Kava is not a drink that was created just to make people feel good, even though that does happen. There are many uses of kava. For thousands of years, kava has been a tradition in the cultures of the South Pacific Islands.
Fiji, Polynesia, Hawaii, Vanuatu, Samoa and Melanesia are some of the Islands that are immersed in kava history. Over the years, the Pacific Islanders have adapted the purposes of drinking it as they have learned more about kava's benefits.
The traditional uses of kava include medicinal, religious and cultural reasons. Drinking kava for social reasons was also quite popular, but not in all cultures. Some of the Island cultures, however, did use kava for all the purposes listed.
The purposes of kava today are similar in that the more learned, the more useful it can be. Kava purposes are just as important as its ingredients and preparation methods.
Discovering the intent behind the use of kava can help you understand how it can benefit you today.
Spiritual Uses of Kava
Kava is used in religious rites to seek enlightenment. Kava offers easy relaxation physically while heightening mental clarity.
In Vanuatu, men drink kava, not women. They believe that the Gods favor those who keep rules such as the divisions among men and women.
Also in Vanuatu, Chiefs and leaders are the first to take a drink of kava due to their status in their culture.
In Hawaii, all religious and spiritual ceremonies involve drinking kava, either before or after the event. The rituals are held to seek favor from the Gods. They would seek favor in any endeavor, from farming to marriages.
In Fiji today, many religious ceremonies include kava drinking. Afterwards, the ceremony is complimented by a more traditional service. And in more remote areas of the Pacific Islands, there is a small following who pray to John Frum, whom islanders claim will return one day with items they need.
Every year on February 15, Islanders celebrate John Frum Day with a kava drinking ceremony.
Over thousands of years, kava is a positive therapeutic way to ease into relaxation and reduce tension. It has a relaxing effect on people who drink it. Kava also helps to elevate mood and an overall peaceful feeling for those who drink it.
Because it reduces everyday tension and promotes relaxtion, Kava may help some have a more restful sleep. It also causes some people to feel less of everyday stress. This is beneficial because stress is linked to several health problems.
Kava can relax muscles, ease tensions and make it easier to focus on what you need.
Kava has also shown to compliment alternative therapies such as yoga and meditation. It does so because when your muscles are relaxed and your mind is clear, you can reach a higher level of therapeutic benefits.
Social Uses of Kava
One of the most popular uses of kava is to reduce inhibitions and make a person feel sociable. Some compare it to alcohol but not because of the way it makes you feel. Alcohol literally alters the brain, interferes with good decision-making skills, and can lead to dehydration and hangovers.
Alcohol can make people feel more comfortable in social settings. Therefore, some link it to kava.
However, alcohol can make you slur your words and stagger when you walk.
Kava, on the other hand, can make you feel more sociable, but it does not interfere with brain or body functions.
People who struggle with anti-social behaviors can benefit from the use of kava. One Tongan professor states most cultures today are rushed and unable to truly connect with others. Many are feeling overwhelmed, sad and stressed.
Kava can give you that brief time to calm the mind and body, reflect on what is happening in your life, and interact with others in a happy state of mind.
The culture surrounding kava is deep. Many cultures treat kava like a peace pipe. Meaning, people drink it before important meetings among important people. Cultural beliefs suggest kava makes it hard for anyone to be angry or feel negative emotions.
The cultural standards vary among every place where people use kava. Only the leaders can drink kava on some islands, while both men and women are able to drink it in other places.
A major piece of culture is the artifact people use in the drinking rituals. The kava bowl and coconut shells are very important parts of the kava drinking experience.
Accessibility to Quality
In this modern society, kava drinking is still popular. And in places where it is recently being introduced, it is becoming more than a trend. It is becoming a routine for those seeking temporary periods of relaxation. Also for those who wish to find better ways to socialize.
Kava bars are an excellent place for people to get the full experience and uses of kava. They also offer a social setting that is much more inviting than the typical bar, where music is loud and it is hard to get to know someone.
Kava bar owners take the lighting, sound levels, seating, food and drink into consideration. They create an environment conducive with the effects of kava, not contradictory of kava.
Today, Noble Kava is the only legally exported kava. There is another kind of kava, tudei kava, that is exported illegally. It can give adverse reactions to those who drink it.
Reputable sellers of kava will never try to sell tudei kava. Whether you are purchasing kava online, in a store or in a kava bar, they will only offer noble kava varieties. These varieties usually come in the forms of teas, powders or supplements.
Noble kava is made from the highest quality kava roots. Noble kava has been put through years of testing by farmers or harvesters. They have sorted out the roots that give you negative reactions, including nausea or vomiting, and cultivated the best, which they call noble.
No matter what your purpose is for drinking kava, make sure you get the best quality. Don’t take a chance on having undesirable reactions when you can avoid them. You deserve the best when serving your medicinal, spiritual, social or cultural uses of kava.