Kava, which is also known by different names, like Intoxicating pepper, Ava Pepper,Intoxicating long pepper, Ava Root, Kao, Kew, Kava Kava and many more is actually a native plant to South Africa.
The name ‘Kava’ was given by the legendary explorer, Captain Cook. However, the name was not discovered by Captain Cook. Kava was popular among Pacific Islanders for thousands of years. It is a popular social drink in South Pacific akin to alcohol in Western societies. Moreover, it still holds an important role in various ceremonies and rituals.
Kava tea is loaded with chemicals known as kava lactones. These lactones are the key active ingredient in Kava. However, any treatment with the Kava tea would show its effect after a minimum period of eight weeks. Although there is little research present about Kava benefits, it is used widely around the Southern Pacific region.
The benefits of Kava plant come from its roots. Kava tea is prepared by finely grinding the roots and further letting this powder infuse in hot water to prepare tea. Kava roots are known to be loaded with rhizome components and lactones that are further purported to feature numerous health benefits. These lactones are generally believed to alleviate anxiety as well as mood swings.
Although it is new to many people, it has been popularly in use, not only for its pleasing qualities, but also for the various health benefits associated with it.
Health Benefits Of Kava Tea
Kava tea is usually available in the form of capsules, liquids, tablets, tinctures, and soft gels. Besides, it is also known for its anaesthetic and analgesic properties. The properties and health benefits of kava tea are explained further.
Good for Anxiety & stress
Kava tea can be a major help for relieving stress and anxiety. It has been clinically proven that low dose benzodiazepines present in kava kava help to relieve anxiety by normalizing the hormonal activities in the body and minimizing the release content of stress hormones in the blood stream. However, since the effects are pretty mild, it can take as long as 8 weeks to make the process work and show results in condition. Due to presence of phytochemicas known as kavalactones following health benefits can be obtain:
Kava tea is loaded with kavalactones, which are known to promote healthy sleep patterns by calming the mind and easing body aches. Hence, if you suffering from sleepless nights off late due to tension, stress, anxiety or some other types of bodily pains and discomforts, kava tea can come in as a huge help for treating insomnia and sleeplessness.
Stress can be a major reason for weight gain. People suffering from unwanted and uncontrolled stress often tend to snack heavily between meals, thereby gaining weight. This problem can be easily solved by consuming kava tea. Kava tea helps to soothe the mind, thereby easing stress, controlling appetite and promoting systematic weight loss.
As discussed before, stress can be a major stigma for heavy hair loss. Kava tea with the help of its nerve soothing properties, is known to minimize hair fall and hair loss, thereby keeping hair fall problems like hair thinning and balding at bay.
Kava kava is a wonderful aid for quitting addiction. It’s nerve soothing properties help to calm anxiety and stress, thereby curbing all cravings for addictive objects like cigarette, alcohol and cigars. A cup of Kava tea can completely help you come out off addictions in case you really want to do so.
ADHD is becoming a major problem in children and regular consumption of Kava tea can really aid in treating the disorder in children as well as adults. Kavalactones present in kava kava helps to calm the mind while promoting concentration and focus. It also helps to curb major symptoms of ADHD, namely hyperactivity, stress, tension, anxiety, forgetfulness and attention deficiency.
Kava Tea is an amazing medicine for relieving all sorts of pain and muscle spams. Though it’s analgesic properties are not as prominent as the other properties, it can surely help you come out of severe pain.
Menopause can be a tough phase in the life of women. Ranging from frequent mood swings to suffering from hot flashes, women often go through a lot of discomforting feelings during this phase. Kava tea has shown positive results in controlling these symptoms and aiding in promoting sound hormonal health. Regular consumption of Kava tea can help women deal with the symptoms of menopause, especially mood swings and irritability.
Calm Hyperactive Children
Kava tea is also a fabulous remedy for calming children who are hyperactive. It’s nerve soothing properties help to calm the hyperactive nerves, thereby reducing hyper physical activities and initiating stability. What’s more, the nerve soothing properties of Kava tea have been proven to be more effective than prescribed medicines.
Kava kava has been found to possess cancer preventing properties. Though researchers have not succeeded in determining its potentiality, it has shown positive signs of being a potential cancer treatment and may come out as a major cancer medicine in the recent future.
Offering kava tea to patients who have suffered stroke can help them recover from the effects and can even prevent the convulsive effect, thereby minimizing the chances of future stroke recurrence. It is due to the natural abilities of kava kava to arrest brain damage due to ischaemia that kava tea can help stroke patients recover quickly.
Beneficial for Kidney problems
Kava tea being a diuretic, is also an amazing remedy for treating kidney problems and ensuring sound kidney health. People suffering from kidney problems tend to experience recurring problems even after prior treatments. Hence, if you want to treat these problems or even want to prevent such problems to occur in the future, a cup of Kava tea a day can save you from falling prey to such common yet dangerous ailments.
Aid For Body Building
Proper elimination and retention of adequate amount of water is inevitable for building muscles. Since excessive water retention can turn out to be a disaster for muscle building and achieving the right tone, kava tea being a diuretic, can help in eliminating excess water from body.
Kava tea is also tremendously popular for its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Hence, it can help curb major problems related to cough and cold, like respiratory tract infections and sore throat.
Nerve soothing properties of Kava tea can help curb toothaches. Consume 1-2 cups of Kava tea on a regular basis to get relief from toothache due to cavity formation or even after going through a dental surgery.
Urinary Tract Infections
Kava is antibacterial and antifungal, hence, help in eradicating infections from the bladder. Being diuretic, it flushes all bacteria causing germs from the bladder and helps in treating UTI and other bladder infections.
Kava has numbing properties and can reduce and numb sensations in various body parts for temporary periods of time. It thus can be used to numb pain sensations in aching body parts and causes numbing in the tongue for some time after it is chewed.
Different methods of Making Kava Tea
Every individual has a different recipe to prepare Kava tea. The common methods to prepare this tea include:
Method I – The Kava Tea Powder:
Generally, Kava tea powder is easily available at local health food stores. There are many different types of Kava available under different brand names. Look for a good brand through trial and error.
The next step is to mix the powder in water. However, remember to remove the root powder before drinking. This can be done through a large teabag or by filtering the drink later. However, for those who like some extra fibre can leave the tea unstrained.
Finally, the amount of Kava powder is added to the drink according to your taste. More amount of powder means a more potent drink.
Method II – The Strainer Method:
The initial step in the preparation of the tea by the strainer method begins with adding the Kava powder directly into the water and mixing it thoroughly. If needed, you can opt to use a blender for large quantities or use a spoon for preparing one cup.
Allow the Kava and water to mix for at least 10 minutes. During this time, allow the blender to have a couple of breaks. The next step is to filter the Kava using a strainer. It can be a wire mesh or cheesecloth. It is worth noting that coffee filters don’t work well for filtering Kava tea.
Method III – The Kneading Method:
For this method, take a shallow bowl. Fill it with the desired quantity of water. Three cups or more is an appropriate quantity. Follow by placing a square cloth inside the bowl. Fill the clean cloth with the desired quantity of Kava powder. Then knead this Kava in the water. Make sure the powder doesn’t escape into the bowl. As the process is completed, pull the straining cloth out and squeeze out as much liquid as possible from it.
Method IV – Kava Teabags:
Besides the powder, Kava teabags are a great option to prepare tasty and effective Kava tea. It also is easy and saves time. Kava tea bags form the real crux of any Kava supplement. However, if you are not using whole kava root and a powder mix, capsule, or powder tea, try making sure the chosen supplement contains Kava extract and not just the dried and powdered root. This is because, without extraction of any form, plain powdered root might not be active physiologically.
Here is how you can brew Kava tea using Kava tea bags:
- Pour boiling water over 1-2 tea bags.
- Allow the bags to steep for about 5-10 minutes.
- It is highly suggested to make use of cool water, because water heated at more than 140 degrees Fahrenheit might degrade kava lactones, therefore decreasing the efficiency of the brew.
The use of herbs to strengthen the body and protect it from various diseases has been in practice for thousands of years. However, herbs also contain certain components that can prompt side effects and react with other herbs, medications and/or supplements. Hence, it is advisable to consume herbs and herbal products with care.
It is best to consume herbs under expert supervision of a physician or health care provider who is qualified and has vast knowledge of botanical medicine.
Kava tea is not recommended for pregnant and lactating women. Also, avoid drinking this tea if you are going to have a surgery as it can protract the impact of anaesthesia.