Kava Kava is an ancient shrub grown in the Western Pacific. It is grown and widely consumed throughout the Pacific islands of Polynesia, Hawaii, Vanuatu, Melanesia and some parts of Micronesia and Australia.
The term “kava”, is used to refer to both the plant and the beverage produced from the roots of the kava plant. It means “pepper” in Latin and “intoxicating” in Greek. It is a kind of herbal drink that was the beverage of choice of the royal families of the South Pacific.
Kava kava root powder is produced by grinding the roots of the kava plant and the resulting brownish powder is mixed with water and drank as beverage without going through a fermentation process. It is sold in powder and capsule forms as a nutritional supplement.
However, not everyone who drinks the kava juice will feel the same way. This is expected because our body biochemistry is different from one another. And besides, kava kava products sold in the market vary in content and formulation depending on the geographical and climatic conditions of the place it was grown, the method of processing and the time of harvest.
Kava, nonetheless, has established a very wholesome reputation of being an effective remedy for stress and anxiety. It works in the brain by unleashing its anti depressant properties, specifically by fighting the blues away and bringing a happy, tranquil disposition to those who take it in cautious moderation. It has the ability to calm frayed nerves, treat migraine headaches and muscle cramps and best of all, it keeps the mind alert as the body relaxes while fighting fatigue the natural way.
The substance responsible for these medicinal and euphoric effects are called kavalactones and pyrones found in large concentration in the roots of the kava plant. There are six major kavalactone components that cause the mild euphoria, mental alertness and tranquility, and these are kawain, dihydrokawain, methysticin, dihydromethysticin, yangonin, and desmethoxyyangonin.
Kava kava is not recommended for children and teenagers. This substance which is widely used as an antianxiety drink in the US should only be taken in moderation by healthy adults. Studies show that the substance has harmful effects on the liver in adults when used regularly which could also occur in children and teenagers thus caution should be taken at all times.
If you have been taking kava kava root powder and suddenly notice loss of appetite, vomiting, fever, abdominal pain, unexplained fatigue, dark colored urine, pale stools, and eyes or skin that are turning yellow, you should immediately see your doctor.