Kava kava is a tall, tropical shrub from the pepper family, and native throughout the Pacific Islands. Its large, heart-shaped leaves can measure up to 10 inches wide, and the plant itself can grow to about 3 meters tall.
The scientific name of Kava Kava is Piper methysticum. It is also commonly known as Kava, kava-kava, kawa, kavain, kawain, aya, awa, yangona, yaqona, intoxicating pepper, kava pepper, kew, sakau, tonga, kava root, wurzelstock, and rauschpfeffer.
For centuries, the native people of the Pacific Islands have been using the kava kava plant for the making of social and ceremonial drinks, as well as herbal remedy for a variety of ailments.
The active ingredients of kava kava are the kavalactones or kavapyrones. The kavalactones found in kava kava are methysticin, kavain, dihydrokavain, dihydrokawain, dihydromethysticin, desmethoxyyangonin, and yangonin. Out of the eighteen kavalactones identified, 15 are confirmed active so far. Minor constituents were also found and these include three chalcones – flavokavain A, flavokavain B, and flavokavain C.
Benefits and Uses of Kava Kava Roots:
Kava kava is a potent diuretic that is believed to be beneficial in the treatment of rheumatism, arthritis, and gout. The diuretic actions of the herb facilitate removal of waste product and toxic materials from the afflicted joints and relieve the pain associated with these ailments.
Kava also has a sedative effect that is useful for the treatment of nervous anxiety, sleeplessness, restlessness, and other stress-related symptoms like spasm or muscle tension. Kava may be taken as a natural alternative to prescription antianxiety medications, and some experts even claim that it is actually better since it does not interfere with mental acuity when taken for stress and anxiety relief.
Kava kava promotes deep, restful, and dreamless sleep, which makes it perfect for people suffering from sleeplessness. Its calming effect is comparable to those of mainstream medications like Diazepam or Valium, but without the nasty side effects. Kava helps relax muscles and prevent convulsions.
It has antispasmodic properties that can help alleviate menstrual cramps and abdominal pain by relaxing uterine muscles. Kava kava’s antiseptic agents may be beneficial in relieving urinary tract infections, vaginitis, and irritable bladder. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that enables it to treat inflammation of the prostate gland.
When taken at the right dosage, Kaka Kava Root can be very helpful in alleviating the stress and afflictions of the modern lifestyle.