava capsules must also contain an extract of kava in one of these forms, as capsules that contain only plain powdered root will not be effective.

It's possible to extract the kavalactones and other active constituents of kava using a number of different solvents, including acetone, ethanol, and water. We recommend sticking to aqueous (water-based) kava kava extracts, as the chemical solvents above may leave unwanted residues in the finished product. An even newer method uses supercritical cold CO2 extraction to produce a clean, concentrated kava extract.

If you're interested in trying kava kava extract, we at Kona Kava Farm offer a number of kava extract products, including our proprietary 84% KavaLOVEtone liquigels featuring our renowned Mahakea kava blended with pure extracts from some of the most relaxing herbs available*. Or try our convenient 55% Kavalactone and 55% Full-Spectrum Kava pastes for a new take on the instant kava beverage!

Kona Kava Farm is a small family-run business, and our kava is completely organic--not many kava farmers can say the same. We grow a special strain of kava called Mahakea, which is known for its strength. If you've been wondering why so many people are talking about kava, try some of ours and you'll see. If you have any questions about our farm or kava in general, please do not hesitate to contact us. You can also write to the section of our blog entitled "Ask Makaira." We look forward to hearing from you!

*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.