Kava Kava preparation can be a little scary for some people. Traditionally in the Pacific Islands, Kava Kava was chewed then spat into a water mixture and left to set for awhile. Obviously, not too many of us really want to go with the traditional method.
I have tried many different ways with both powder form and dried root. This is what I have found from my own experiences in preparing Kava Kava root:
Kava Kava dried root powder is the form most easily prepared in a blender and only needs to be strained once or twice, depending on if you like the frothy foam that is produced. Some say there are more Kavalactones in the froth.
Dried root powder is excellent for large batches of Kava Kava brews and smoothies requiring a four or five more ingredients. However, if you are in a hurry and do not let your brew “soak” in all the ingredients, you mixture will not be very potent. I personally feel the root powder form of Kava Kava is not has potent, has the Kava Kava dried root form.
Kava Kava root dried and cut is the form I prefer. I feel the potency is stronger and the taste is more earthy.
When I first tried Kava Kava, I steeped the dried root in a tea infuser just like this one
with boiling hot water from my tea kettle. I then mixed in milk and chocolate syrup. I was quite happy with the results, however, most Kava Kava sites say that water too hot, will kill the Kavalactones quality in the herb. There are mixed opinions out there. You will have to experiment and decide for yourself.
After doing that research, I feared I may be destroying some of the medicinal qualities in the traditional “tea” preparation.
My next try involved letting the dried and cut Kava Kava root sit in a mason jar full of milk. I had wrapped the Kava Kava in cheesecloth, let it sit in the milk, for a few hours.
I then strained and kneaded the root bag several times, as instructed on the web. Many sites stress the kneading of the Kava Kava is the most important step because repeated kneading of the root powder is what produces a greater potency effect.
I found this method to be time consuming, messing and did not really produce a brew, more potent than the other mentioned methods.
Note: I first used milk, even though many Kava Kava sites stress you must purchase soy lecithin, which is said to heighten the Kava Kava qualities.
Soy lecithin is not easily accessible in my area here in Missouri. Since soy lecithin was not very accessible for me, I decided to try a brew, using soy milk, in the vanilla flavor.
It is cheap and contains soy lecithin.
So here is the EASIEST and most EFFECTIVE way of preparing Kava Kava Dried Root:
In a large mason jar with a tight fitting lid, I put two heaping spoonfuls of dried and cut Kava Kava Root and filled the jar with the soy milk.
I let the jar sit in the refrigerator till the next evening. I strained the mixture once, through a tight meshed strainer, added some cocoa and chocolate syrup.
The results were amazing! The mixture had a nice smooth texture, the cocoa and chocolate mixed well, and helped tone down the strong flavor of Kava Kava.
The easiest, cheapest and simplest way, in my opinion, to prepare Kava Kava root and receive all the qualities and benefits intended, is to simply:
let it sit at least 24 hours in a soy based product.
If you want to add natural flavors to the mixture, such as lemon balm leaves, peppermint leaves or my personal favorites, chocolate, cinnamon and ginger, just add these to your over night mixture. All of the wonderful herbs will mesh together.
Strain the mixture through a tight meshed strainer, cheese cloth, whatever your have into a blender. Blend with ice for a wonderful cold, frothy shake or heat up slightly (I recommend on the stove, but if you are not concerned with a microwaves possibly of hindering the mixtures qualities, heat for no more than 30 seconds in the microwave) for a warm, cozy evening beverage.
Use one (1) ounce = 2 tablespoons of root powder or dried root per person.
Kava Kava is a wonderful herb from Mother Nature. Calming and cozy, awesome for sleeplessness and anxiety, Kava Kava is also a great alternative to alcohol and those suffering from alcohol withdrawal. Although there are mixed opinions on the web concerning this topic, I personally feel it is a wonderful aid for those in detox of alcohol and opiates, based on my research.
I hope you give Kava Kava a try. Decide for yourself. You can find more easy recipes that I have tried here. If it is not for you, there are hundreds of wonderful herbs out there for energy, relaxation, anxiety, depression. Natural remedies are designed by nature, so they have a natural balance and no harsh effects as pharmaceutical remedies tend to have.
LIVE – LOVE – LAUGH – MEDITATE!