_ The Kava Collection _

HTMLizers:
Dean & Gene Sputnik (nepenth@media.internex.net)

[quoted text deleted -cak]

i drank kava for two years while living in Fiji and suffered only minor brain damage. the doctors claim that it is reversible given enough piracetam......oh, i'm just kidding, though i really did drink the stuff for a couple of years there in the southern seas.

the drug comes from the roots of the yaqona (pronounced "yang-gona") plant, a bush that can grow quite large, though typically it is harvested while only two or three feet high. the roots are ground using a rod and a hollowed log and the resulting powder is placed in a cloth. water is then poured through the cloth producing a brown or grey musty-smelling liquid.

this is drunk ritually over the course of several hours, typically in the evening while stories are told.

the drug is classified as a soporific, i believe, though mild psychadelic effects have been reported. the central causative agents are called "yaquonaloids" or something like that, though there are several hundred chemicals the effects of which are unknown. the premier study is by some ethnobotanists at U. of Hawaii.

in my experience, the physical effects include slight numbing of throat and mouth early on, later the "grog drunk" can include mild nausea and poor motor control. the psychological effects are hard to explain, although almost all users report relaxation and many claim that social communication becomes easier, though the setting is conducive to that anyway. with heavy use, kani kani or scaling of the skin is often reported and can be disfiguring. some reports have suggested that this is the result of poor nutrition by "grog drunks". dependence of various degrees is high among indigenous populations in areas of Melanesia and Polynesia. this is culturally acceptable behavior among most peoples, however, and the only health officials apparently concerned are in New Zealand where Mothers Against Drunk Driving was heard to be lobbying for import restrictions in light of a massive influx in recent years...so it goes.

mark

I have tried kava kava, but the mild high did not seem to warrant drinking the bitter tasting concoction. The following is a quote from "Intoxication: Life in Pursuit of Artificial Paradise" by Ronald Siegel.

"Tea made from kava roots is drunk cold but it still retains an attractive lilac aroma. A pungent and numbing aftertaste keeps users from drinking too much. The intoxication is similar to alcohol in that it produces a short euphoric state, relaxation, and some loss of social inhibitions. There is no hangover, even for seasoned kava drinkers. But it is strangely disappointing to many who find that while they are happy and content, thier mental alertness remains unaffected. This would seem to be a benefit for problem drinkers but they balk at such unfamiliar sobriety and return to the dizziness of alcohol. To achieve stronger effects it is necessary to chew the kava root, a fibrous and unappetizing course that even native kava drinkers dislike. Furthermore, such high doses can be as addicting and as debilitating as alcohol."

Any typos in the above passage are my own. As I understand it the kava root is legal and uncontrolled in the US, presumably because the intoxication is so mild. I have not heard of any liver damage from kava use, but it is possible. I would be interested in hearing of the experiences of anyone else on the net regarding kava use.

-- Derek

Newsgroups: alt.psychoactives
From: marduk@well.sf.ca.us (Jonah Theodore Gruber)
Subject: Re: Kava-Kava
Message-ID: [CHztpJ.D44@well.sf.ca.us]
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1993 21:44:06 GMT

[quoted text deleted -cak]

About your interest in Kava-Kava, from:

"The Magical & Ritual Use of Herbs" by Richard Alan Miller

Habitat: Grows best up to 100 feet above sea level in cool, moist highlands or wet forests. It will grow densly to 20 feet where summer temperatures are between 80 and 90 degrees F. with sufficient sunlight.

Botanical Desc: An indigenous shrub several feet high with heartshaped leaves and very short spikes arising from the base of the leaf-stems that are densely covered with flowers. The stem is dictiotomous, that is, two-forked, with spots. The upper rhizome is the part of the plant that is used and is starchy with the faint pleasant odor with a pungent bitter taste. Five varieties are cultivated in Fiji, three white and two black. The white varieties are considered best source, but mature one year later than the black. The black are preferred for the commercial crop.

(The book includes a history of Kava kava, but I'm skipping it for the useful parts, if your interested in any parts I skip, I'll include them some other time)

Chemistry: Active component in kava are six resinous alpha pyrones: kawain (C14H14O3) dihyrdokawain, methysticin (C15H14O5), dihydromethysticin, yangonin (C15H14O3) and dyhydroyangonin. None of these are water soluable.

Except when emulsified. They are soluable in alcohol, oil and other fat solvents, including gastric juices.

PRIMARY EFFECTS: Small amounts produce euphoria; larger amounts produce extreme relaxation, lethargy or lower limbs and eventually sleep. It does not impair mental alertness. Often there are visual and auditory hallucinations (cool), lasting 2-3 hours with no hangover. Kava is similar to marijuana (neat) as effects are not noticed when used for the first several times. As a narcotic, Kava later produces numbing of the mouth, similar to cocaine.

I can give you information on ritual use, preparation, and history if you are really interested. This stuff if supposedly addictive after prolonged use, but so is orange juice.

-Marduk-

Newsgroups: alt.psychoactives
From: marduk@well.sf.ca.us (Jonah Theodore Gruber)
Subject: Re: Kava-Kava
Message-ID: [CI1xIt.Izt@well.sf.ca.us]
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 1993 01:01:41 GMT

[intro deleted -cak]

I thought I might as well include the other information on Kava kava as well. Since someone emailed me on it and I lost his address. Here it is...

Yeah, I don't really know where you could find kava-kava, as far as ordering it. I haven't seen it up here in Washington state where I live. I have a list of some companies which deal in supposedly "exotic" plants, you may want to try writing:

Verenigde Nederlandse Kruidencooperative
V.N.K. Postbus 1
Elburg, HOLLAND

Ask them for a catalog or something, let me know if you actually get one! :)

Here's the ritual use, history, etc. As I said I would send:

geographical location of kava: Polynesia, Sandwich Islands, South Sea islands.

HISTORY

Kava kava has a history of religious and spiritual implications in the affairs of men. The following legend summarizes man's relationship to the sun, sky, water, and earth as well as the "Divine Being" or mortal Self and the life cycle. This is the alchemical marriage of fire, wind, water and earth to the spiritual "other" of the soul.

The annual sun sacrifice of a girl of great beauty, Ui, was offered. The Sun was so pleased he took her for his wife. After a period, consent was given for her to return to her people to give birth to their Child. Ui was sent flying through the sky and miscarried. The fetus, however, floated upon the water and was cared for by a hermit crab. The child, Tangaloa Ui, when he grew up, taught mortals how to make Kava as well as Reverence for the ceremony.

Pava, the first mortal participant, had a son who laughed watching his father chew and spit the brew. Tangaloa Ui, angry at the irreverance, cut Pava's son in two. He then gave Pava the correct procedure. Pava then offered the drink to Tangaloa Ui. Instead of drinking it, Tangaloa Ui poured half of the brew on the head of Pava's uttering "Soyva" (Life) making the boy whole again. The legend is continued as part of the kava ceremonies of the Samoans even today.

PREPARATION

The part of the kava plant just below the surface of the ground reaches 3-5 inches thich in 2 1/2-4 years. After 6 years, the root will weigh as much as 20 pounds, after 20 years, 100 pounds. After harvesting, the rootstocks are scraped, cut into pieces, and dried in the sun on platforms.

Traditionally, the root was made into tea. With the water-soluable components released, it acted as a mild stimulating tonic. If the material is first chewed, then spit in a bowl and mixed with coconut milk, more powerful narcotic-type resins are released in emulsion. For maximum effects, mix 1 ounce Kava with 10 ounces of water (preferably coconut milk), two tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil, and 1 tablespoon lecithin. Blend until the liquid takes on a milky appearance. Serves 1-2 people.

Resins may be extracted with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol in a heat bath. The solvent is removed by evaporation. Redissolve in just enough warmed brandy, rum, vodka, or honey. This is a more potent method because alcohol swiftly carries the resins into the system.

RITUAL USE

Kava's history and chemistry indicate that its euphoria qualities are best shared with special guests or friends. The narcotic affects the "Feeling" centers where warm emotions are generated toward those involved in the ritual. Therefore, Kava has been used as a sacrament for welcoming special guests and friends.

The following ritual is designed for maximum results:

  1. Kava or its extracts should be pit into your finest glassware (or coconut cups if you have them) and served, to the most revered guests, first. The bearer holds the cup at waist level with thumbs and index finger encircling the outside of the cup.
  2. The cup is then lifted to his forhead while in the center of the room. The cup bearer then stops four feet in front of the guests, let's the cup rest in his right palm and lowers his right hand with his left. The left hand is placed behind this back while serving the cup to the guests. He then returns to the center of the room while the guest drinks.
  3. The guest receives the cup with both hands, pours a little kava onto the floor and says: "May our Guardians be with us today." He raises the cup and says: "Life" and all others say: "Blessed Be." He then drinks his kava in one gulp. The others are then served. They say nothing, but receive the cup and drink in one gulp.
  4. If one accepts kava, but does not finish it, the remainder must be dicarded before returning the cup.
  5. When all have drunk, the lead guest says: "The ceremony is complete. The bowl will hang with cup and strainer."

Light food should then be served and the party started.

NOTE OF CAUTION:

Continual chewing eventually destroys tooth enamel. Constant and excessive use of the fresh root with alcohol can become habit-forming and after several months resulting in yellowing of the skin, bloodshot and weak eyes, emaciation, diarrhea, rashes, and scaly, ulcerous skin. When discontinued, the symptoms disappear within two weeks.

There it is... if you can get any more information than this, please let me know, I'm rather interested.

-marduk-

From: 10764860@eng3.eng.monash.edu.au (PAUL WALSH)
Newsgroups: alt.psychoactives
Subject: Re: Kava, Nexxus, Diving.
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1993 15:08:14
Message-ID: [10764860.451.2CFD6A2F@eng3.eng.monash.edu.au]

In article [ku77260@pro-cynosure.clark.net] mjr@pro-cynosure.clark.net (Michael Rippe) writes:

>Kava-kava: After reading about it's use in Australia I bought a couple
>ounces at a local health food store. Some I prepared with hot water,
>some with grain alcohol, some with valerian root as well. Overall the most
>noticeable effect was the fact that kava causes local anesthesia of mucus
>membranes (in this case the inside of my mouth). I did not fell sedated
>or excited in any way.

I would suggest that you try again. Kava has one of those weird reverse tolerance curves - it took four or five trys before I could notice anything from it. Also check the grade of Kava which you are using...waka grade tends to be the most potent of those available. Failing this follow J's extraction as describes in the Australian Highs FAQ.

Have fun, Paul.

Newsgroups: alt.psychoactives
From: arxt@quads.uchicago.edu (Dave Palmer)
Subject: Re: Looking for Codeine-like Natural Herb/Substance
Message-ID: [1994Apr30.200519.615@midway.uchicago.edu]
Date: Sat, 30 Apr 1994 20:05:19 GMT

edward henigin wrote:

how about the kava kava root? you can get it at your most of those General Nutrition Center type places. I've never done it myself, but I hear you steep it to make a tea, and drink, and voila! numb.

kava is called a hypnotic/narcotic, but actually the effects are very different from opioids. i'd call kava more of a psychedelic, actually. one big difference is that your mind stays very clear after drinking kava; you remain concious of what's going on around you and notice some things you never noticed before. kava also seems to make you feel closer to other people, like mdma. you feel like hugging every stranger who walks by, you want to see hear feel their world with them. definitely it's relaxing, but it's a different kind of relaxation that opiate "numbness". i like kava a lot better myself.

also, you can't make kava into a tea since the active chemicals aren't water-soluble. the best way i've found to make a kava drink is to grind up an ounce of root into a powder and mix it into some orange juice, maybe with a little vodka or cognac or whatever too. you swish the drink around in your mouth a little, then swallow. this makes your mouth numb, like the novacaine they give you at the dentist. the taste also takes some getting used to. since the active chemicals are alcohol soluble, i guess you could also soak the root in vodka or everclear for a while, then strain and drink it, but i've never tried.

--dave

From: jperon1@umbc.edu (perona jeffrey ( bs cmsc))
Newsgroups: alt.drugs
Subject: Kava information
Date: 10 May 1994 13:44:54 -0400
Message-ID: <2qoh6mINNrcj@rpc18.gl.umbc.edu>

Someone the other day posted something on Kava root or extract. I have heard of Kava from several different sources. Several years ago my grandfather (ex TWA pilot) told me a story once of some third world place he was stationed at once. (possiably africa??) He said they had drink there called Kava juice. Basically it was an alcoholic beverage that had some different side effects. As well as giving one a tipsy feeling, one also could experience numbing of the body. One friend of his drank so much he couldn't walk or even feel his body!! The next day the locals took the crew to the place were they make the drink. Basically it was a bunch of women chewing on a root and spitting in a bucket. Then they would let is fermate, strain it, and there you have Kava Juice!

I didnt really believe all of his story until a couple of years later when national geographic had a special on this place. They showed the women spitting in the buckets!! Well I was conviced.

Any way, someone said something about picking some up at a health food store and puting it in drinks and such. Has anyone actually tried this??? What about smoking it??? I think the TV special had something about the natives also smoked it but I could be mistaken.

Please comment...

Jeff Perona

From: Louis M. Green (lmgreen@delphi.com)
Newsgroups: alt.drugs
Subject: Re: Kava information
Date: Thu, 12 May 94 00:04:12 -0500
Message-ID: [p+xuVeE.lmgreen@delphi.com]

Travelled in Polynesia and Melanesia several years ago and drank a lot of Kava. It is legal in the United States and Europe. It is made from the ground root (and sometimes stem) of Piper methisticum, a pepper shrub that grows well on many tropical islands. The root is either chewed in to a paste (by a virgin if you follow the ceremonial rules), finely ground with an adapted coffer grinder and infused throught cheese cloth, or pounded into a fine powder with a large steel mortar and pestle (the Tongan method).

In all cases it is a ceremonial and social drink. In the Fijian ceremony (where Kava is called Yangonna) a large bowl is made, a prayer is said, and the serving begins. The server (only one person, the host serves) fills the cup (made out of a half coconut shell) and passes it to the man on his right (no women at the ceremony). The man claps once before taking the cup, says "Bula" (pronounced m-bula), drinks the whole cup in one gulp, and passes the cup back to the server. The other participants then all clap thrice. The rotation is continued ad infinitum, with the basic rules that you may refuse to be served, and when you drink you must always finish the cup.

There are varying grades of kava, based on effect I'd say what is available in the U.S. is one year old kava. The longer the plant has been growing, the stronger the kava is. With what you can get around here several cups of a normal preparation (1oz Kava to 3/4gal H20) will give you a slight but pleasant buzz... numbness of extremities and mouth, a slowness in the legs, and a generally relaxed feeling.

Vanuatu (producer of the world's best Kava) is supposed to export high quality kava to the EC. Two cups of the good stuff can really put you on your back.

If you smoke cigarets, remember your whole throat is numb, so you can't really tell how large a drag you've taken.

Misc: Kava was/is used for village meetings, ceremonies to arbitrate fueds (land rights, wars, etc... primitive society is no picnic). It does seem to help conversation and avoid fights.

There are studies being done at the University of the South Pacific (Yes, it does exist, main campus: Suva, Fiji. Extension schools in every pacific island nation) concerning possible use of Kava as an anti-viral/bacterial. It seems regions where Kava is consumed have a much lower incedent of VD. I don't really think this means anything other than that these regions have less contact with the outside world and follow Custom more.

The negative side: Well, try to place a long distance call at the cable & wireless office in Suva... all the operators are in the back room swilling Kava. Regular users (avoid using more than 2-3 time/week) develop a scaly skin condition and are mocked by their peers throughout polynesia. I do not know if this condition is permanent.

The fijians do consider it medicine as well, and it did seem to keep the symptoms of Dengue Hemoragic Fever in check.

Plusses: Nonaddictive, no hangover.

Hope this helps the Kava Curious. For those is Massachusets, Arsenic & Oldlace (witchcraft store... creepy) in Cambridge on mass ave between harvard and porter sqs. has it in stock most of the time.

Newsgroups: alt.drugs,alt.psychoactives
From: szikopou@superior.carleton.ca (Steven Zikopoulos)
Subject: Kava Kava (Piper methysticum)
Message-ID: [szikopou.768868016@superior]
Date: Fri, 13 May 1994 22:26:56 GMT

Thought some people interested in ethnopharmacology would like to readthe following...

KAVA

Although beer has largely replaced kava as the major intoxicating brew of Polynesia, kava bars are still quite common. This beverage made from the shrub Piper methysticum was for centuries venerated among the communities of the idyllic islands of Polynesia. It was originally prepared exclusively by children, who would collect the roots and lower stems of the shrub, chew them, and then spit the soggy mass into a communal bowl. The salivary enzymes were clearly important for the release of the psychotropic constituents marindin and dihydromethysticin, from the vegetable matrix. The dried residue was then mixed with water and the extrat was straned to produce kava. The mode of preparation is essentially the same today.

A measure equivalent ot a half-full split coconut shell is sufficient to produce a state of well-being and somnolence, although larger quantities may induce a quarrelsome state and even drunken behaviour. This was too much for the missionaries and the tried with some success to rid the island of this unholy brew.

The mode of actionof kava is completlely unknown, though the chemical structures of the main constituents have some structural similarity to those from nutmeg, and like these they may be metabolized to amphetamine-like compounds.

Mann, J (1992). Murder, Magic and Medicine. Oxford University Press: New York.

--
Steven Zikopoulos (szikopou@ccs.carleton.ca)

From: masc0270@ucssun1.sdsu.edu (Christopher Hooten)
Newsgroups: alt.drugs,alt.psychoactives
Subject: Re: Kava Kava (Piper methysticum)
Date: 14 May 1994 02:20:23 GMT
Message-ID: [2r1ch7$9ju@pandora.sdsu.edu]

Steven Zikopoulos (szikopou@superior.carleton.ca) wrote:
: Thought some people interested in ethnopharmacology would like to
: read the following...
: KAVA
: Although beer has largely replaced kava as the major intoxicating brew
: of Polynesia, kava bars are still quite common. This beverage made
: from the shrub Piper methysticum was for centuries venerated among the
: communities of the idyllic islands of Polynesia. It was originally
: prepared exclusively by children, who would collect the roots and
: lower stems of the shrub, chew them, and then spit the soggy mass into
: a communal bowl. The salivary enzymes were clearly important for the
: release of the psychotropic constituents marindin and
: dihydromethysticin, from the vegetable matrix. The dried residue was
: then mixed with water and the extrat was straned to produce kava. The
: mode of preparation is essentially the same today.

: A measure equivalent ot a half-full split coconut shell is sufficient
: to produce a state of well-being and somnolence, although larger
: quantities may induce a quarrelsome state and even drunken behaviour.
: This was too much for the missionaries and the tried with some success
: to rid the island of this unholy brew.

: The mode of actionof kava is completlely unknown, though the chemical
: structures of the main constituents have some structural similarity to
: those from nutmeg, and like these they may be metabolized to
: amphetamine-like compounds.

: Mann, J (1992). Murder, Magic and Medicine. Oxford University Press:
: New York.

Wow, I have never seen this before. Unfortunately many things are not true in it. They do know the active constituents, and they are listed in one of the FAQ's going around. Originally, they thought that salivary enzymes somehow allowed the kava to "ferment", but later studies have shown that it is the emulsification of the resins from the chewing action that activates the kava, not enzymes. I have never, ever read in any text other than this that kava can produce a quarrelsome state and even drunken behaviour. The missionaries wanted to stop the kava drinking because it was an integral part of the Polynesians' religion, not because of the effects it had on them. The effects of kava are very, very different than those of amphetamine, or their analogs. That is a pretty recent book to have such old and wrong information.

-- Chris Hooten

From: cthulhoid@aol.com (Cthulhoid)
Newsgroups: alt.drugs
Subject: Re: Kava Kava (Piper methysticum)
Date: 14 May 1994 18:29:02 -0400
Message-ID: [2r3jbe$p14@search01.news.aol.com]

In article [szikopou.768949119@superior], szikopou@superior.carleton.ca (Steven Zikopoulos) writes:
>what is interesting is that all of the above are practically insoluble
>in water at room temp and soluble in alcohol.

>thus i suppose one could make a decent alcoholic extraction after
>chopping the root.

>any comments?

The Kava Kava extracts sold in health food stores are alcohol-based. When you add it to water, it's really weird; it turns milky yellow and swirls around like crazy of its own accord. Really strange.

Newsgroups: alt.drugs,alt.psychoactives
From: tdmt@troi.cc.rochester.edu (T. Douglas Mast)
Subject: Re: Kava Kava (Piper methysticum)
Message-ID: [1994May15.010710.22090@galileo.cc.rochester.edu]
Date: Sun, 15 May 94 01:07:10 GMT

In [1994May14.190414.6027@rat.csc.calpoly.edu] pcerra@galaxy.csc.calpoly.edu (Paul Cerra) writes:

>In article [2r1ch7$9ju@pandora.sdsu.edu], Christopher Hooten (masc0270@ucssun1.sdsu.edu) wrote:
>>Steven Zikopoulos (szikopou@superior.carleton.ca) wrote:
>>
>>: KAVA
>>: A measure equivalent ot a half-full split coconut shell is sufficient
>>: to produce a state of well-being and somnolence, although larger
>>: quantities may induce a quarrelsome state and even drunken behaviour.
>>: This was too much for the missionaries and the tried with some success
>>: to rid the island of this unholy brew.
>>
>>: Mann, J (1992). Murder, Magic and Medicine. Oxford University Press:
>>: New York.
>>

>>I have never, ever read in any text other than this that kava can
>>produce a quarrelsome state and even drunken behaviour. The
>>missionaries wanted to stop the kava drinking because it was an integral
>>part of the Polynesians' religion, not because of the effects it had

From Norman Taylor, Narcotics: Nature's Dangerous Gifts (Laurel, 1966):

Taken in moderate quantities -- say, half a coconut-shell -- two or three times a day, kava induces a pleasant, lax, bland sort of stimulation, more active than tea, and more lasting, followed by a doze that may last an hour or so. Larger doses, instead of inducing peaceful reflection, are sufficiently stimulating to make the subject jumpy or even quarrelsome. Drunkenness is not unknown among a minority of heavy kava drinkers. . .

(end excerpt)

This may very well be bullshit, but at least there was some precedent for what Mann was writing. In fact it sounds so similar that I would guess Mann was referring to Taylor's book or that they had a common primary source. Taylor's book is not especially scholarly or convincing, especially in its ethnobotanical parts, so if Mann was using it as a reference it reflects poorly on him.

Doug.

Newsgroups: alt.drugs,alt.psychoactives
From: szikopou@superior.carleton.ca (Steven Zikopoulos)
Subject: Re: Kava Kava (Piper methysticum)
Message-ID: [szikopou.769014113@superior]
Date: Sun, 15 May 1994 15:01:53 GMT

In (1994May15.010710.22090@galileo.cc.rochester.edu) tdmt@troi.cc.rochester.edu (T. Douglas Mast) writes:

>In (1994May14.190414.6027@rat.csc.calpoly.edu) pcerra@galaxy.csc.calpoly.edu (Paul Cerra) writes:
>>In article [2r1ch7$9ju@pandora.sdsu.edu],
>>Christopher Hooten (masc0270@ucssun1.sdsu.edu) wrote:
>>>Steven Zikopoulos (szikopou@superior.carleton.ca) wrote:
>>>
[...]
>>>
>>>: Mann, J (1992). Murder, Magic and Medicine. Oxford University Press:
>>>: New York.
>>>
[...]


>From Norman Taylor, Narcotics: Nature's Dangerous Gifts (Laurel, 1966):

>Taken in moderate quantities--say, half a coconut-shell--two or three
>times a day, kava induces a pleasant, lax, bland sort of stimulation,
>more active than tea, and more lasting, followed by a doze that may last
>an hour or so. Larger doses, instead of inducing peaceful reflection,
>are sufficiently stimulating to make the subject jumpy or even
>quarrelsome. Drunkenness is not unknown among a minority of heavy
>kava drinkers. . .

>(end excerpt)

> This may very well be bullshit, but at least there was some precedent
>for what Mann was writing. In fact it sounds so similar that I would
>guess Mann was referring to Taylor's book or that they had a common
>primary source. Taylor's book is not especially scholarly or
>convincing, especially in its ethnobotanical parts, so if Mann was
>using it as a reference it reflects poorly on him.

>Doug.

Close Doug...

Taylor, N. (1966). Plant Drugs that Changed the World. George Allen & Unwin.

good show!

SZ
--
Steven Zikopoulos (szikopou@ccs.carleton.ca)

From: Louis M. Green [alt.drugs
Subject: Re: Kava Kava (Piper methysticum)
Date: Mon, 16 May 94 02:05:24 -0500
Message-ID: [ZUyM9S8.lmgreen@delphi.com]

When I was in polynesia Kava was almost always drunk in great quantities (15 half coconut shells in a night) never saw any fights from it. I don't see how you could fight since your arms and legs become quite heavy after a few cups.

From: ebrandt@jarthur.cs.hmc.edu (Eli Brandt)
Newsgroups: alt.drugs,alt.psychoactives
Subject: Re: Kava Kava (Piper methysticum)
Date: 18 May 1994 03:52:59 GMT
Message-ID: [2rc3er$3dv@jaws.cs.hmc.edu]

In article [1994May16.215920.21209@midway.uchicago.edu], Dave Palmer [arxt@midway.uchicago.edu] wrote:
>actually, kava does seem to have (in my experiences with it, anyhow)
>empathogenic effects similar to MDMA. but i don't think methsticin,
>kawain, or yangonin are related chemically to MDMA or metabolize to
>anything like it.

Actually, methysticin has the same 3,4-methylenedioxy ring substitution. If you lop off the lactone ring and add dimethylamine across the double bond, you have MDMA. Interesting, given your comments.


Eli ebrandt@hmc.edu
finger for PGP key.
The above text is worth
precisely its weight in gold.

Message-ID: [072311Z31051994@anon.penet.fi]
Newsgroups: alt.drugs,alt.psychoactives
From: an4610@anon.penet.fi (Fuad Ramses)
Date: Tue, 31 May 1994 07:20:24 UTC
Subject: An excellent review article RE: KAVA

Those interested in learning more about Kava-Kava (Piper methysticum) would do well to dig up Singh YN (1992). KAVA: AN OVERVIEW. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 37, 13-45.

It is an interedisciplinary article so it should be of interest to those from a chemical, pharmacological, ethnological and sociological background. The information is current, and includes photos and a documentary of the Kava ritual.

for those that are just interested in finding another psychoactive...this seems to be a good one to try. alcohol or acetone extractions (a combination of one then the other repeated several times then hot extractions) will do (Merck Index). Unfortuantely the constituents (and there are many that appearantly act synergistically) are not water soluble...then how did the peoples of oceania come to use this herb ritually? ah...i don't want to give the ending away ;-)

seriously though it is a good read and worth the trip to your nearest university library.

Fuad

From: Louis M. Green [lmgreen@delphi.com]
Newsgroups: alt.drugs
Subject: Re: Kava Kava (Piper methysticum)
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 94 00:21:55 -0500
Message-ID: [hIzOGzj.lmgreen@delphi.com]

When in the South Seas I did learn the trick to Kava, drink lots of it. I recommend putting between an ounce to two ounces of kava in a fine, mesh, cotton sack to make the infusion. Use up to a gallon of water. Mush that sack around the water till it is opaque, really, really opaque. Take a small tea cup (the closest equivalent to a half coconut shell I can find) and fill it 3/4 full with the gritty liquid. Drink it down all at once. Do this four or five in the first twenty minutes of drinking. Then drink a cup every ten or fifteen minutes. When you get up to go to the bathroom in about an hour you should notice that your legs are a bit heavy, your extremities a bit numb.

It seems that drinking this is universally disliked by north americans, but when I was in Fiji there was no way to avoid it without offending my hosts. Actually I like the stuff... It just makes me feel kind of good. You may also find that you have very vivid dreams that night.

Remember Kava drinking is a social and ceremonial activity. You don't drink kava and go to a movie. You drink kava all night while talking with a group of friends. If there is demand for a FAQ on how to perform a Kava Ceremony I could be induced to write one up.

Newsgroups: alt.drugs
From: Gordon Kelley [gordon_k@efn.org]
Subject: Re: kava!
Message-ID: [D0D449.8KB@efn.org]
Date: Tue, 6 Dec 1994 00:02:32 GMT

[quoted text deleted -cak]

The Best Way to Prepare Kava Kava

I have done quite a bit of experimentation with Kava, and these two methods seem to work best.

Method #1

Ingredients: 1 cup Kava powder, four cups water, 6 tablespoons vegetable oil(I've used olive or canola), and two tablespoons liquid lecithin. Blend at top speed for five minutes. The liquid will be "coffee-and-cream" colored. Strain through a fiber filter. I usually use an old cloth diaper. You want something pretty loose, like t-shirt fabric or cheesecloth. Straining can take a while and takes some patience. Eventually, all the liquid is out and you have the solids in a ball in your strainer/cloth, and a bowl of suspicious smelling liquid. You can throw away the solid mass.

Drink!

Method #2

Loosely wrap a cup of Kava powder in a loose piece of cloth. Holding it loosely above the ball of Kava, plunge it up and down in 4 cups of water. Occasionally stop to squeeze out the kava ball. Keep plunging it up and down until the water is the "coffee-and-cream" color. This should take 5-15 minutes.

Drink!

Method #3

buy some kava tincture and drink that. This method does not produce very good effects, just sedative-like, but is QUITE a bit easier than the other two methods which DO produce very good effects.

Kava is a very nice, pleasant, relaxed,and slightly narcotic way to spend an evening. I have seen it listed as a minor hallucinogen, but I think that's putting it too strongly. The effects are not hallucinogenic, but very calm and slightly stoned. I have found that smoking a bit of marijuana with it pleasantly increases the effects. One's mind is not fogged, but the spirit is at rest. Very Relaxed. It also seems to act as a muscle relaxant. At higher doses, one may be inclined to lay down and not move a muscle. Walking may be unsteady, driving is not recommended. Kava also gives me great and very vivid dreams coupled with an extremely restful deep sleep. Definitely something to do in the evening, several hours before bedtime. I have found that while both methods are nice and relaxing, method #1 gives me the vivid interesting dreams, and method #2 doesn't. However, method #1 is a bigger pain to prepare. I think the way it works, is that there's a couple types of resins in the root, some of which are going to be extracted in method #2, using just water. I know that there are some which are not water soluble and need to be emulsified, so hence the oil and lecithin extraction procedure. Keep in mind, that the difference betweeen the methods is not very big, and I often do the method #2, just because it's easier.

I find I like to use Kava about twice a month.

Lastly, it tastes really, incredibly, phenomenally, strongly gross! It makes me shudder just to think about the taste. You want to slam a cup then immediately rinse your mouth with water. Wait about 10 minutes and do another. Keep at this until you've drank all four cups. You DO get used to it and, for me anyway, it's worth the super-unpleasant taste to get the effect. I've found that kava greatly varies in potency. You'll know how good your kava is by how much it makes your mouth and tongue numb.

Really good Kava is quite noticable. Bad kava doesn't numb out your mouth at all.

Best of all, Kava Kava (Piper methysticum) is legal. Any "health food store" should either have it or be able to order it for you. I know because I work in one.

____
hope this helps!
Gordon


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