Kava Tea - The Nature's Weapon Against Stress and Anxiety

The Kava tea is a beverage prepared from the roots of a plant with the same name . Its native habitat is the western Pacific  . The different cultures has different names for this sacred plant . In Hawaii for example is it called ‘awa , which translates bitter .


kava tea preparation


The Kava tea is well known by the pacific cultures, used for millennia to relive stress and anxiety . The historical data shows that the plant has been traditionally used for at least 3000 years .


The Kava tea is known for its sedative euphoriant and anesthetic properties . The active compound in it is the ingredient called Kavalactone .


The Kava tea is part of almost every religious ritual or cultural ceremony . The particular Kava ceremony depends on the occasion . The full Kava ceremony however is performed for the honored guest only . Usually young people , dressed in ritual costumes bring a blow of the beverage . The bowl is placed in the middle . A selected individual takes a cup facing each visitor and offering the Kava tea . The guest must then take the cup with both hands and drink from it . When the cup is drained the cup bearer takes the cup and proceed to the next guest . Of course the first to be served is the most important guest .


kava tea cup


The naturalist Johann Georg Adam Forster was the first to mention the Kava tea .


The Kava tea tradition was unknown to the rest of the world until 1777 when James Cook first reached the pacific . He named the plant “intoxicating pepper” . Georg Forester was the first who brought the sacred plant to Europe . What he has found fascinating and in the same time disgusting in the Kava tradition was the way the Kava tea was prepared .


In his journal he writes:

"Kava is made in the most disgustful manner that can be imagined, from the juice contained in the roots of a species of pepper-tree. This root is cut small, and the pieces chewed by several people, who spit the macerated mass into a bowl, where some water of coconuts is poured upon it. They then strain it through a quantity of fibers of coconuts, squeezing the chips, till all their juices mix with the coconut-milk; and the whole liquor is decanted into another bowl. They swallow this nauseous stuff as fast as possible; and some old topers value themselves on being able to empty a great number of bowls." 

Although it may look disgusting the traditional way of preparation has been practice until recently , when the government forbid it , as it increases the risk of transmitting deceases .


kava tea ceremony


Of course the Kava tradition was not well accepted by the majority of the colonists .


The missionaries tried to suppress the Kava tea use as much as possible . Louis Lewin , a German pharmacologist also know by his studies on peyote , writes in his book Phantastica : “The missionaries did all they could to suppress the use of kava, probably not to the benefit of the natives. The violent campaign against kava by the Presbyterian missionaries cannot be justified in the least. It bears witness to the gross ignorance of missionaries, who have made many a mistake elsewhere. Reason, hide thy face!”


kava tea plant


The stress and the anxiety are some of the biggest problems of the modern society .


They lead to variety of health problems including cancer . The mainstream medicine deals these conditions with chemicals and drugs , which leads to addictions and internal damages to the human body . The Kava tea is the alternative on all these harmful drugs . In the last decade , the Kava beverage and all the Kava products are getting more and more popular . The beneficial effect of the plant are a subject of examination and studies . The sacred plant of Kava has revealed itself to the world and is ready to help us and to make us happier . It depends on us if we will accept this offering .


Related Literature

Phantastica: A Classic Survey on the Use and Abuse of Mind-Altering Plants

by Louis Lewin M.D.


Kava: The Pacific Elixir: The Definitive Guide to Its Ethnobotany, History, and Chemistry

by Vincent Lebot, Mark Merlin, Lamont Lindstrom


Kava: The Most Effective Natural Supplement For Treatment of Anxiety Disorders

by Get Ahead


Kava: Medicine Hunting in Paradise: The Pursuit of a Natural Alternative to Anti-Anxiety Drugs and Sleeping Pills

by Christopher S. Kilham


Kava: From Ethnology to Pharmacology

by Yadhu N. Singh


Pacific Northwest Medicinal Plants: Identify, Harvest, and Use 120 Wild Herbs for Health and Wellness

by Scott Kloos