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The Magic of Kava Kava

Possessing a great significance in regards to the cultural and ritual traditions of the Pacific Islands, kava kava is an herb with medicinal properties that not only served as a feature of social ceremonies, but also aided in the communication between the natives and their gods. In this article, you will learn some of the traditional and current uses of the herb, as well as how to prepare it at home.

Reaching heights of 10 feet, kava kava is an evergreen shrub with large heart-shaped leaves that can grow to 10 inches across. The herb is a Polynesian vine that grows throughout the Pacific Islands and is even found in other parts of the world, such as Hawaii. In the United States and Australia, the herb is grown commercially in stony soil and well-drained conditions. The convenience of the root (the part of the plant that is used in herbal remedies) is that it can be harvested at any time of the year.

Research Regarding Kava Kava

In 1990, Germany headed a clinical trial that analyzed the effectiveness of kawain found in kava kava, which was proven to aid an individual battling anxiety. Other research associated with the herb focused on the depressant effect that kava lactones had on the central nervous system. Kava lactones have been shown to treat the lining of the urinary tubules and the bladder when an antispasmodic effect and sedation is needed.

Uses of Kava Kava

Offering calming and stimulating results, kava kava was given to people in large doses for a wide-range of reasons. From treating canker sores to delivering pain relief, kava kava is probably best known as an aphrodisiac with a reputation for boosting a romantic mood. Traditionally, kava kava could produce a euphoric state when taken in large quantities. In the South Sea Islands, the herb was used to calm the nerves and create an almost intoxicating feeling. Externally, the herb can create a mouthwash that treats a toothache and treats canker sores. Other medical concerns that kava kava has been known to treat include:
 
·    Sexually transmitted diseases, especially gonorrhea
·    Settling an irritated bladder
·    Mild and chronic pain
·    Rheumatoid arthritis and other arthritic conditions, like gout
·    Chronic stress, emotional insecurities, and anxiousness

Preparing Kava Kava

The kava kava root is the primary part of the plant that is used to create medicinal treatments. In traditional circles, the root is chewed and fermented with saliva. When preparing kava kava for medicinal purposes, it is important to not exceed the recommended dose or take for more than four weeks. If you are pregnant, do not take kava kava. If you are interested in a kava kava remedy, consider the following preparations:

·    Infusion: If you are suffering a urinary infection, drink ½ cup of a kava kava infusion two times per day.

·    Tincture: When looking for a tonic that soothes and relaxes, take 30 drops of kava kava tincture with water for three times per day. This remedy should help settle a stressful day.