Subject: Kava kava ?
From: greeff.alf.zfn.uni-bremen.de (Oliver Greeff)
Date: 18 May 1995 11:16:34 GMT
I have been recommended to try Kava kava as a remedy for insomnia. I do not know anything about this plant. Is it rather a drug (that you can get addicted to ) or more of a mild herb with no dangers (regarding longer use). Is the sleep healthy or just like sleeping after chemical remedies? Info welcome.
From: dynasor.infi.net (Dennis McClain-Furmanski)
> I have been recommended to try Kava kava as a remedy for insomnia. I do not know anything about this plant.
It is specifically the ribozomes which grow on the roots of this shrub. I use it very regularly. I have severe sleep apnea, and anything that would 'knock me out' would be counterproductive to getting good sleep (lack of REM, which I don't get much off, and sedative effects suppressing my breathing more causing more disturbance). I sleep better and dream better with it, and am less tired in the morning. I add Calea zacatachichi to improve the dreaming aspect.
I have heard reports of physical problems resulting from heavy use, but only in those areas where it's grown. I seem to recall a specific case from Guam where peripherial blood flow problems were blamed on heavy use several times a day. A few people become habituated. As to specifically addicted (by DSM criteria, dependent), I've never heard of a case. I have been on the lookout for any such cases, since I use it, and since substance abuse treatment is my field. I entered this field, as have many people, because of extensive practical experience. Suffice it to say I am prone to excess and to the desire for excess. I have had no such desire or behavior with kava despite the fact I thoroughly enjoy it.
While it may be available in more readily usable states than milled root, I would suggest using this. You prepare it by steeping and squeezing a bolus in cotton cloth in a bowl of water for 20 minutes or so. Having to sit and do nothing for that time may well have much to do with the calming effect as it contributes to the very relevant "set and setting", by enforcing seperation from distractions and stressful behaviors. Even if this is the case, I can only reiterate the powerful words of the famed natural philosopher, Garfield; "Big fat hairy deal." It works for me.
From: jet.cinenet.net (Jet Silverman)
I use Kava Kava from time to time and find it to be wonderful. It has a calming effect, and produces vivid dreams. It is used much like coffee in some parts of the South Pacific, so I assume it is reasonably safe. I find that to be effective, I need to chew it or use it as a tea, taking it in capsules doesn't work.
From: cigolott.nbnet.nb.ca (Tom Cigolotti)
>Please forgive my ignorance, would someone tell me what Kava Kava is? Thanks in advance!
Kava is a root of a small bush plant usually found in South Pacific (and probably other tropical areas).
I is usually ground up with a little water and seived through a cloth and then drank (?). It's main constituent is\are lactones. It is used by French companies to enhance mulk production in lactating mothers.
Typically it is drunk in special cerimonial occations mostly by men (depending on culture). The is an Island in Vanuatu (Tanna) where the custom is to get young men\boys to chew it ( in liew of grinding) <yuk> before sieving and drinking.
I found that after a hard day (in the tropics) one would go to the local kava bar have a few shells (coconuts make fine glasses) go hoem and eat a little somthing and then fall asleep and wake up fresh as can be. Some freinds tried the intoxicating route (lots and lots) -> barf city.
In the early 80's, it was banned from importation to US. Don't know why but things must have changed.
regards- tom c.
From: douglas.wiggins.nwcs.org (Douglas Wiggins)
:Kava is a root of a small bush plant usually found in South Pacific (and probably other tropical areas).
:It is usually ground up with a little water and seived through a cloth and then drank (?). It's main constituent is\are lactones. It is used by French
Just thought I would mention that it has been known to be toxic in combination with alcohol, according to a small, old book on the subject. The chewing that you mentioned as part of the preparation is necessary to release certain of the chemicals - the people that do the chewing tend to develop a skin disorder. My information has it that it is stimulating unless chewed, and then it induces a dreaming sleep.
-Douglas Wiggins zoron.nwcs.org, Portland, Oregon
From: p_iannone.pop.com (Paul Iannone)
: Just thought I would mention that it has been known to be toxic in combination with alcohol
I have heard these folktales, and they are utterly untrue. Kava in an alcohol extract is very benign, wonderful and powerful as an occasional product for use. And chewing is NOT necessary, though it does make your Saturday night gatherings more communal.