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Kava Kava;**

Kava Kava is an herbal derived from roots of the plant Piper methysticum (“intoxicating Pepper” plant), a member of the pepper family found in the Western and South Pacific.  More commonly referred to simply as “kava” (bitter), it has been used for centuries as a recreational and ceremonial drink in Oceania.  It is prepared from the roots of the plant which are ground into a fine pulp to which water is added.  The active ingredients are kavapyrones, which have effects similar to alcohol, such as relaxation, talkativeness, and euphoria, while reportedly maintaining mental clarity.  For these reasons, kava has been proposed to be anxiolytic and used in patients with anxiety disorders and as treatment for insomnia, premenstrual syndrome and stress.  Kava appears to have an abuse potential, but it is rare with conventional doses.

Kava Kava (Piper methysticum) has been used as a ceremonial drink in the Pacific Islands for hundreds of years. It has been reported to have an intoxicating effect .

The roots are chewed or ground into a pulp and added to cold water. The resulting thick brew, which has been compared to the social equivalent of wine in France, is offered to guests and dignitaries visiting the Pacific Islands.

In addition to its ceremonial uses, kava is best known for its relaxing qualities. Kava is said to elevate mood, wellbeing, and contentment, and produce a feeling of relaxation. Several studies have found that kava may be useful in the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, and related nervous disorders.

The traditional ritual uses of kava include the kava ceremonies as well as the use of the plant for magical purposes. The more original kava ceremonies are especially well documented in the ethnographic literature and still exist, in the same or at least a similar form, in Fiji, Samoa, and Vanuatu.

Kava Kava is an aphrodisiac herb, and a visionary herb. Kava Kava improves access to the subconscious and helps one to remember lucid dreams. Pacific Islanders say the awareness invoked by Kava brings one into communion with the gods and ancestors.

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