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Historical Medicinal uses of Kava

Historical Medicinal uses of Kava

Best Fiji Kava on Apr 19th 2021

The Ethnobotney of Kava, what was kava used for in traditional medicine by the Peoples of the Pacific areas?


Here are some examples of what kava has been used for by the people of the Pacific areas that have grown kava for so very long.
Concerning the ethnobotney of Kava I will only be discussing the medicinal use not the cultivation,
preparation or classification of the ethnobotanical aspects of Kava.

Kava has been used for hundreds of years or more as a important medicine in the south Pacific and other regions in the Pacific.
This is a list of Kava based medicinal treatments in Polynesia.

Condition--------------------------------------------------Medicinal treatment

Inflammation if the urogenital system-----------------------Drinking macerated stump and young kava shoots.

Gonorrhea and chronic cystitis------------------------------Drinking prepared kava

Difficulties in urinating----------------------------------Drinking macerated stump

Female puberty syndromes, weakness--------------------------Drinking masticated kava

Menstrual problems, dysmenorrhea-----------------------------Drinking prepared kava

Vaginal prolapses------------------------------------------Application of macerated kava

To provoke an abortion-------------------------------------Kava leaves in the vagina

Migraine related to women's sicknesses----------------------Drinking masticated kava

Headaches--------------------------------------------------Masticated root tissues, eaten or drunk in an infusion

General weakness-------------------------------------------Drinking masticated,macerated diluted with water and boiled

Chills-----------------------------------------------------Drinking macerated kava, fumigation with the leaves.

Chills and sleeping problems-------------------------------Drinking of masticated, macerated kava diluted with water and boiled.

General treatment of diseases------------------------------Fumigation with the leaves.

To prevent infection---------------------------------------Drinking of masticated kava.

Rheumatism-------------------------------------------------Drinking of macerated Stump.

Weight gain------------------------------------------------Drinking of macerated Stump.

Gastrointestinal upsets------------------------------------Drinking of macerated Stump with other medicinal herbs.

Irritation of the respiratory tract and asthma-------------Drinking of macerated Stump.

Pulmonary Pains--------------------------------------------Drinking masticated kava.

Tuberculosis-----------------------------------------------Drinking juice extracted from the stump.

Leprosy----------------------------------------------------External application of masticated stump.

Skin diseases----------------------------------------------Application of masticated stump in a poultice.

To calm nervous children-----------------------------------Drinking the prepared kava drink from the Nene variety

Source Lebot and Cabalion 1986,Aitken 1930, Degner 1945,Handy 1945,Pukui and livermore1934, Hansel, weiss and schmidt 1966
Steinmetz 1960 and Titcomb 1948.


The above mentioned things were for kava in general, there was no distinction between Noble kava or tuday kava, but it has been mentioned that in Papua New Guinea
The would use the scraped bark and masticated roots for sore throats, we know at the time they only had wild tuday kava there in PNG so that is one of the uses for the tuday kava.
They also used the inner part of the bark of the kava root for tooth aches.
So it seems that most if not all of the uses for the Piper wichmannii or wild kava was for medicinal purposes and it was not consumed as a drink like the piper methysticum was.
Just to let you folks now, macerated means this---(esp. with reference to food) soften or become softened by soaking in a liquid.
And Masticated means this---chew (food) synonyms: chew, munch, champ, chomp, crunch.
Also it is good to note that these remedies are not considered effective and is just for information purposes.

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