Sip to Relax
A Blog from Kalm with Kava
Kava Calms the Mind
Unfortunately, high stress levels have become a normal part of life today. The pace of life, especially with the introduction of technology and use of digital devices has blurred the boundaries between work and leisure and created a situation where our mind is always in ‘go-mode.’
Stress can be healthy and help stimulate peak performance, but after a certain point the stress-curve turns downwards and the negative effects of stress on our mind, body and life kick-in. To avoid this situation, experts recommend that you build activities into your daily routine that will allow you to slow down, focus on what’s important and pleasurable, specifically for you. Drinking kava instead of alcohol is a perfect example of such an activity.
A drink of kava is the perfect antidote for those with a busy, accelerated lifestyle who struggle to relax because their mind is constantly racing from over stimulation or worry. The power is in the kavalactones. Straight from the drink, the kavalactones, or active ingredients, from kava work to suppress the signifiers in our brains that produce over activity and fretfulness. When you drink kava, your entire body relaxes (physically and mentally). Yet, kava won’t affect your mental clarity in any way. Instead, by slowing your thoughts, it can make you more aware of the present moment, more mindful and appreciative of your surroundings and situation. This is the primary benefit of kava drinks.
Finding a kava product to suit you is easy as there are many different kava products including a kava concentrate that you can mix with a non alcohol beverage of your choice to create your own customized relaxation drink.
In the Pacific, where kava root originates, islanders have been drinking kava for thousands of years. They use a traditional method to brew a kava tea and have kava drinking ceremonies. This traditional way of brewing of kava is itself very a very calming act. You have to decide the amount of root or powder to use, then kneading it in the bag to produce the liquid to drink. By focusing the mind on the task at hand (kneading), your attention turns away from things that may be stressing you and the process of relaxation begins. When the brew is done you have a calming drink ready to soothe your mind and body further from the inside out.
Kava Brings You Peace
One of the benefits of kava drinks is that they make you feel more relaxed and more peaceful in general. Drinking kava instead of alcohol can dissipate feelings of angst and anger. An excerpt from Dr. Vincent Lebot, foremost authority on Kava describes a traditional kava drinking ceremony as follows:
“It is the time for serious discussions, to tell stories and myths, and to talk politics and matters of deep interest to men. It may seem unlikely, but under the influence of kava, one feels a sensation of immense peace and has such a wide range of thoughts, that there seems to be an answer to even the most inextricable problems.” Lebot
A gift of kava is still considered a peace offering. When a dispute arose between two tribes when casting was underway for the 2016 Oscar nominated foreign movie Tanna, a Vanuatu version of Romeo and Juliet, a gift of kava was used, not surprisingly, as part of the resolution. Kava drinking has traditionally been part of mediation of disagreements in the Pacific Islands.
Similarly, Tom Harrison, in his book “Savage Civilization” (1937) said about drinking kava:
“You feel friendly… never cross…. You cannot hate with Kava in you.”
And Tongan academic and kava researcher at Massey University in New Zealand, Sione Vaka, believes that kava drinking is having a positive impact on the mental health of men on his native island due to the fact that kava drinking circles provide a forum for people to reconnect. They are a place where islanders share and talk out their problems with friends and neighbors in a calm and peaceful environment.
And, here in the US, Garden Collage magazine in a recent article put it this way:
“Kava is known to make people more talkative and friendly, and because it is a shared experience, it’s capable of bringing people together”.