How to Mix Kava
The History of Kava
The kava-kava is not a magical plant but it has healing properties. This has been used for centuries to treat painful stomach cramps, headaches, insomnia, and anxiety. The kava or kava kava grows as a shrub in South Pacific islands and has large heart shaped leaves.
Because the kava kava has medicinal uses it was prized by medicine men and used during religious rites by high priests. To use, the kava kava root is pounded to a pulp or masticated by young ladies assigned the tasks before it could be used. To get the most benefits, this was mixed with water. It was a social custom to have a kava kava drink before sunset because it relaxed the body and induced restful sleep.
In the plant family, the kava kava belongs to the pepper species and thrives in tropical climes. Places like Hawaii, Philippines, and Samoa islands and other tropical regions. The perennial shrubs needs lots of sunshine all year round and grow best several hundred meters above sea level. The shrub can grow tall to 23 feet and it takes four years before the kava kava root matures.
Seeds are not used to plant the shrub; instead planters divide the root mass or removes the offsets from the plant's root ball. By using the propagation method, the growth of the kava kava plant is assured. To grow healthy and abundantly, the plant needs very rich soil. Watering the plant can be tricky. Kava kava needs deep watering but if watered frequently the underlying soil becomes sodden and the growth of the root hairs can be retarded.
The potency of the root determines the strain of the kava plant and this is influenced by the amount of kalvactones or psychoactive components in the root. These components are non-addictive; hence, it becomes a favorite for coffee and liquor lovers who want to get a relaxing drink without addictive ingredients.
The kava kava is used to ease arthritic and rheumatic pains, treat menstrual cramps in women, and reduce anxiety. It is also used as an antibacterial wash. Although this has no addictive properties, it is wise to regulate your dose because excessive consumption daily can cause side effects. Isn't this true with everything?
The kava kava root is processed into elixers, liquigels, paste, powder, pills and candies but suppliers also sell roots bought direct from farmers to ensure its freshness and/or potency. For an exotic drink, drop in one kava kava bar to experience the magic of this plant. Or make your own drink from this plant. There are several free recipes online that teach you how to start from scratch. To sweeten your homemade drink you can use regular sugar or organic sugar cane juice.
You might be tempted to plant your own kava kava. To get started do some research on the plant and planting requirements. If you want it fast and easy, get the processed product at a kava bar or food specialty shops.