What is Kava?
Kava,or Piper methysticum, is an awesome plant from the South Pacific. It comes from countries such as Tonga, Vanuatu and Fiji. The name kava is from Tongan and Marquesan languages, meaning “bitter.” It is used for medicinal, religious, political, cultural, and social purposes. Village healers use it to calm, relax and sedate people who are experiencing stress or trouble sleeping. Drinking kava has been an important cultural tradition in these places for many centuries.
Instant kava is just like instant coffee; it’s already extracted through water or other means to condense the alkaloids and flavonoids. Once all the good stuff is extracted from the original kava powder, it is dehydrated. It’s a micronized Kava that is ready to drink. Unlike regular kava, where you must strain it and take nearly 10 minutes to prepare, instant kava can be made in less than one minute. If you’re like me and don’t have 10 minutes to run through the simple steps to prepare traditional kava, just add water and your choice of milk, mix, and enjoy!
Ground Kava Powder
Regular ground kava powder requires you to strain it so you don’t directly ingest the plant material (root bits). Ingesting this can cause stomach discomfort and lead to more serious digestive problems. Ingesting the kava powder raw is simply not a good idea.
Which is Stronger?
Instant kava is quite a bit more potent then kava powder because of the processing. Instant Kava is micronized (very small granules), using a special method to create a fine powder and remove the least water-soluble root parts. Essentially, all of the useless stuff from the plant has been discarded. Instant kava is usually prepared with about 1 – 2 tablespoons, compared to kava powder which is usually prepared with 3 to 4 tablespoons or more.
Preparation is super easy compared to traditional kava preparation where you have to agitate it, strain it etc., so instant kava is great if you are on the go, or just really impatient like I am!