Taki MaiTaki Mai

By Zane Yoshida

How to Lower Blood Pressure the Natural Way

High blood pressure (hypertension) is a major health problem in most developed countries, and also in urban populations of many developing countries.

It can lead to heart problems such as stroke and disease, as well as to kidney disease: all leading causes of death in western populations. In the U.S. alone, around 75 million adults have the condition.

This is especially dangerous when coupled with rising rates of obesity, diabetes, as well as poorer diets, and lack of exercise.

With many people over-medicated, the search for natural ways to counter hypertension in place of prescription drugs is becoming more common. Though you should always check with your doctor or other health professional first, here are a few ideas for lowering blood pressure the natural way.

Exercise

No surprise here; regular exercise has a positive effect on many health problems, especially if you are overweight to begin with. A regular exercise program that includes initially light activities like walking should help you lose weight and get in shape, in the process helping to control blood pressure. As your body gets more accustomed to exercise, try stepping it up and getting a stronger cardio workout.

Chiropractic care

Did you think chiropractic care was just for spinal problems? In fact, it has been associated with improvements in a range of health conditions that surprise many people. If you’re looking for an alternative to ‘conventional’ medicine, try a natural approach that has been proven over many years.

Improve diet

No surprises here that diet is mentioned, but I’m not going to include the standard low-calorie, low fat foods. If you’re active enough, you will burn calories, but try to avoid too much processed food and especially highly refined sugar. Eat a balanced diet with more fresh fruit and vegetables and natural, whole foods, as this will help to boost metabolism.

Detox

Detoxing your body can be a great starting point for getting healthier and lowering blood pressure; it makes sense to flush out the toxins that have accumulated before you start to change diet and take up exercise. Find a plan that is focused on long-term health rather than merely short-term weight loss.

Drink more water and freshly-squeezed vegetable juice

If you can get your hands on organic vegetables and a juicer or blender, you have the keys to making delicious and healthy liquid foods. Whether it’s a carrot juice or a concoction of green vegetables you prefer, it can be a great way to supplement meals.  Additionally, drink plenty of water.

Take kava

You knew this one was coming, didn’t you? Kava has been shown in clinical tests to be effective in treating mild anxiety; stress can raise your blood pressure, so a little extra relaxation with some calming kava should have the opposite effect.

As well as kava, you might like to try valerian root; but here on Taki Mai we feel that we probably don’t need it

By Zane Yoshida

How To Chill Out When You Get Back To Work

With the New Year starting and many people returning to work after a long break, it can all get a bit much at times. How can you chill out in the office when all you want is to be watching your favourite movie on the couch, taking a swim, or enjoying a long, refreshing winter’s walk?

Whatever it is you’d rather be doing, there’s no need to stress out because of work. Here are a few tips for staying cool in the office:

  • Take frequent breaks

This first one is pretty obvious. Getting snowed under with work and stress is easy if you’re not prepared to walk away every now and again for a break.

There’s a point where trying to plod on will get you nowhere. Either take a walk outside, give yourself five at the water cooler, go kick a ball around, or shoot the breeze with a colleague for 10 minutes…the point is to divert your mind from the cause of the stress. It doesn’t really matter what you choose to do, but music is well-proven to be a great mood changer: try listening to your favourite song a couple of times before returning to your desk.

  • Do a little redecorating

Does your desk area delight you? Or is it just another reminder of how much you hate your job? If the latter then there could be deeper issues at play!

Even so, it’s worth changing things around a bit; put up some new pictures of your family or friends (unless they are the cause of your stress J) or of your favourite holiday destination. There are studies that show that staring at pictures of loved ones reduce pain and stress! Alternatively, pin up your favourite quotes to inspire you or make you laugh. Laughter is a great stress-reliever.

  • Meditate or do breathing exercises

The full health benefits of meditation are only just becoming known. It’s not for everybody but even if you sit quietly and close your eyes for 10 minutes and become more conscious of your breathing it will help relax you.

Shutting out the rest of the world for a few minutes and then returning to it refreshed and with a new perspective will help to calm those negative emotions.

  • Have your favourite brew at hand…

You know where I’m going with this! Whether it’s kava, green tea, coffee, chamomile tea, or Tibetan yak’s hair tea (Ok – I made that one up) it’s important to keep a brew handy for those moments when nothing else will do.

Of course, with the proven relaxing benefits of kava, most people reading this will have a kava shot or maybe even some instant kava at their side ready to mix up for a quick hit to bring tranquillity and calmness to a troubled mind.

Whatever way you choose to de-stress when you return to work, here’s hoping that 2017 will be healthy, profitable, and stress-free for you!

By Zane Yoshida

De-Stressing With Kava As We Head Into 2017!

For many people around the world, it’s been a really testing year. Anxiety-inducing events have arrived seemingly from all angles! De-stressing with kava is a great way to unwind and head into into 2017 with a relaxed, positive mindset, knowing that things will be better in the year ahead.

Let’s face it! There’s been plenty to get pulses racing, debates raging, and tempers rising this year.

From sporadic terrorist attacks throughout the year in Europe to the migrant crisis, the Brexit vote in the UK that still angers many, the ongoing war in Syria, and Trump being selected in the United States. People are voicing a lot of concern for the state of the planet as we head towards the New Year.

Whatever your political viewpoints, or your take on how world events have unfolded this year, there’s one thing certain: worrying too much about it isn’t going to solve anything.

We need to be relaxed, consider things with a clear and calm mind, and then make decisions to make sure that the planet, and all life on it, is better looked after in the coming year and beyond.

So what better time to enjoy kava?

Clarity, relaxation, and de-stressing with kava

Kava has been scientifically proven in clinical studies to help with mild anxiety. Beyond that, just observe the Fijian people in general, or understand how they have used kava for millennia to unwind in social situations, as well as ceremonially, and you get the picture of how kava can help the world.

In fact, just look at the picture above and you’ll get the message

The last thing we need is another energy drink in this fast-paced, heart-thumping, pulse-racing world of ours. Instead, we must head in the opposite direction and calm down.

Most people use various substances to help them relax – from a cup of coffee, to a glass of wine, to prescription medication, to illegal drugs.

The beauty of kava is that it de-stresses you without major side effects. There is no hangover and the mind does not become foggy – you stay sharp and capable of sound decision-making; and, unless you take too much, your motor skills are not impaired, so you can go about your daily business without too much concern.

So, what better way to deal with whatever the world throws at us in 2017 than with a Taki Mai flavoured kava shot or some instant kava made to perfection with Fijian farmed kava?!

By Zane Yoshida

Kava – The Nutraceutical

Kava has been called many things in its time. But the latest term, nutraceutical, can be a little confusing. So it’s time to clear up what that means.

Herb? Drug? Medicine? Natural Remedy?

What is kava?

Well, on the Web you’ll see it referred to as a herb, a drug (often mentioned in the same breath as kratom), a medicine, a drink, a supplement… so many different terms to describe the dried root that we know as kava.

The piper methysticum plant, from which kava is produced, is part of the pepper family (it literally means ‘intoxicating pepper’). It has been used for many centuries down through the ages across the Pacific islands, for recreational, ceremonial, and medicinal purposes.

But it has always been something of a challenge to describe exactly why its use is so widespread around the islands, its precise effects on users, and what category of products the root belongs to.

Kava as a nutraceutical

One of the latest tags to be tied to kava is ‘nutraceutical’.

The concept of a nutraceutical has existed since 1989, when the word ‘pharmaceutical’ was combined with ‘nutrition’ by the Foundation of Innovation Medicine.

It is essentially a pharmaceutical-grade and standardized nutrient or, in other words, a substance derived from a food source that is said to provide extra nutritional and health value. These substances are often associated with health benefits, such as helping with chronic diseases, slowing the ageing process, or increasing life expectancy.

Around the world, neutraceuticals are regulated in various ways by the Food and Drug administrators. Examples of nutraceuticals apart from kava, include chia seeds, turmeric, ginseng, garlic, and various vitamins and minerals.

The reason why kava is increasingly being considered a nutraceutical is because of its proven anxiety and stress-relieving properties. This is reflected in a recent article in the Fiji Times about the kava industry, which said this about kava’s growing reputation:

“There has been great interest in kava as a “nutraceutical”, a herbal alternative to pharmaceutical sleeping and anti-anxiety pills because of kava’s soporific and calming qualities.”

Nutraceuticals may be found in their raw, natural form or as tablets, capsules, gels, liquids, or powders.  As you may know, Taki Mai kava is now available as a shot, in powder (instant) form, or as capsules.

Enjoy your next shot of kava…whatever it’s called!

By Zane Yoshida

The 7 Best Places To Enjoy Kava

It’s a long way from the kava nurseries of Fiji to the health stores or supermarkets where you buy your kava from.

But kava is a good traveller. Above you see a Taki Mai kava shot at the Rugby 7s in Hong Kong. Kava can be enjoyed in many different locations, and below are seven places to enjoy kava in shot, capsule, or instant powder form…

In the locker room

Kava is an effective supplement for aiding muscle recovery. Rugby is a popular sport on the Pacific islands and many professional players enjoy kava to help their muscles regain strength and relieve tightness after a game; but anyone who exercises regularly will benefit from kava.

At the airport

Kava is a known stress and anxiety reliever; it acts as a natural tranquilizer, steadying nerves and inducing a feeling of well-being. This makes it ideal to take as a natural supplement to calm pre-flight or in-flight nerves.

At an event, conference, or meeting

Need to make a presentation? Or a speech? Fear of public speaking strikes many people, with nerves affecting performance. You can take kava to help ease nerves without disturbing mental clarity, so it’s ideal to take before a big meeting or presentation.

At the spa

Kava’s relaxation benefits are perfect for ‘getting in the mood’ for a spa treatment like a massage, or even for practicing yoga. It will help to relax the muscles and soothe the mind, ready for pampering yourself a little.

At the beach

What else could be more relaxing than lazing in the sun at the beach? The classic picture of enjoying kava in a hammock is well chosen; kava is associated with rest, relaxation, and getting you in the mood to take a well-deserved nap.

At home

Whether you like to take kava with family and guests, as a sleep-inducer before you go to bed, or just to wind down after a long day’s work, keeping a supply of kava in the most relaxing place of all – home – is a must for many Pacific islanders.

At any social gathering

On Fiji and many of the other Pacific islands, wherever you find a social gathering, you will also find the kava bowl. Kava is never enjoyed more than in the company of friends and loved ones.

Do you take somewhere else? The above places are just a few suggestions – but, with shots, capsules and powder available, you can enjoy kava almost anywhere on the planet.  Let us know in the comments section below…

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How to Lower Blood Pressure the Natural Way
How To Chill Out When You Get Back To Work
De-Stressing With Kava As We Head Into 2017!
Kava – The Nutraceutical
The 7 Best Places To Enjoy Kava