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Health Notes

The Afrika Times Magazine

Health Notes
By Edna Shoemaker
Features Reporter

Latin name:  Piper Methysticum
Other name:  Kava Kava, Kasava, Pupulun Aniti, Sakao

Remedy for:    1. Insomnia 2. Nervousness

Kava is also used to relieve anxiety, although its effectiveness as a tranquilizer has not been scientifically confirmed.

What is it?
One of the new herbs that have recently gained considerable media attention, Kava has actually been around for centuries in the South Seas, where it's used as a ceremonial beverage. The plant's fleshy undergound stem is mildly intoxicating when chewed. Prepared as a nonalcoholic drink, it is said to foster a sense of contentment and well-being, while sharpening the mind, memory and senses.

Research shows that the active ingredients in Kava (kava lactones) do in fact have a calming, sedative effect. They also appear to relax the muscles, relieve spasms, and prevent convulsions.

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