Taki MaiTaki Mai

By Zane Yoshida

Big 2017 Predicted for the Kava Industry

It’s not just us at Taki Mai who are predicting good things for the kava industry in the year ahead.

We said it a lot in 2016: despite the devastation of Cyclone Winston, the kava industry is heading in the right direction, getting its ‘house’ in order and starting to take the right measures to protect the industry for the longer term, as demand increases overseas.

Now one of the major authorities in the retail food trade is saying it too…

The Shelby Report: Whole Foods Market 2017 Trends Forecast

The Shelby Report is one of the foremost voices in the retail food industry in the US and is distributed nationwide, with five monthly regional print and digital editions. It is an educational resource targeted at everyone from manufacturers and wholesalers to independent and chain stores.

And this giant of the industry just released its Whole Foods Market Trends Forecast for 2017. This is compiled by the Whole Foods Market’s global buyers and experts and includes everything from trends in wellness beverages through to condiments and particular food colours that are going to be popular.

We’re delighted to see that, alongside the likes of coconut and Japanese condiments, kava got a big mention as one of the products to watch in 2017.

Here’s what the report said about the rising popularity of wellness toniocs:

Wellness Tonics: The new year will usher in a new wave of tonics, tinctures and wellness drinks that go far beyond the fresh-pressed juice craze. The year’s hottest picks will draw on beneficial botanicals and have roots in alternative medicine and global traditions.

Buzzed-about ingredients include kava, Tulsi/holy basil, turmeric, apple cider vinegar, medicinal mushrooms (like reishi and chaga) and adaptogenic herbs (maca and ashwagandha). Kor Organic Raw Shots, Suja Drinking Vinegars and Temple Turmeric Elixirs are just a few products leading the trend.

There it is in black and white: kava is a “buzzed-about ingredient”.

No argument from us… let’s keep the buzz going and make 2017 a huge one for the kava industry and Taki Mai.

Happy New Year to all our readers…have a relaxing, stress-free 2017 full of all the good things.

Kava shot anyone?

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

Effects of Kava and Alcohol this Festive Period

It’s that time of year all around the world when Christmas and New Year parties are in full swing.

On the Pacific islands kava drinking levels tend to go through the roof as families and friends get together.

Elsewhere around the world, the festivities are celebrated in different ways, but in much of the developed world, over-eating, over-drinking and not enough exercise are a common outcome for large numbers of people.

Not to put too much of a dampener on things, but the New Year is certainly a hard time for the liver too. That got us thinking about the differing attitudes to liver damage from kava and alcohol, as well as medications.

Alcohol & liver damage

Alcohol is a leading cause of liver disease in the world – and has been linked to hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis and steatosis (fatty liver).

It is know that prolonged and excessive consumption of alcohol dramatically increases the risk of liver damage and disease, but the exact reasons are not fully understood.

Most alcohol will pass through the liver and be detoxified in the process, but it is believed that the secretion of pro-inflammatory substances in the livers of heavier alcohol users causes inflammation, apoptosis and eventually fibrosis of liver cells. However it is also known that much of the damage can be reversed, because of the liver’s amazing regenerative powers.

The point remains that, even given the wealth of evidence connecting alcohol and liver damage, there is never any debate on bans or clear labeling of the proven health risks on bottles and cans.

Prescription and non-prescription drugs & liver damage

Nonprescription and prescription drugs are easily the most frequent cause of acute liver failure in USA. The FDA reports that half the cases of acute liver failure each year are due to drugs – and almost half of these cases are caused by over-the-counter medications.

It is widely suspected that numbers are under-estimated because doctors often miss the diagnosis leading to under-reporting of cases.

This can mean that some medications stay on the market far too long before being investigated and eventually withdrawn, potentially increasing the risks to users.

Kava & liver damage

During the 1990s people in the west had started to use kava for anxiety and stress relief and to promote sleep especially. There were reports from Europe at the beginning of the millennium about cases of liver toxicity involving kava in dietary supplements.

This led to a kava ban which still affects the kava trade of the South Pacific nations like Fiji and Vanuatu to this day.

It is suspected that the cases that led to the ban were not from usage of kava in the traditional drink form, where only the prized roots of the kava plant are prepared with cold water, and then drunk. It is widely suspected that either:

-Other parts of the plant may have been used

-Preparation of the kava may have involved alcohol or other additives as well as water

-The kava supplement may have been taken in combination with other substances that could have put extra strain on the liver (e.g. alcohol or  tranquilising/anti-depressant drugs like Valium or Prozac)

In any case, the number of cases of liver toxicity in the South Pacific, where the kava is prepared in the traditional way, is negligible – and that applies over many centuries of usage.

Don’t mix the drinks!

Some sound advice would be to think of your liver this festive period. Don’t mix drinks that will put extra strain on your liver. A combination of kava and alcohol, with rich foods and perhaps some medications, is going to put a heavy load on your liver.

Bear in mind that, compared with alcohol and some medications, the potential threat from kava usage on its own is minuscule.

You should be able to enjoy a kava shot or two this festive period, safe in the knowledge that you are much less at risk of liver damage than if you take some other common substances that do not have any health warnings associated with them.

Big 2017 Predicted for the Kava Industry
De-Stressing With Kava As We Head Into 2017!
Kava and Christmas Cake?
Effects of Kava and Alcohol this Festive Period