What is Kava?
Kava is made out of the roots of the kava plant, these roots typically take anywhere between 3-5 years to fully mature before harvesting. The plant belongs to the pepper family, and it’s native to countries like Fiji and Indonesia. People in its native area use the root of the kava plant to create different types of tea and juice beverages. Some kava bars mix it with either water or coconut milk to create drinks that are consumed socially or recreationally. Kava has also been used for ceremonial rituals.
Each of the kavalactones in kava has its own effect on the body, but the overall effect of these compounds relies heavily on their interaction with GABA. The GABA system is a key element of the nervous system that serves as the “brake pedal” for neurological activity. It slows the transmission of electrical signals down the nerves to reduce states of hyperactivity like anxiety, stress, and muscle spasms.This is why kava is so good for supporting sleep disturbances, anxiety, and stress.
One kavalactone in particular - desmethoxyyangonin - also promotes the release of dopamine in the brain. This effect results in feelings of euphoria and when combined with intense muscle relaxation can make users feel like they’re “floating”.
“In nature nothing is perfect, bent in weird ways and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful." - Alice Walker
What is Kratom?
People are often surprised to learn that kratom is a plant related to the coffee family. In kratom’s native Southeast Asian countries, locals often chew the kratom leaves for energy and pain relief. Kratom has been exported to the United States and other countries for over 20 years. Manufacturers crush the kratom leaves and process them for commercial sale as a natural alternative for a variety of ailments and symptoms.
U.S. consumers purchase kratom in powder form or as a liquid and also in the form of capsules. Like kava, kratom in powder form is sometimes made into a tea or mixed into beverages to help with very earthy bitter taste of the plant. It’s also sold in capsules, and in liquid extract form. Kratom comes as a potent concentrate, which is easy for people to consume in high doses. Kratom is used recreationally to unwind and relax after a long day of work or even at your local kratom and kava bar recreationally. Many people have chosen to replace alcohol as a social lubricant with this much healthier choice.
Kratom differs from kava in the sense that what is processed is the leaves of the tree. However, kava is a root that is grown to maturity and then pulled from the ground and processed. There are basically 3 kratom strains, Red, White, and green. From those founding strains many others have created by mixing the original strains together and also by switching up the drying method’s before processing the leaf.
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” - Albert Einstein