Also indexed as:Kava kava, Piper methysticum
© Steven Foster
Parts Used & Where Grown
Kava is a member of the pepper family and is native to many Pacific Ocean islands. The rhizome (underground stem) is used in modern herbal preparations.
Caution: Kava should be taken only with medical supervision. Its safe use is not established.
Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)
A nonalcoholic drink made from the root of kava played an important role in social ceremonies in some Pacific islands, including welcoming visiting royalty and at meetings of village elders. Kava was valued both for its mellowing effects and to encourage socializing. It was also noted for initiating a state of contentment, a greater sense of well-being, and enhanced mental acuity, memory, and sensory perception. Kava has also been used traditionally by healers in the Pacific islands to treat pain.
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