What is Kava?

What is Kava Powder?

Kava powder

Before asking “What is kava powder?”, we should tell you that kava powder is a key ingredient in most kava drinks. Mostly, it’s used to make kava tea though it can also be added to smoothies and shakes or even used as a topping for desserts. You can use it in place of chocolate powder or cacao powder in recipes, or you could add it to your morning coffee or espresso.

Kava root powder is made from the kava plant. The herb has been used for centuries by Pacific Islanders for ceremonial purposes, including weddings and funerals. It’s also used for stress relief, anxiety management, and depression—and it’s safe for most people to use regularly without any negative side effects.

How is Kava Powder Made?

Kava powder is made by drying, peeling, and grinding kava root into a fine powder. The roots are harvested from the plant’s thick root structure which can grow up to 2 m (6 ft) high. Kava plants can live for several years if left untended, but those grown commercially are usually harvested after about three years.

The kava plant has broad leaves that are oval-shaped and grow up to 30 cm (12 in) long. However, it is important to note that the leaves and above ground plant material ARE NOT and SHOULD NOT be used when making kava powder. Only the root structure is used to make kava powder. Moreover, it’s imperative that only noble variety strains of the plant be used. 

What is kava powder? is a question often asked

Once the kava root has been taken out of the ground, it is then cleaned. The cleaning process removes the dirt and some part of the skin of the root. It is then chopped up and dried.

The reason for processing kava roots into kava powder is because it helps break down any remaining cell walls so that the active compounds (kavalactones) can be more easily extracted from them. There are many ways that this is done around the world.

Traditional Root and Pestle Method.

kava powder being made with a mortar and pestle

In countries such as Fiji, Tonga and Samoa, modern kava culture is based around preparing kava with kava powder. As such, this powder is prepared by placing the dried root in a long steel chute. this is normally cemented or affixed into the ground. A larger hammer or steel pole is then used by young men of the village to drive down and pound the dried kava root. This process goes for some time until the kava root has been pummeled into a powder.

Commercial Methods.

The above root and pestle method, whilst keeping the user fit and strong is not commercially viable. Subsequently, countries such as Vanuatu, Fiji and Hawaii have developed various machines that are used to make kava powder. These include:

Drop Hammers

Using basic rotating machinery plugged into either a generator or an electrical engine, the drop hammer machine literally picks up a drop hammer and then lets it fall using its natural weight onto the kava root. These machines normally rotate at least 4 drop hammers. When the machine or several machines are operating at the same time, the sound is deafening. Check the below video example.

Hammer Mills

Hammer mills have been used since ancient times to crush things like cereal grains, coffee beans, nuts, and other food items. They work by crushing or grinding whatever they’re fed through an opening in one side of their body (called an input hopper). Simultaneously, it rotates rapidly at high speed on another side (called an output hopper).

Kava hammer mills either work using a steel teeth structure which spins against a steel sieve. Kava root is placed into the hammer and is literally shredded and hammered into a powder.

Nano Particle Separators.

The Kava powder produced using drop hammer machinery or hammer mills is normally at a 1-3mm consistency. However, some kava powder producers also further refine their kava powder into a Nano powder. This means it has a baby powder consistency.

To do this they use particle separators which act as large sieves. This separates the kava into Nano sized powder, 1mm powder and 3 mm powder.

What is the difference between kava powder, instant kava, kava pills and kava tinctures?

Kava pills

Kava pills are also made from dried kava roots and come in pill form—you just pop them into your mouth like any other pill! They come in doses ranging from 10mg up to 200mg per serving.

Kava tincture

Kava tinctures are created by soaking dried kava root in alcohol for several weeks before straining out the liquid and bottling it as an extract. The alcohol acts as a preservative so you can keep your tincture at room temperature and use it whenever you need some extra help relaxing or winding down after a stressful day.

Kava powder and instant kava are both made from the kava plant, but there are a few key differences. Kava powder is made from grinding up dried rootstock as discussed above. Instant kava is normally made using an aqueous extraction process. This process reduces kava juice into a liquid, which is then dehydrated and milled into a powder. Kava powder has a stronger taste than instant kava, so if you prefer a subtle flavour, you should use instant kava.

What are the Benefits of Taking Kava Powder?

happy Pacific Islanders drinking kava

For hundreds of years the Pacific Islanders have drunk kava. They do this for several reasons that appeal to people in western countries. They include

✔️ Relaxing properties: If you’re looking for something that will help soothe your nerves and calm your mind after a long day at work or during stressful times in life like exams or family conflicts, kava powder may be just what you need! It will help reduce tension in your body so that you can feel more relaxed and less stressed out overall.

✔️ Alleviates depression symptoms: Depression symptoms like sadness, hopelessness, fatigue, sleep problems, appetite changes and loss of interest in activities once enjoyed can all be treated with kava powder. This is because it works on neurotransmitters in the brain (dopamine) that affect mood.

Where do you buy kava powder in Australia?

Now that kava powder is legal to be imported and sold in Australia, you can buy it in many places. These include health food stores, Chemists, Pacific Island Stores and online.

If you are buying kava powder online in Australia, then we recommend the following vendors:

Australia Kava Shop

Australia Kava Shop is the place to go if you’re looking for kava powder. We provide a wide range of kava products, including kava powder, Instant Kava, and Kava accessories

Buying kava online can be tricky, which is why Australia Kava Shop made their website easy to use and packed with information about all their products. They also offer free express shipping on all orders over $199.50!

Vanuatu Noble Kava

Vanuatu Noble Kava sources their kava powder only from Vanuatu, an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. Their kava comes from noble varieties of the plant that have been cultivated for generations by Melanesian islanders, who use them in traditional ceremonies. Their kava powder products are 100% natural, containing no additives or preservatives—just pure kava root powder!

Vanuatu Noble Kava 1kg