Hump Day Herbs – Kava-Kava

August 3rd, 2011 by sivodd


Botanical Name: Piper Methysticum

Folk Names: Intoxicating Pepper, Ava, Ava Pepper, Ava Root, Awa Root

Photo by wallyg

Piper methysticum, means “intoxicating pepper.” It is a mild hypnotic, used traditionally in Polynesia for ceremonial purposes. Young people with strong teeth would chew the tough roots, it was then strained and added to water or coconut oil.

The tonic was drunk at peace ceremonies and other ritual occasions to welcome visiting dignitaries. It was not only used for ceremonial consumption, but also to relax social barriers and enhance social cohesion. Kava-Kava was used as an Offering to deities, it was taken to enhance visions or to increase the power when a priest wished to identify the spiritual cause of an illness.

Deities: Kanaloa, Kane, Lono

Element: Water (Fidelity, Friendship, Healing, Love, Meditation, Prophetic Dreams, Purification, sleep)

Gender: Feminine

Planet: Saturn (Endings, Exorcisms, Longevity, Visions)

Powers: Endings, Exorcisms, Longevity, Visions

Medicinal Uses: Kava has been used for anxiety and stress. It is sometimes chewed to relieve throat pain, as Kava produces a “numbing” effect on the tongue and throat. Kava is first chewed in the back of the mouth, (for 5 to 10 minutes) while swallowing the saliva and kavalactones released from the process. It produces an effect similar to that of an over the counter chloraseptic spray to alleviate sore throat by numbing it. It has been banned in Germany, Switzerland, and Canada because of liver injury.  A public safety alert about Kava has been issued by the US FDA  due to liver problems.

Magical Uses: Kava is used to protect you and your home, and invite in good luck.

Ritual Uses: A small amount (chopped root) sprinkled around the house will keep out unwanted visitors. Hang a small piece on your door or put in an amulet to invite in good luck. To induce visions, soak a 1/2 gallon of water mixed with roots and leaves overnight in the refrigerator. Strain and drink a cup before you meditate.

Warning: to much infusion can damage kidneys and liver.


  • The Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Magical Plants by Susan Gregg
  • Scott Cunningham: Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of magical herbs

Note: Consult with a Physician or a certified herbologist if you are seeking medical remedies. The information is not intended as medical advice. is not liable for the misuse of the herb listed above.

Thanks for stopping by! Well wishes to you all, have a great day!


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One Response to “Hump Day Herbs – Kava-Kava”

  1. Truly, kava kava is one of those plants that are magical.