In this shrubs native habitat, Polynesia and the Pacific Ocean Islands , natives calm down by chewing a few leaves, but the best medicine is in the roots, which can be used to make a tea. Kava is used for medicinal, religious, political, cultural and social purposes throughout the Pacific. These cultures have a great respect for the plant and place a high importance on it.
Common medicinal properties: Analgesic , Anodyne, Antibacterial, Diaphoretic/sudorific, Diuretic, Expectorant, Sedative , Stimulant
Anxiety – The majority of evidence shows that certain kava extracts (extracts standardized to 70% kavalactones) can lower anxiety and might work as well as prescription anti-anxiety medications called low-dose benzodiazepines. But it might take up to 8 weeks of treatment to see improvement.
Kava is hard on the liver, even healthy ones. Taking kava if you already have liver disease is taking a risk.
Parts Used: rhizome
Constituents: kava lactones, kawahin, yanoginin, methysticin, glycosides
Folk applications: Drink as a protection from evil and to invite in good luck. It is a common journey inducing beverage.
Alcohol infusion from dried and ground: Cloudy color and very soapy tasting. After making this tincture I always cut it 50/50 with unsteeped alcohol for my personal recipes.