Insight on Kava from Holistic Health Coach, Kerry Mann
Bula Kava House is a place you might initially go to just for the kava, but many people keep coming back because of the nice social atmosphere. There are many regulars who come in daily to hang out with friends or just to get work done (like a Starbucks, but with more of an organic-friendly atmosphere). Bula Kava House has become a welcoming community that is accepting of all walks of life. It’s a safe haven for people who don’t want the bar scene but want the social aspect. When I talked to some of the regulars about doing a blog post, they all said I should talk about the community and social aspects of the kava bar.
What is Kava?
Kava is a drink made from the root of a plant called piper methysticum, which is closely related to the black pepper plant. It is grown in the South Pacific and made by drying the root, grinding it into a powder, putting the powder in a porous bag and massaging the bag while it’s immersed in water.
Bula Kava House serves it in the traditional South Pacific manner, which is inside a coconut shell, but since it tastes a bit like a mud puddle, they suggest drinking it quickly and then chasing it with a pineapple chunk which is served on the side. Some people prefer to sip kava, but that’s your call. Kava is all about the relaxing and euphoric effects – not the taste. Unlike most of the other kava bars scattered around the U.S., Bula Kava House makes their kava quite strong, so you don’t have to drink a lot of it to feel the calming effects.
Bula Kava House also has fresh juices, smoothies, wellness shots, elixirs, kombucha, acai and oatmeal bowls, since it’s nice to have something else to help wash down the muddy water. You can also order a tanoa of kava if you come in with a group, which is akin to a pitcher of beer and contains six shells of kava.
Many people drink kava to help with anxiety or as an alcohol and drug alternative. Kava is non-addictive, so some recovering addicts use it as an alcohol replacement, and feel it has been helpful for their recovery.
Health Benefits of Kava
Kava can help relieve sore muscles. I didn’t believe this until I drank kava after a long workout and felt my muscles melt into the soft couch near the bright, south-facing window at Bula Kava House. I’m always looking for natural alternatives to the pharmaceutical drugs used for pain and inflammation to recommend to my clients. Kava fits the bill. According to the National Institutes of Health, “Animal studies show that kavalactones alter neuronal excitation through direct interactions with voltage-dependent ion channels, giving rise to kava’s muscle relaxant, anesthetic, anxiolytic and anticonvulsive properties.”
As a health coach, I have recommended kava to many clients for stress and anxiety as well. One of my clients tried it to help with her anxiety and now drinks it regularly because it helps more than anything else she’s tried. According to the National Institutes of Health, “Pacific medicinal plant kava (Piper methysticum) is a non-addictive, non-hypnotic anxiolytic with the potential to treat GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder). The evidence for the efficiency of kava for treating anxiety has been affirmed through clinical trials and meta-analyses.”
Kava is one of those drinks that you either love or hate, but it may take you a few times to decide because it has a reverse tolerance. This means you may not feel the full effects the first few times you drink it.
I love the ritual of kava. At Bula Kava House, people love having a shell together and following a tradition from the South Pacific. Before you drink a shell, you clap once, chug and then clap twice. The loud noise is mythically known to scare away evil spirits. So grab a friend, give it a try and scare off any potential spirits hanging around, along with any nagging muscle pain and stress. If you don’t live in an area that has a kava bar, you can make it yourself by ordering it here: Bula Kava House Online Store.
By Kerry Mann, Holistic Health Coach
Kerry is a holistic health coach who works with busy, professional women who are successful at their jobs but are overwhelmed juggling their work and personal lives. She helps clients achieve balance so they can create the lives they’ve always wanted. She teaches women how to be healthier, happier, less stressed, more energetic and to lose weight. Sign up for a complimentary health strategy session.
Thanks for this great information! Does kava contain carbs? Would it be suitable for someone on a low carb or ketogenic diet?