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Fresh Kava Root

Fresh Kava RootConsumers today are fortunate to have access to a wide range of convenient kava products, such as drink mixes, root powders, readymade tinctures and even kava pills. Why, then, are we posting an article encouraging you to try out fresh kava root? Though it may be an old-fashioned and labor-intensive way to enjoy kava, using fresh kava root has advantages that make the extra effort worthwhile. By buying the fresh root, you’re more likely to get a potent kava product that may also be tastier than the dried product. It’s much harder to tell if a dried kava root or root powder has been harvested recently; it could be several weeks old when you receive it, which is going to have a negative effect on the product’s potency. With fresh kava root, you’ll know it was harvested from the living plant only a short while ago, resulting in incomparable potency and an experience closer to what people enjoy in the South Pacific.

Buying kava root fresh also renders benefits to small kava farmers: suppliers of fresh kava root usually contract directly with farmers, so you won’t have to worry about most of your money going to middlemen rather than the kava growers themselves. Many kava-farming operations are small family-owned businesses that have been around for generations. Small farms are also the best to buy from if you’re looking for a single kava strain with specific effects: kava powders and drink mixes might use more than one strain of the root; this isn’t always best if you want to use kava for a very specific effect, like treating insomnia or relieving anxiety, as different kava strains tend to have different effects. By buying fresh kava root, you’ll ensure you’re getting a single strain.

Kava taken in any form acts as an anxiolytic and tranquilizer, social lubricant, and euphoric herb. At low doses, kava promotes sociability, eases shyness and may stimulate interesting conversation; greater amounts of kava brew can lead to sedation, introspection, and eventual deep sleep, sometimes accompanied by beautiful dreams. Because of kava’s tranquilizing effects, many people use it to treat anxiety at low doses and insomnia at slightly higher doses. Again, the advantage of working with fresh kava root is that it will likely be of higher potency, and thus have more reliable and pronounced effects, than dried material that is older and has had time to decrease in potency.

Fresh Kava Root

Don’t let this happen to you! Fresh kava root can offer relief for chronic insomnia.

No matter what form of kava you work with, one easy way to determine if you’ve got a potent batch is to see if the brew causes the membranes of your tongue and mouth to become slightly numb: numbing of the mucus membranes is considered a classic sign of the high presence of kavalactones, which may be activated by coming into contact with saliva when you consume kava. Note that this won’t occur with kava capsules because the plant material doesn’t come into contact with the inside of your mouth.

Finally, fresh kava root may just taste better than the dried variety! The younger lateral root of the kava plant is known for its sweet taste compared to the plant’s older taproot. This difference in taste is probably due to a variable concentration of kavalactones in the lateral versus vertical kava root. Furthermore, when kava root is dried it may subtly change the chemical constituents in the finished product, resulting in a sharper, bitterer taste than root that is brewed when fresh. Slowly sun drying the younger lateral root is another way to create a sweeter finished product. Also, some strains of kava, such as Tongan kava and Hawaiian Mahakea kava, are sweeter than others; by buying fresh kava root direct from farms, you can try out single strains and discover which you prefer in terms of both taste and effects.

We’ve included a sample preparation method you can use to whip up a fresh kava root brew to try for yourself: first of all, you’ll want to use fresh, not frozen kava root pulp; about 300 grams of root pulp equal a gallon of prepared kava brew, so measure your proportions of water to root pulp accordingly.

Put your fresh pulp into a nylon or muslin strainer bag, and place the bundle in a large bowl— this will be your kava serving bowl, so make sure it’s big enough to hold the full volume of brew you want to make. Pour your measured amount of cold water over the strainer bag and into the bowl without letting any root material escape. As you squeeze the fresh kava root inside its strainer bag, note that the water in the surrounding bowl should get cloudy: this is a sign you are extracting kavalactones into the brew. There are traditionally approved ways to squeeze kava root in this extraction process: remember that you’re not just making a chemical extraction, but also releasing the spirit or essence of the kava into the brew. Some respectful methods of extraction include braiding the bag into a helix from the top down, mashing and massaging it between your hands, and at the end, doubling the bag over itself to get out those last drops of kava juice.

After your brew is a nice opaque brown or tan, take a smaller bowl (this will be your serving bowl) and stir the brew around. Scoop out a bowlful of liquid and pour it back a few times. This will ensure that the brew stays fresh tasting and will prevent root sediment from settling to the bottom.

There you have it: with a little bit of time and hands-on preparation, you can make a brew at home using fresh kava root that’s every bit as potent and tasty as the brews enjoyed in the South Pacific!

Kona Kava

Kona Kava Like the famous Hawaiian-grown Kona coffee, Kona kava is also becoming popular both in its home state and worldwide due to its smooth taste and reliable, surprisingly potent effects. Small family-owned kava farms such as the eponymous Kona Kava Farm, one of our personal favorite vendors, grow and ship kava from Kona and the surrounding area to meet demand on the Big Island, the United States and worldwide. Today, Kona kava vendors have built up a healthy reputation for having some of the most effective and palatable kava around.

Kona Kava Farm is located on the verdant slopes of the Hualalai Mountains just outside Kona, a fertile region that offers primo volcanic soil and a warm, moist microclimate conducive for growing kava. This prosperous area also has long supported growers of coffee and macadamia nuts, two other valuable Hawaiian crops. Some of the oldest family farms have a history of ownership going back generations; in some cases before the Hawaiian Islands became a United States territory. The micronutrient-rich soil of the Hualalai range is so nutritious that it eliminates the need for fertilizers and pesticides, allowing Kona kava farmers to turn out an organic product at lower cost than in other kava-growing regions.

Kona kava farmers have been providing the world with lovingly grown organic kava for years, often from plants that are decades old, which if you know your kava makes for quite a high concentration of potent kavalactones in their roots! By carefully sun-drying the lateral roots (known to be the best-tasting and most potent part of the plant), small-batch Kona kava farms have also managed to create an unexpectedly palatable version of kava: root extracts and powders from kava plants grown on Kona farmland often taste earthy and slightly sweet in our experience, with no bitterness at all. We like it fine just mixed into a little water, or milk if you prefer a richer flavor.

So, how does the kava Kona farmland turns out differ from kava grown elsewhere? Kava is thought to have originated somewhere in the Pacific Islands— possibly Vanuatu, which is often cited as the island that has the greatest diversity of kava, and also produces some of the most potent kava available. However, Hawaiian strains such as Kona kava tend to be sweeter due to the unique ratio of kavalactones found in Hawaiian varieties. Furthermore, many kavasseurs we’ve spoken to attest they find Kona kava just as potent as Vanuatu kava, as well as being a lot more palatable.

If you’ve ever been to a kava bar in the United States, or ordered from a U.S.-based vendor, chances are you’ve already had some experience with the kava kava Hawaii grows— and for some users, there’s no need to try kava from any father afield! Users often decide they prefer Hawaiian “awa” to other strains of kava because it combines a milder flavor with stronger effects than some South Pacific kava strains. While potent, Vanuatu kava can often be strongly bitter, definitely not an easy brew to swallow for a kava first-timer. Furthermore, some strains of kava may taste milder but have diminished effects: for instance, studies on Fijian kava suggest that this strain produces roots with a lower concentration of kavain and dihydrokavain, two kavalactones that play a central role in generating kava’s powerful anxiolytic action.

In contrast, with organic Kona kava, you’ll get the best of both worlds: a high-potency and palatable (even tasty!) strain of kava shipped right to you from the lush mountains of the 50th state! Whether you prefer the whole dried root, a convenient drink mix or tincture form, or even if you want to try out the ultra-potent luxury grade “waka” kava, Kona kava vendors can provide!

84 Kavalactone Paste

84 Kavalactone PasteWhere does the 84 in 84 kavalactone paste come from, you ask? Simple: the 84 tells you you’re getting one of the most potent and highly concentrated kavalactone pastes available, one that is approximately 84% active kavalactones by weight. 84 kavalactone paste is a highly versatile and stable way to enjoy kava which can be eaten on its own or combined with a cold kava brew or tea to savor its enhanced effects. The best 84 kavalactone paste is made using a supercritical CO2 extraction method that leaves behind no acetone or other poisonous residues, only a golden kava paste with effects of unusual duration and potency.

84 kavalactone paste is a premium product that requires a lot of intensive factory processing and a large amount of raw starting material to produce: on average, 100 kilograms of finished 84 kavalactone paste takes more than a ton of raw kava root to produce! Due to the need for specialized equipment and a large amount of starting material in its preparation, an ounce of 84 kavalactone paste will definitely cost you more than the same amount of whole or powdered root. However, what you get for the higher price is a concentrated preparation of kava that is like no other in terms of potency, ease of use, and versatility. Furthermore, because it’s so concentrated, a one-ounce supply of 84 kavalactone paste will last you a lot longer than a much larger amount of dried powder or whole root: one pea-sized serving of 84 kavalactone paste on its own is enough to generate mild psychoactivity, including calming and mood-elevating effects. If one dollop doesn’t work for you, you can try two or three— just be sure not to exceed the FDA’s approved limit of five pea-sized servings in 24 hours.

A concentrated paste basically has a higher amount of the kava root’s active compounds, so you can expect the general effects of 84 kavalactone paste to align with those gained from a kava tea or brew: users of the 84 kavalactone paste report feeling a sense of calm and well-being pervade them, along with a notable physical relaxation that makes this concentrated kava paste a great stress reliever. Some people who’ve tried kavalactone paste also assert that it causes more pronounced physical relaxation for them compared to a brew or other infusion. A concentrated 84 kavalactone paste or kava brew will each be stronger in their effects than kava capsules, which usually have only 60 to 150 milligrams of kavalactones and are mostly used as a sleep aid.

You can try out 84 kavalactone paste in a variety of ways, the easiest being to simply eat a pea-sized dollop of the paste on its own. However, if you decide you don’t care for the taste (which can be strong), you can also choose to encapsulate the kavalactone paste using a capsule machine, or dissolve the concentrated paste in water or milk and add ingredients like honey or chocolate to improve the flavor. For the adventurous or seasoned “kavasseur”, a touch of 84 kavalactone paste may be used to spike a kava beverage made from the powdered root or a drink mix, in order to enhance the drink’s relaxing and euphoric effects. Adding a dollop of kavalactone paste to any kava drink will shorten the time between ingestion and the onset of the drink’s effects, as well as deepen sensations of mellowness and physical relaxation. Some people also take 84 kavalactone paste as a kind of booster dose, eating a dollop or so of the concentrated paste a few hours after drinking a kava brew in order to prolong its psychoactive effects.

Used in moderation, we believe that 84 kavalactone paste can be a safe and versatile way to enjoy kava either for the first time or as a returning kavasseur. Just remember never to combine kava in any form with alcohol or other drugs that have a depressant effect on the central nervous system, in order to prevent harmful interactions. Like any good kava preparation, 84 kavalactone paste has the power to relax you in social situations, promote calm, and may even induce mild euphoria, all without hampering your speech or thoughts. So give this beautiful golden paste a try; we bet you’ll be happy with the results.

Where To Buy Kava

Beautiful Kava KavaThe age of the internet has brought along with it many truly amazing things, including unprecedented access to information and the ability to begin to determine for ourselves what constitutes good food, medicine, health, and so forth.  Every day, people are opening up more and more to the many options that herbal remedies offer them for self-healing.  As part of this movement, people are beginning to discover the wonderful healing properties of my favorite plant, kava (or ‘awa, as we call it in Hawaii!).  However, another aspect of the boom of the internet is that is can be confusing to figure out where to buy kava.  The purpose of this article is to provide you with some background on kava and kava production, and to provide you with the tools you will need to figure out where best to buy kava kava.

The first and most important thing to consider when buying kava is the level of quality of the kava you are purchasing.  You may have heard rumors or statements from the news media stating that kava is dangerous and that it can cause liver damage.  You may also have heard about a number of cases of kava related liver failure that occurred in Germany some years ago, which caused the EU to ban the medicine for some time. However, the essential thing to understand is that in many plants, alkaloid concentrations vary widely in different parts of the plant.

In the case of kava, the roots, specifically the lateral roots, contain the highest concentrations of kavalactones and other beneficial alkaloids.  On the other hand, the leaves and stems contain fewer beneficial alkaloids, and a great deal more toxins.  We know for a fact that the kava that was used in the German liver failure cases was prepared using kava stems and leaves.  As any native Pacific islander will tell you, you should NEVER consume the stems and leaves of kava.  So, this was a situation where tradition was disregarded in favor of profit, and the results were, as expected, awful.  With this in mind, it is VERY important that when you go to purchase kava, you figure out where to buy kava kava that has ONLY been prepared from roots, and that has been prepared primarily from lateral roots.  Ideally, you are going to want kava that is prepared using a ratio of 10% underground roots and 90% lateral roots – this will get you the most potent and the safest kava, and it also indicates that the kava is being harvested sustainably. If you are still uncertain, check out more factual information on kava safety.

Another important consideration in finding the best kava kava is the strain of kava you are purchasing.  Kava has been cultivated by man for many thousands of years, and it is generally the more traditional strains that are the safest.  After all, people have been working with these older strains for a very long time in complete safety, so we don’t need a scientific study to prove that they are safe – we already have tons of data on the subject. It is best to buy kava that is from a non-hybridized strain, such as Mahakea or Borogu.  These strains are predictable in their safety and potency, and their effects on the human body have been well documented.  Hybrid strains such as Tue Dai kava have not been so well-studied, and although these strains can be very potent, it is possible that they create unsafe combinations of alkaloids when consumed.  You want to figure out where to buy kava that is of a specific strain, which the company should specifically list on their website.

Another good way to figure out where to buy kava kava is to consider where the kava itself is coming from.  A reputable company will not only let you know what strain and root composition their kava is made from, they will provide information about the kava farm that supplies them.  One of the best things you can do when trying to buy kava online is to locate a company that sells kava direct from their own farm.  This way, you cut out the middle man, and you know that the kava is being harvested, processed and shipped out quickly.  Kava farms ship out lots of kava to various places, meaning that they have a very high turnover rate, and that if you buy kava from them, you will be sure to get a fresher and more potent product!

Finally, its best to buy kava from a company that seems to have a true connection and deep knowledge of the plant.  Like any plant medicine, kava deserves a great deal of respect as a healer and teacher.  A good kava vendor will not only be selling kava, but will provide information on the many uses of kava as a medicine and will provide contact information in case you have any questions about your purchase.  No matter where you decide to buy kava, if you follow these guidelines, you’re sure to end up with a high quality product that will provide you with just the healing properties that you desire!

If you still want to learn more about kava and its traditional use, check out the following 1998 video of a Royal Kava ceremony in Tonga.  This will give you a great feeling for the true flavor of a traditional kava ceremony!

Buy Kava Tea

Kava Kava LeavesTo begin this discussion of kava tea preparation, it is important first to point out that the term ‘kava tea’ is somewhat of a misnomer.  It is used fairly commonly simply because there isn’t really an equivalent term in English to describe the brew that is made out of kava.  The term ‘kava tea’ often causes confusion, because those looking to buy kava tea often think that they are purchasing a plant product that should be steeped in hot water in order to achieve maximum effects.  This is actually quite far from the truth.

Although it is possible to buy kava tea bags (which also contain other herbs) which can be steeped liked normal tea, the vast majority of kava products available for purchase online should not be exposed to temperatures of over 140 degrees Fahrenheit.  However, most teas must be steeped at 180 degrees or more over five minutes!  That’s more than enough time to destroy all of the kavalactones, the most important desirable active alkaloids in kava. The most important thing when you get your kava is to NOT steep it in boiling hot water – you won’t have a particularly interesting experience if you do this!

Rather than looking for places to buy kava tea, if you want to have an authentic kava experience, look to buy kava root. The kava root is where the potent active ingredients of the plant are concentrated.  It is also the only part of the plant that is not poisonous. If you’ve ever heard stories about people suffering liver damage from kava, this is because they consumed kava that utilized stems and peelings, which indigenous peoples have known for thousands of years contain toxins and should not be consumed.

When you buy kava root, you are going to want to prepare a beverage with it, but it won’t be hot kava root tea.  Rather, what the term kava tea is really referring to is the process of preparing a cold kava root extraction.  Water, milk, soy milk or soy lethicin, coconut milk, or any other similar liquid can be used for extracting kava.  The ideal liquid to use in your cold kava root tea is going to be something with fat in it, as this will pull out more of the active ingredients. So, cow milk, almond milk, coconut milk and so forth are the perfect bases to use for your kava extraction!  Simply put several teaspoons of kava in a muslin bag or other fine mesh strainer and place in the liquid.  Let soak for a few minutes, and then squeeze the liquid out of the kava root and put in the compost. Then you can sit back and relax with your cold kava tea, and enjoy the calming effects it brings.

To get an idea of the energy of traditional kava ceremonies in Hawaii, check out the following short video.  This should give you a sense of how kava is consumed and venerated by our people!

Now, many people are completely satisfied with drinking cold kava beverages.  However, many other people, especially those who enjoy kava regularly for its healing properties in treating anxiety, muscle relaxation or tension relief, eventually find themselves looking for novel new ways to prepare kava.  After all, when you buy kava root, you will find that the flavor is quite spicy and complex – potentially tasty, but definitely an acquired taste.

Fortunately, it is possible to buy kava root that is blended with various delicious flavors.  You can find instant kava drink mixes that taste of chocolate and banana, cinnamon, and many other great flavors, and you can also purchase kava chai which are blended with delicious, exotic spices to create a truly bracing and relaxing beverage.  These drink mixes can be blended with any number of other ingredients to create delicious and relaxing kava cocktails, smoothies and milkshakes.  Kava recipes can be found in many places on the internet, so you never have to get bored!

If, after all of this, you are still longing after a beautiful hot cup of relaxing kava tea, we have found some new information that indicates that kava may be heated to a certain point without significantly decreasing its effectiveness!  Our friend over at kava.com received a number of comments from readers mentioned heating kava significantly, even making syrup out of it, and still noticing pretty intense positive effects.  This prompted the author to carry out some experiments on heating kava. You can read more about it in the article on Boiling and Baking with Kava, but essentially, the author gently heated kava in with coconut milk, soy lecithin and herbal tea for varying amounts of time. He discovered that even when heated up to 60 minutes, the effects of the kava were still present! (He does mention, however, that heating the kava past fifteen minutes created a very bitter, unpleasant taste).

Then, the author tried boiling the kava tea (at a temperature of about 210 degrees Fahrenheit).  This process didn’t seem to decrease the strength of the kava when it was only boiled for five minutes, although the effects did decrease after fifteen minutes of boiling. So, in other words, it seems as if the kavalactones in kava can be heated at around 140 degrees Fahrenheit for quite some time without losing potency, and that they can even be boiled at temperatures much above that for short periods of time!  So, in other words, as long as you are careful and follow these guidelines, you CAN make hot kava tea, chai or hot chocolate without losing the potency of the kava!

Interestingly, the author also tried making kava brownies, but found that baking the kava did not allow any of its beneficial effects remain.  This is probably because, when baking, the kava would have been exposed to temperatures of over 300 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 20 minutes.  If you are interested in baking with kava, your best bet is to search online for some raw food recipes that contain chocolate – then, blend your kava powder or paste with the chocolate and use in the recipe as usual. This should create a kava dessert that will pack quite a punch!

Hopefully this article will assist you in creating different delicious kava beverages once you buy kava root.  If you follow the guidelines in this article, you should be able to enjoy kava in any number of different amazing ways with no loss of potency!

Aloha no,

Buy Kava Kava

Buy Kava KavaLooking to buy kava kava can be a pretty confusing, perhaps even an overwhelming task.  There are an incredible number of websites online that sell all sorts of kava in all sorts of different forms, but finding the best kava kava can be a somewhat difficult task.  You can buy kava capsules, kava concentrates, kava powder, instant kava drinks, and many other different varieties of kava.  To make it even more confusing, you can buy kava from farms in Hawaii, Fiji, Vanuatu, and many other parts of the world.   All of these factors can make the seemingly simple task of finding the best place to buy kava kava incredibly daunting and confusing.

We know that you are looking to buy the best kava at the best possible price.  We feel that it is our responsibility to offer you only the most reliable sources of this increasingly popular plant medicine.  We have created this website as a resource for those people who are looking to buy kava online and who want to make sure that they receive only the best possible products!

The first thing to consider when looking to buy kava is what sort of products you are interested in.  As mentioned above, there are an incredible number of kava products available online.  This can be a source of confusion, but it also means that there is a kava product out there for every taste and preference, so you are bound to find one that suits you!

To begin with, of course, one can choose to buy kava kava that is extremely traditional.  Unless you live in a tropical paradise you probably don’t have access to fresh kava root, which is what is used in traditional kava ceremonies, but you can get the second best thing by purchasing dried kava root powder.  If you buy kava root powder, you can prepare it in a traditional method by placing  about two ounces of the kava powder in a muslin bag or other cloth strainer.  Place this in a bowl containing about three cups of water.  Then squeeze and knead the powder in the bag for a few minutes until the water takes on a very milky white color.  This is the most traditional method of kava preparation that you can use if you buy kava kava root powder, and it will leave you with a brew that is very effective and that will taste very similar to a traditional kava beverage.

If, on the other hand, you are looking for a kava kava buy that will provide you with a quick fix when you need a boost, you may want to considering buying kava in capsule form.  You can purchase kava root powder capsules, or kava extract capsules in various potencies.  This allows you to determine for yourself what strength of kava you would like to take.  You can also purchase a capsule form of kava that has been blended with a variety of other herbs to produce a relaxing and uplifting effect.  Our favorite kava blend capsules are Kavalovetone capsules.  These capsules are a combination of dried kavalactone macerate and fifteen other wonderful herbal extracts.  These include chamomile, hops, lemon balm, passion flower, valerian, ginseng, and others!  These capsules produce a truly unique and pleasant effect, so if you want to buy kava kava in capsule form, you might want to give these a try!

Another very convenient form of kava that you may want to look in to is the kavalactone paste.  Kavalactone pastes are kava root extracts that can be extremely potent.  If you purchase a kavalactone paste, all you need to do is take one to two small, pea sized amounts, and your on your way to a relaxed and pleasant experience.  If you want to buy kava in a form that is convenient and easy to prepare, but you want something more potent than capsules, this is something to  consider!

If you want to drink your kava, but are looking for something more convenient and less strong tasting than the traditional root powder, it is possible to buy kava kava in a number of different instant kava drink mixes, chai, and so forth.  This is an extremely pleasant way to take kava.  Many kava instant drink mixes are naturally flavored, which means they taste amazing in smoothies and juices.  There are kava chai blends, which will allow you to create your own delicious, warm kava beverage.  Simply blend a few teaspoons of powdered kava chai in to a glass of lukewarm (under 105F) milk, soy milk, or coconut milk, and enjoy a spicy, delicious and relaxing beverage!  Kava instant drinks and blends are wonderful because you can mix them directly into your beverage of choice, and they allow for an incredible amount of creativity!  If you want to explore the culinary potential of kava in beverages, try instant kava drink mixes, and enjoy!

If you still want to learn more about kava, you may want to take a look at Makaira’s Kava Blog.  This blog contains a great deal of information about kava and is updated regularly.  Makaira also takes time to answer all questions left by customers on her blog, so she’s a great resource for those who are still confused about what kava to buy!