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What is Piper Methysticum? (Kava Plant)


Are you curious about the plant known as kava or Piper Methysticum? Maybe you've heard of it in passing and wondered what it is, or perhaps you have become aware of its potential benefits. Kava has a long history of use in Polynesian culture and today continues to be used around the world. 

In this blog post we will dive deep into the mysterious world beneath the roots--the science behind kava and what makes this medicinal plant so special.

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What Exactly is Piper Methysticum? (From the Kava Plant)

The kava plant, Piper methysticum, is a tropical shrub native to the South Pacific islands. 



The kava plant has a long and illustrious history in the South Pacific islands, where it has long been used for relaxation and socialization. It is used in many traditional ceremonies and events, and it is regarded as a symbol of hospitality and friendship. 

Defining Kava

The kava plant is a tropical shrub that can grow up to 3 meters tall. It has large, green leaves and woody stems, and the roots are used to make kava. The kava plant is primarily grown in the South Pacific islands of Vanuatu, Fiji, and Tonga, but it can also be found in other tropical regions worldwide. The kava plant is typically harvested between the ages of 3 and 4 years. The roots are dug up and dried before being ground into a fine powder and mixed with water to make the kava drink.

Related Link: Kava for Anxiety Guide: Benefits & Dosage



Chemical Components

Kavalactones are the active compounds found in the kava plant. There are several types of kavalactones, and the specific combination of kavalactones found in a given strain of kava can influence its effects.

Related Link: Kava Reverse Tolerance Explained

Various Kava Strains

There are several strains of kava, each distinguished by the specific combination of kavalactones it contains. Noble kava, tudei kava, and Vanuatu kava are the most common kava strains. Noble kava is the highest quality kava strain, and it is known for its strong, earthy flavor and potent effects. It is the most commonly used strain in traditional kava ceremonies and is typically consumed in small amounts as a relaxant and social drink. Tudei kava, also known as "two-day" kava, gets its name from the length of time its effects last. It is of lower quality than noble kava and may have more potent effects, such as dizziness and impaired motor function. Vanuatu kava, also known as kava kava, is a strain of kava indigenous to Vanuatu. It's famous for its strong, earthy flavor and potent effects, and it's traditionally made by grinding the kava roots into a fine powder and mixing it with water.

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Learning All About Kava

In summary, the kava plant (Piper methysticum) is a tropical shrub native to the South Pacific islands that has a long history of use as a traditional drink and natural remedy. It is well-known for its active compounds, known as kavalactones, which are responsible for its calming properties. 

 It is critical to consume kava responsibly and in moderation, and to seek the advice of a healthcare professional before doing so. Now that you know what Piper Methysticum is, where it comes from, and some of its traditional uses, you can make an informed decision about whether kava tea is right for you. If you’re interested in trying a kava pre-made drink, checkout our site.  

Related Link: How Long Does It Take for Kava to Kick In?



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