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Kava from Hawaii

Hawaii is one of Canadians favorite sun destinations. It is also the closest place to home to get familiar with kava culture and kava. It is where we bought our first kava and it turned out it wasn't even actually from Hawaii but from Tonga. Still, if it wasn't for that trip to Hawaii, we would still be "kava ignorant". By the way, there is a whole lot more to Hawaii than just Honolulu and Waikiki.

Hawaii, the 50th State of the USA (According to the USA…), is an archipelago of 8 volcanic islands. In 2008 it had an estimated population of 1,288,198. The biggest and youngest island is called Hawaii or Big Island (pop 201,109), with Kona and Hilo as its major centers and airports.

With an area of 4,028.0 square miles (10,432.5 sq. km), it has the most active volcano in the world, K lauea that has been erupting since 1983, making the island a little bigger everyday. Big Island also has a perfect place above the clouds for stargazing, Mauna Kea at 13,800ft (4205m), where several Countries have installed permanent telescopes. Sadly it also has the most polluted beach in the world, filled with debris brought by currents from all across the Pacific Ocean.

The island of Maui (The Valley Isle) is the second largest with 727.2 square miles (1883.5 sq km). In 2008, the population was counted at 143,574. Its highest mountain, Haleakala is famous for its bicycle rides all the way down from the summit. It also has an astrophysical center called Science City with huge telescopes. Among the popular tourists attractions, are the scenic views along the road to Hana.

Oahu (The Gathering Place) is the third largest island, with 596.7 square miles (1545.4 sq. km). It is home to Hawaii's Capital, Honolulu. It is famous for Waikiki beach, Diamond Head Crater, The Polynesian Cultural Center and Pearl Harbor.

Kauai, (The Garden Isle) is the oldest one, located at the northern tip of the archipelago. With an area of 552.3 square miles (1,430.5 sq. km) it is mostly famous for its roosters, its Canyon, its movie sets and for the Na Pali Coast. Mount Waialeale is the wettest place on earth receiving an average of 472 inches (1 198.88 cm) of rain per year. Like its name suggests, it is a beautiful garden with lots of fragrant flowers and lush vegetation. Tourism is the most important industry and it is very hard on the local population.

Molokai (The Friendly Isle) has an area of 260 square miles (673.4 sq. km) and in 2000 had a population of 7,404. It is one of the least developed of the main islands. Its inhabitants are very protective and are doing everything they can to protect the island from becoming overcrowded with hotels and resorts.

Lana'i (The Pineapple Isle) with an area of 140.5 square miles (364 sq. km) only has one town, Lana'i city. It gets its nickname after the Dole plantation called Hawaiian Pineapple Company. Most roads on Lanai'i are dirt roads.

Ni'ihau (The Forbidden Isle) is the smallest of the inhabited islands of Hawaii with its 69.5 square miles (180 sq. km). It was purchased by the Robinson Family in 1864 with a contract that stipulated they had to preserve the Hawaiian culture and traditions. The Hawaiian language is the main first language although English is also spoken. As of 2009 there were only 130 inhabitants. There is no store or hotel on the island. Solar power is the main source of electricity and they use rainwater for drinking. The rental of a small cliff to the navy is the island's main revenue along with the selling of shells and jewelry shells.

Kaho'olawe (The Target Isle) is the smallest of the islands. It is uninhabited but has been used by the US army for training for many years.

~ Map of Hawaii ~

View Larger Map of Hawaii


Kava in Hawaii
The kava plant, also called awa, is not a native plant to Hawaii and was introduced in Hawaii by the Polynesian settlers. They brought along about 12 varieties to the islands. They cultivated kava for medicinal and ceremonial purposes. For instance the kahunas (priests, healers) would use kava to communicate with the spirit world. It was also used as a diplomatic drink between clans for peace and to make deals. It was used in hula dancing initiation for little girls. There is no written history of kava but it is mentioned in ancient chants and legends. Hawaiians consumed h n lea relish (a mixture of partially decomposed fish) to get rid of the bad taste of kava and aumiki noni (a fruit juice) to get rid of any of its unpleasant effects. Personally, I wouldn't rinse my mouth with rotten fish… It doesn't taste THAT bad!

Mahakea kava is the most popular variety in Hawaii. It has a woody flavor, and it can make you feel good, relaxed, happy, positive, satisfied, inspired and creative. It has the most desired chemo types with the least side effects possible with other kavas like headaches, nausea and drowsiness. Mahakea has a pleasant effect on the mind

Kava in Canada : The issue of the 2002 ban and stop-sale of Kava in Canada by Health Canada
Vanuatu Kava : An Introduction to the Vanuatu island archipelago. Vanuatu is said to have the best kava in the world with the most varieties. Available in Canada shipped direct from Vanuatu.
Fiji Kava : An Introduction to Fiji and Fiji Kava

Hawaiian Kava : The kava plant, also called awa, is not a native plant to Hawaii and was introduced in Hawaii by the Polynesian settlers.

Kava Recipe
contributed by TripSister

Our Kava Regular Recipe
Serving: 1 cup of kava
1-2 Tbsp powdered Kava buy powdered kava kava
1 tsp soy lecithin
1 cup water

Mix in blender for 4 minutes, strain in a bowl, using a knee high nylon stocking, squeeze the liquid out and poor into cup (coconut shell preferably).

It's best to make a big batch. Myself, I find the blender a bit loud and once a day is enough noise for me! For two people you can make 4-6 cups of kava in one shot and then just sit back and enjoy your cup of kava. We prefer to take kava on an empty stomach, at the end of the day before supper. Taking kava before going to bed can keep some people awake.

Lecithin is used as an emulsifying agent to release the kavalactones from the kava powder that is not water soluble. If you don't have lecithin you can use a neutral oil, like canola or vegetable. There are many different kinds of Kava. You might have to adjust quantities according to taste. You can try juice, soy milk or plain water. to help extract the kavalactones that are not water soluble. Also, the strength and quality varies greatly from one company to another.

Note: Never use hot or boiling water to make your kava, it will kill the good relaxing properties.




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