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Hawaiian Herbs - Kava-kava #1 of 6

As I prepare for our Hawaiian "Sacred Experiences" retreat  taking place January 2014, I am eager to turn my attention to all things Hawaiian! It is no coincidence then that I have recently been inspired to recommend Kava-kava to several clients. I felt it timely to share some information on Hawaiian Herbs, and today specifically we look at Kava-kava. The info below is extracted from an article from Mother Earth Living.

(Piper methysticum)
This plant grows in moist, shady places in the tropics. Kava-kava, or simply kava, is used in Hawaii primarily as a ceremonial drink or for medicinal purposes. Healers pound the roots in a pot with a heavy pole, then soak the crushed parts in water to extract the active ingredients, most of which are ­mildly sedating lactones, which leave the drinker with a sense of euphoria and well-being. Kava lactones have a pain-relieving quality as well, which is why Hawaiian herbal healers recommend kava to treat headaches and back pain, often in combination with ginger, which they believe ­enhances kava’s action.

Traditional Hawaiian healers prefer the strong extract to powdered root in capsules. The effects of a strong extract of 'awa root are unmistakable. Shortly after ingesting the peppery-tasting brew, the drinker experiences a tranquil, contented feeling. Taken in large doses, kava may cause some loss of muscle control along with euphoria, but the mind remains clear. This makes it especially suitable as a ceremonial beverage, allowing participants to let go of anxieties and animosities without creating the loss of self-control that often accompanies alcohol consumption.

Read more: http://www.motherearthliving.com/health-and-wellness/laau-lapaau-an-herbal-renaissance-hawaiian-style-six-hawaiian-herbs.aspx#ixzz32p9VvV5b

CAUTIONS: Extensive or continuous use of Kava-kava may be damaging to the kidneys and liver and should not be used by patients of Parkinson's disease.