Definitions for kavaˈkɑ və
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word kava
an alcoholic drink made from the aromatic roots of the kava shrub
A plant from the South Pacific, Piper methysticum.
An intoxicating beverage made from the kava plant.
Origin: From kava, in turn from kawa
a species of Macropiper (M. methysticum), the long pepper, from the root of which an intoxicating beverage is made by the Polynesians, by a process of mastication; also, the beverage itself
Kava or kava-kava is a crop of the western Pacific. The name kava is from Tongan and Marquesan; other names for kava include ʻawa, ava, yaqona, and sakau. The roots of the plant are used to produce a drink with sedative and anesthetic properties. Kava is consumed throughout the Pacific Ocean cultures of Polynesia, including Hawaii, Vanuatu, Melanesia and some parts of Micronesia. Kava is sedating and is primarily consumed to relax without disrupting mental clarity. Its active ingredients are called kavalactones. A Cochrane Collaboration systematic review of its evidence concluded it was likely to be more effective than placebo at treating short-term social anxiety. Safety concerns have been raised over liver toxicity, largely due to the use of stems and leaves by supplement makers, as opposed to solely the root of the plant as dictated by traditional uses. However, based on a retrospective study of retained P. methysticum drug materials in Germany, the alkaloid pipermethystine, occurring to about 0.2% in the leaves, is an unlikely cause for the observed hepatotoxicity. Whether kava hepatotoxicity may be due to contamination with aflatoxins or other mould hepatotoxins, requires further studies. Heavy use of kava with comorbid alcohol consumption or an existing liver condition appears to lead to malnutrition, weight loss, liver damage, renal dysfunction, rashes, pulmonary hypertension, macrocytosis of red cells, lymphocytopenia, and decreasing platelet volumes.
U.S. National Library of Medicine
Dried rhizome and roots of Piper methysticum, a shrub native to Oceania and known for its anti-anxiety and sedative properties. Heavy usage results in some adverse effects. It contains ALKALOIDS; LACTONES; kawain, methysticin, mucilage, STARCH, and yangonin. Kava is also the name of the pungent beverage prepared from the plant's roots.
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