We have decided to bring Kava kava back into our line of offerings. This mystic, sensual and euphoric herb has come under fire recently for liver toxicity problems relating to a European formula using the herb. The adverse publicity stopped many people from using the herb.
The fact of the matter is this was simply a problem with a process or additive in the European formula. Millions of people in the South Pacific use Kava kava on a daily basis and there is no indication that there is increased liver toxicity in that area of the world.
Using Kava kava is a personal choice. Read the complete history of the herb below and give it a try if you like.
Greenbush Kava kava is pure strength with no additives.
100 Capsules 575mg
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|HISTORY OF KAVA-KAVA|
Kava: Libation of the Gods...
In the mid-18th century, on a South Sea island, a chief welcomes a distinguished visitor at a formal gathering. He serves the visitor a brownish-green, bitter, intoxicating beverage. On another South Pacific island a group of villagers gathers in a circle. The villagers take a crushed root and pour cold water over it. They pass around a coconut shell filled with the crushed root and water. Each villager takes a drink and passes the shell until the final participant receiving the shell, takes the last sip and spits the mouthful to the ground as an offering to the gods for a rich harvest.
The kava plant and the beverage prepared from it are central to both of these events. In the cultures of Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia one of the most important roles has been in maintaining the social structure. In some societies the order in which the participants in a ceremony drank the kava reflected the hierarchy of the culture.
Although kava was important for ceremonial occasions, the history on the South Pacific islands shows that the use of kava was not restricted to such gatherings. Kava was also taken in preparation for an ocean voyage, ratification of agreements, celebrations of marriages and births as well as deaths. It was considered a libation to the gods and was believed to cure illnesses and remove curses. In the 18th century kava was used in almost all phases of life on the islands. Sharing a bowl of kava fostered friendship and socializing; it was unthinkable that kava would not be a part of any important event.
During the 1700's a common method of kava preparation in Fiji involved pounding the rootstock into small pieces.The small pieces were then chewed by either men or women.Young girls with healthy teeth and strong jaws were allowed to chew their elders' kava. When the chewing was completed, the chewer put the mouthful of pulp into a large wooden bowl where it was then mixed with cold water.After thoroughly mixing the pulp the beverage was strained and served.
The Botany and Cultivation of Kava
Following his voyage to the South Seas in 1768, British explorer Captain James Cook first described for the Western world the ceremonial use of the intoxicating drink prepared from the kava plant. Credit for the first detailed description of the plant, however, is given to Johann Georg Forster in 1777. He named the kava plant Piper methysticum, or, intoxicating pepper.
Kava is a perennial shrub belonging to the pepper family, Piperaceae. It is indigenous to the South Sea islands, west of Fiji, and grows well at altitudes between 150 and 300 meters above sea level. It is considered a swamp loving plant but can grow in stony ground, both when cultivated and in the wild. The plant's leaves are heart-shaped, pointed, and smooth and green on both sides. Piper methysticum has been called kava, awa, kava kava, waka, lawena or yaqona by the Pacific islanders who have used it for thousands of years.
The plant is ideally suited for both the climate and the economy of the South Pacific. Even today it continues to be a major cash crop. Kava is planted much like sugarcane, by planting sections of the stalk. The sections are usually cut from the young branches of an old bush. The newly planted stem cuttings must be protected from direct sunlight and from the wind.
Kava is typically harvested when it is approximately 2 meters tall, but it can easily grow to heights of up to 6 meters in the South Pacificıs humid conditions and intense sunlight. The kava root can grow up to 8 cm in thickness at a mature age of 3-5 years and may eventually become a knotted mass.
Research shows that the main active constituents in the root and rhizome (rootstock) are a group of resinous compounds called kavalactones. There are six major kavalactones in kava and while chemists can make some of these in the laboratory, the resulting drink has yet to produce the same effects as kava prepared from fresh rootstock.
Processing of kava involves pounding, chewing, grating or grinding kava stumps and roots. This breaks up the rootstock, allowing the kavalactones to be more readily released into cold water. It can be prepared by extracting the powdered root with cold water. However, more potent beverages are prepared either by first chewing the rootstock or by extracting with alcohol.
In the South Pacific today kava is served as a beverage, usually consumed at dusk before the evening meal because islanders feel a full stomach can inhibit its effects. After drinking, people typically eat smaller amounts of food because kava tends to decrease the appetite. And while some islanders have described the taste of kava as cool and refreshing, most who have tasted it find it has a bitter flavor with a temporary numbing effect on the tongue and inside of the mouth. Many have compared the kava drink to a western cocktail and today Pacific island residents often visit their local kava bar.
While kava bars may not be commonplace in the United States, kava is available in bulk, capsule and extract form from Greenbush and in many natural food stores.We source dried kava from Fiji and Vanuatu for our bulk product and herb capsules and get our fresh kava from Hawaii for herbal extracts.
Our herb capsules are cryogenically ground at temperatures ranging from zero to 70 degrees below zero to protect the essential oils and other constituents in the herb. Using fresh kava in herbal extracts allows for more complete extraction of the plant's vital elements. These processes along with extensive testing enable us to provide the highest quality product possible.
The use of bulk, capsule or extract form of kava is a personal choice based on the form you prefer, so try some kava and enjoy
When buying herbal medicines be sure to look at the ingredients. Frontier herbs have no fillers and are never irradiated or sprayed with pesticides. They are ground at-70 degrees to preserve the unique characteristics of the herb. In many national brands you will notice "silica" (sand!) and "ethylene glycol"(antifreeze!), among other things. Why not buy the best. Your health depends on it.
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