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By Zane Yoshida

Kava and Global Wellness

Kava is increasingly getting a positive name in the global wellness community as a supplement that can bring a variety of health benefits.

More positive mentions of kava in the first few weeks of 2017 have backed up strong interest in kava last year; all the indications are that the kava industry is on the upturn.

Workshops on kava

The New Zealand press recently reported that a workshop will be set up at the University of Waikato to investigate how kava culture is growing in the country. Interestingly, it is growing not just among the many Pacific islanders who have migrated to New Zealand, but also among other ethnic groups and “non Pasifika groups”.

Over 20,000 people enjoy kava every weekend in New Zealand and so the workshop will look at how kava is being used “as an alcohol substitute, stress reliever or sleep aid.”

Let’s look at each of those a little closer.

Kava as an alcohol substitute

If the number of kava bars opening in the US is anything to go by, then more people are turning to kava as a substitute for alcohol.

In fact, the Business Mirror reported recently in its story 2017 Trends: Wellness in the New Year:

 “As people move away from alcohol in 2017, a new social lubricator is taking its place. Kava root originates in the South Pacific and is still an important social ritual in many traditional cultures. The root powder is made into a beverage, and promotes mild feelings of euphoria, relaxation and happiness. Kava bars, although common in other areas of the world are starting to become trendy in North America, popping up in New York, Los Angeles, Miami just to name a few cities.”

It goes on to say:

“Because Kava’s effects are mild, and the hangover non-existent, it fits with the other trends in 2017 of move more towards an overall healthier lifestyle. It also is a good social lubricator and stress reliever, another plus when we consider the new trends moving towards less alcohol and more sobriety.”

Kava as a stress reliever

Clinical studies have shown that kava is a safe and effective treatment for mild and ‘generalized’ anxiety and more tests are currently underway.

For instance, a study led by Jerome Sarris in Australia, in 2011, found:

“The current weight of evidence supports the use of kava in treatment of anxiety with a significant result occurring in four out of six studies reviewed.”

These results are especially interesting given the harsh possible side effects of some commonly prescribed anti-anxiety medication.

Elsewhere, there are plenty of observational reports about the calming effects of kava. This one was included in a recent article entitled Buzzy Beverages: 3 Ancient Libations To Take The Edge Off Modern Times:

“kava lactones give this de-stress beverage its anti-anxiety, muscle relaxing and analgesic qualities. After my second cup of kava, my mouth felt tingly, I had warm, relaxed sensations in my body and was extremely content in the present moment.”

Kava as a sleep aid

Because of its relaxing effects on the body and the mind, kava is often equated with helping people sleep. There was good example of this recently in an article called 3 Natural Sleep Aids that Work:

“The plant’s roots have traditionally been known for their sedative and anaesthetic properties. The plant’s active ingredients are called kavalactones. Studies have shown kava to be effective in the treatment of tension and anxiety. If you take to bed with you the stresses of the day, kava can act as a welcome addition to your pre-bed rituals.”

Kava has an important part to play in global wellness. More positive articles appearing in the press about kava are an indication that the message is finally getting through…

By Zane Yoshida

Five Great Times To Enjoy Kava

When do you enjoy kava the most?

After a long day’s work in the comfort of your own home, alone with your thoughts? Or out in a kava bar surrounded by friends, family, or work colleagues, chatting about the events of the day and all the latest news?

Kava has become very versatile. No longer is lengthy preparation necessary. It’s available in shot, capsule, or powder form, so it can be taken anywhere you go, enjoyed in many different places, and at many different times.

Below are five times to enjoy kava, but we’re sure you can think of a few more…

Before studying

Kava relaxes you without affecting mental clarity. You can take it before a bout of studying, or while revising for exams, to relax you and soothe the mind, so that it can take more in. It may also calm your nerves before an exam, if you suffer from pre-exam stress.

After a workout

Aching muscles after a long workout or a big game? Kava is known to aid muscle recovery, and is used by people after exercise and even by some elite sportsmen after a game. Try it and see if it helps relieve your tight muscles.

Before flying

Many people are affected by flight-anxiety. Try taking kava before a flight, shortly after arriving at the airport, so that it calms your nerves and prepares you for the journey ahead. You should enjoy your flight – not be stressed by it!

Before yoga or massage

With their ability to provide mental and physical relief from tension, taking kava supplements before a massage or a yoga session is a great way to unwind and prepare you. Whether you have a weekly yoga class or an occasional massage at your local spa, kava shots or capsules tuck nicely into your bag.

Before bed

Kava will not make you immediately drowsy, but it is known to help with getting off to sleep and providing deeper sleep for people who take it an hour or two before bedtime. Unlike some sleeping pills, it does not make you feel drowsy the following day, so it’s a good natural alternative.

When else do you take kava? We’d be interested to know. Leave a comment…

By Zane Yoshida

Sweet Dreams With Kava?

Always wanted to get a picture of a cute sleeping puppy into a blog post! Bear with me – it’s relevant!

The SquareRut Kava Bar in Austin, Texas, is frequented by many University students, because of kava’s reputation for increasing mental prowess and focus while studying.

But, with kava being kava, it also has an almost reverse quality that many people crave. Rather than aiding mental clarity, they take it to send them to sleep – and to dream.

Scott Pingel, owner of The SquareRut Kava Bar says:

“It will relax you but make you more productive. Your dreams will be vivid and you’ll remember them.”

Kava’s sedative qualities

Kava is not technically a sedative, and may not be what you are looking for if you have serious insomnia. Sleep problems may be complicated and can be down to a wide variety of reasons – both physical and psychological.

However, kava is generally classified as hypnotic and is well-known to decrease anxiety, which is nearly always a hindrance to good sleep. The National Institutes of Health in the U.S. even suggests that kava may be as effective as benzodiazepines like Valium or Xanax (which are sedatives) for promoting calmness and rest.

This may explain many observational reports of kava users experiencing deeper sleep.

If we go back to its origins in the South Pacific, we also see that kava’s soothing, soporific effects have been used medicinally to treat sleeplessness for centuries. So you might like to try it as a safe and natural alternative to reaching for the sleeping pills.

Crazy dreams?

Kava has also developed a reputation for promoting vivid and bizarre dreams, as Scott Pingel suggests. If you scour the online forums there are plenty of stories of ‘crazy’ dreams from people who use kava – but in a positive way, not a negative way.

This is probably related to the fact that kava can induce deeper sleep – which is precisely when dreams tend to abound. We all dream – and the inability to remember dreams is what people often mean they say ‘I don’t dream’.

But with kava, the general consensus (without any scientific proof, mind) is that people can recall their dreams better.

Having trouble sleeping? That puppy’s not! Try a few of our kava shots and you might just sleep a little deeper and remember more of your dreams!

By Zane Yoshida

Kava: Mental Clarity For Students

Mental clarity, good rest, stress and anxiety relief – hmmm, let’s have a little think about who could benefit from all that.

Well, I guess many of us – but in particular, one group that seems to be catching the kava craze is students.

Things can get pretty stressful for high school and college students at this time of year. We’re coming up to exam time in the U.S. and Europe, so mental clarity is essential for good performance.

A legal and safe alternative to alcohol

Of course, students are famed for their ability to socialise, which often involves intoxication in one form or another. It seems to be a rite of passage for many students – but hangovers and exams are a very poor combination.

Drinking heavily during exam time is seen by some students as a way to deal with the stress – but it does absolutely nothing for mental clarity.

Kava is a natural and safe alternative to alcohol that comes with no health warning; there is no hangover and it can actually aid mental clarity, so it could be a great accompaniment when you are revising for an exam.

It also aids sleep, so it can help you get a good night’s rest before an exam.

Kava bars and Taki Mai take aways!

There is probably a kava bar somewhere near you – as many of these alternatives to ‘standard’ bars and pubs are opening up around the country.

But what do you do when you need a shot of mental clarity while studying?

Taki Mai 3oz kava shots are just the right size to give you a kava ‘hit’ that sharpens your mind and relaxes you at the same time. The troubles of the world will ebb away while you focus only on what you need to learn; keeping a six pack in your fridge could be your little ‘secret’ during exam time!

Fijians and other South Pacific islanders have used kava for thousands of years to relax and ease stress. While it is usually used in a social setting, Taki Mai shots allow you to feel the chill anywhere, anytime.

Good luck with your exams!

Kava and Global Wellness
Five Great Times To Enjoy Kava
Sweet Dreams With Kava?
Kava: Mental Clarity For Students