Healthy Kitchens Healthy Lives

Kava Kava

I wrote an article (title given to me) for a web site and submitted the following, which was summarily rejected. No first person, no humor and definitely no tongue in cheek. Personally when something is funny it keeps my attention, but I understood their point and the article that was accepted was more professional. Here’s the reject….

The Kava Kava Diet
A (numb) tongue-in-cheek article

In the Pacific Islands, the root of Kava, a member of the pepper family, is pounded, mixed with water and consumed as a drink at social functions with a sense of relaxation being the main benefit. These events were generally excuses to drink more Kava, the sunset being the most popular time of day. Good thing because after drinking Kava you won’t get anything done. Having sipped Kava while in Fiji with the village chief, I can tell you that it tasted mostly like dirt; dirt and water ladled out of a big porcelain bowl. I sipped and chatted with the elders, feeling mellow and serene, and more chatty than usual. I did notice that my lips were a little numb and my tongue felt a little too big for my mouth, but who cares at that point.

After returning home, I did a little research and found out that while I was feelin’ no pain sipping with the chief, my liver actually was. If I would have kept that up for long or had chosen to take Kava in tablets frequently to continue that que sera sera mood, my liver would have paid the price. There are studies showing that excessive kava consumption may cause liver damage, which can result in death. When the FDA warned that liver damage was a side effect many studies halted. Also, some drugs are contraindicated with kava, most notably those used to treat Parkinson’s disease.

Kava has, however, been shown to assist with minimizing anxiety and insomnia, taken in small amounts with a health professional being consulted prior to use.

So with studies in, it is safe to say that consuming an inordinate amount of Kava Kava could actually assist with weight loss for many reasons, none of which are particularly compelling:

• It is a mild diuretic, so you will loose water weight. You body is 75 to 80% water and is supposed to be that way.
• Eventually, you will loose your appetite, nausea being the root cause. Pun intended.
• Some people have found that vomiting, also a side effect, works with weight loss, but it is not recommended, obviously.
• Long term and heavy use of Kava may result in yellow, scaly skin, generally an appetite suppressant.

There’s more, but by now, you most likely have deduced that Kava Kava is not intended and is in no way a part of any diet plan. It is a ceremonial drink in the Pacific Islands that has been sipped for hundreds of years by Fijians who know that is makes you feel mellow, as a glass of wine might do for us at the end of the day. There is not a healthy alcohol-diet and there is not a healthy kava-kava diet.

Stick to healthy eating foods and adequate exercise.

Sources and for further information:


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