Used in the South Pacific before the start of religious ceremonies and special events, kava has been there in the Pacific for over 3000 years. This is because the leaves of the plant are widely known for their health benefits, such as relieving stress, reducing symptoms of anxiety, and boosting immunity.
Many wonder where this incredible superfood came from. How was it discovered and what are some of its health benefits that we’re still unaware of? While the plant is still under research, those who have consumed it have nothing but positive things to say.
The History of Kava
In the South Pacific, the plant is used to make a ceremonious drink/tea for special festivals, get-togethers of seniors of villages, and is served by a chosen person, who pours the tea for all the guests before the start of the event.
This practice has been there for more than 3000 years. The tea is drunk from a special bowl, and helps energize all the members of the village.
George Forster, a naturalist and herbalist, elaborated the preparation of kava in 1777. He accompanied his father on many journeys. His father as also a naturalist and together they travelled to the South Pacific, and came across kava.
He wrote in his book that kava was prepared by the people of South Pacific by cutting its roots into pieces, then chewing the plant and spitting out its juice into coconut water.
There’s also a legend that a girl from Samoa was given to a tribal chief of Fiji for marriage. And one day, while travelling back to her native village, she came across a rat who was chewing a piece of plant.
She observed the rat and soon afterward, it fell asleep. She realized that the plant had some comforting attributes, and brought it back to Samoa with her, for her people to use. Since then the plant has become popular in the South Pacific, being used for treating various ailments.
Researchers are now realizing the various health benefits of kava, and the plant is now under study for its health properties.
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