Kava Kava, or often just called Kava, is a tropical shrub with large, heart-shaped leaves from the Pacific Islands whose roots are used medicinally and socially. It’s often used as a recreational and social drink the same way we use alcohol. It’s also used in sacred ceremonies. It even has medicinal uses, I can be a witness to the medicinal effects as I used Kava myself for anxiety and to get through stressful times. It has a long list of medicinal uses; This amazing plant is such a gift to humanity. Other medicinal uses include migraines, ADHD, it has anti cancer properties and chemo preventive properties. It’s been used for respiratory infections, tuberculosis, UTI, sexual arousal, PMS and a plethora of other varied medicinal and healing uses.
Traditionally Kava is prepared as a very bitter and earthy tasting tea or the roots are chewed. It can leave a numbing feeling similar to a dentist visit and has been used as a topical numbing agent in surgeries and other medical procedures. Tinctures are also made with kava, from my experience they are very potent should be used with the highest level of respect. Today we have available to us kava in capsules, candies and other forms.
The active ingredient in Kava are kavalactones, they are responsible for many medicinal uses. Among many herbal actions, its a sedative, anesthetic, anxiolytic and entheogenic. Kava gives a calm, relaxing feeling to the body and mind without making you tired or feel groggy. It induces states of euphoria, alertness and contentment. Due to it’s ability to calm the mind and body, it has been effectively used for anxiety, depression, insomnia, ADHD and psychosis.
Kava has shown to prevent and help heal cancer. It’s both chemopeventive, helps to prevent cancer by blocking tumor growth and chemotherapudic, helps to heal cancer. In prostate cancer patients who use Kava as a medicine, tumors shrunk significantly and the health of their prostate improved. Kava works with your immune system to help prevent cancer by enhancing your anti-tumor immunity to block tumor growth. Kava prevents inflammation in a cancer-prone micro enviroment.
Kava works on the brain and central nervous system influencing GABA receptors and stimulating dopamine receptors. It gives a calm, relaxing, euphoric feeling which can aid in focus, ability to learn and think through problems and help heal anxiety, depression, headaches, menopause symptoms, muscle spasms, sleep problems, stress, restlessness, ADHD, migraines and can increase sexual arousal.I’ve used Kava to help with focus and brain fog, it was very healing.
Wait…there’s more!! Like with all the herbs I blog about, there’s no way to list all the benefits of any one plant in one blog post. I do feel there are some honorable mentions. Kava has been successfully used in healing epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, colds and flu, respiratory tract infections, tuberculosis, uterus pain and swelling and UTI. Kava prevents premature aging, curbs cigarette cravings when quitting smoking and even helps in weight loss. It’s an amazing immune booster helping to keep the body balanced and dis ease free. Topically kava is used for leprosy, aid in would healing and eye related pain and health issues. it also make a wonderfully healing mouthwash.
Kava has it’s place in magick, it’s energies are feminine and the corresponding planet is Saturn. Dieties Kanaloa, Kane and Lono are all associated with Kava. It’s no surprise that Hawaiian Gods are associated with Kava as Kava is traditional and still popular today. Kava is one of my favorites to help me get into an altered state of mind before magickal workings. It’s used in spells for endings, exorcisms, longevity, protect the home and keep unwanted visitors away.It can be hung at your door for good luck. It’s great for scrying as it helps you see visions and messages clearer.
As amazing as Kava is, it does come with some warning. The potential for abuse is something to be aware of either as an herbalist giving it to clients or using it myself. Although it can help heal depression, it can also make it worse. Because of it’s effects on the central nervous system, use should be stopped 2 weeks before anesthesia, kava can increase the effects. Kava should never be mixed with alcohol, sedatives and perscription drugs. Avoid if you’re breastfeeding or pregnant. There is some concern about the negative effects on the liver. What isn’t clear is if it’s the kava or additves some manufacturers use or the pesticides used in growing the Kava. As an herbalist I would avoid giving kava to anyone with liver issues, on pharma drugs or drinks alcohol escessively. Organic or wildrafted should only be used, medicines should always be pure as Gaia intended.
Kava is one of my favorite medicinal medicines. When I give it to somen who isn’t at hign risk for the negative effects, the results are amazing. It’s a powerful medicne we should only use with the highest respect and for the right reasons. What are your experiences with Kava? Share below.
Resources: organicfacts.net/kava-root.net/kava-root.html pagansworld.org/2011/08hump-day-herbs-kava-kava/
This blog post in not intended to diagnose, prevent, cure or treat any illness. Please contact your herbal professional befor taking any supplents or if you have any questions or concerns.