What is Kava Kava?
Kava Kava or Piper Methysticum (scientific name) is usually found in the South Pacific. The roots of the kava plant are typically harvested after a few years of growth. The aerial parts of the plant are discarded while the lateral and basal stump roots are dried and pounded into a powder to mix for the kava beverage. There are many ancient stories that tell the story of how the kava plant was found and stayed in existence. Stories of gods and mortals interacting. Stories dealing with life and death but overall referring to kava as the bringer of life. Even though we don't know precisely how kava came into existence, we do know the plant does not reproduce on its own. It needs human interaction to continue to perpetuate. This, in our opinion, adds to the kava plant's mysterious and magical appeal.
Kava is not physically addictive and has been consumed for thousands of years. Originating in the South Pacific Islands it is tradionally drank during ceremonies in Fiji, Vanuatu, Hawaii, and Tonga. It has also been used for medicinal and social reasons, such as insomnia, anxiety, stress, pain relief and as a replacement for alcohol. In fact, many say that drinking kava only lets you continue to be you while alcohol alters your personality. The active compounds in kava are know as kavalactones. There are at least 18 kavalactones identified but typically these six are used to describe the effects of each strain of kava: 1. Desmethoxyyangonin, 2. Dihydrokavain, 3. Yangonin, 4. Kavain, 5. Dihydromethysticin, 6. Methysticin. It is believed by many that kava has a reverse tolerance. Meaning that many first time kava drinkers don't receive the full effects of kava. They will feel relaxed but not as relaxed as they will on the 4th or 5th time. Of course everyone is different, and this isn't a hard and fast rule, but generally speaking your experience will intensify after several sessions of drinking kava.
There are two categories kava is typically classified in - "Noble" and "Tudei (Two-Day)". While both categories contain kavalactones, the Tudei kava typically contain much higher percentages of the specific kavalactones that cause lethargy. Tudei kava can also produce a hangover similar to when alcohol is consumed, sometimes lasting for two days, which is where the term "Tudei" comes from. Tudei is still sometimes used in the South Pacific for ceremonies but is actually banned from exportation in The Republic of Vanuatu. Noble kava is preferred for daily consumption and will have little to no effect the next day. This is why we will only purchase our kava from reputable and certified vendors that only offer Noble kava.
Preparation of Kava
While wanting to stay loyal to the traditional methods of preparing kava, not everyone has the time or the knowledge to do so. In comes the AluBall and shaker! Simply place a tablespoon or two of powdered kava root (about one half of the AluBall strainer ball) in the the strainer ball and shake with water. Warmer water is always best for kavalactone extraction but generally is harder to swallow than cold. Using around 400-500ml of water should result in a thick, strong kava drink, ready to enjoy.
Kava isn't the best tasting drink you'll ever have, which is why drinking it in small quantities as fast as you can (chugging it) is the preferred way to consume kava. You can mix your kava with other beverages to mask the taste but this will dilute it which means you will need to drink more. But hey! Whatever allows you to get it down. We do not drink kava for the taste. If you think back to the first time you had a shot of whiskey or a beer and remember that it really didn't taste very good. But, you continued to drink it because you knew what came after the taste. You would feel relaxed and uninhibited. Drinking kava, in its traditional form, is the same thing. Unlike alcohol, you drink kava to feel the relaxing benefits without worrying about how you will feel the next day. If anything, you typically will feel less anxious the next day, ready to take on the world!
**These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.