Kava: The Pacific Elixir: The Definitive Guide to Its Ethnobotany, History, and Chemistry

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Inner Traditions / Bear & Co, 1997 - Health & Fitness - 272 pages
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• The most comprehensive book ever written on nature's most effective stress-relieving plant.

• First paperback edition of the classic comprehensive text originally published by Yale University Press.

This complete guide to kava summarizes the literature and research on a plant that is now considered comparable or superior to anti-stress prescription drugs, and describes its use in the religious, political, and economic life of the Pacific islands for centuries. Beyond its soporific qualities kava is also used throughout the the Pacific as an analgesic, a diuretic, and an anesthetic. There is even evidence suggesting it is effective in the treatment of asthma, tuberculosis, and venereal disease. Exhaustively researched, Kava: The Pacific Elixir offers an extensive survey of this amazing plant from the perspective of the horticulturist, the ethnobotanist, and the pharmacologist.
 

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Contents

1 Introduction
1
Morphology Biogeography and Origin of the Species
10
Reproduction
13
Taxonomy and Nomenclature
14
Geographic Distribution
25
Dispersal of Cultivars
38
Origin of Piper methysticum
51
Active Principles and Their Effects
57
Ethnobotanical Heritage
117
The Cultural Significance and Social Uses of Kava
119
The Meanings of Kava
121
Relating with Kava
141
Altered States
152
Kavettes
156
Kava as a Cash Crop
175
Kava as a Cash Crop in Fiji and Tonga
189

Identification of the Active Principles
60
Molecular Structures of Isolated Compounds
66
Physiological Activity of Kavalactones
69
Chemotypes
74
Cultivation Classification Preparation and Medicinal Use
82
Folk Classification of Cultivars
90
Preparation and Consumption
103
Kava in Traditional Pharmacopoeia and Medicine
112
The Export Market
191
A World Drug?
198
Can Kava Kill?
199
Kava Futures
202
Appendix A Geographical Distribution of Past and Present Kava Use
213
Bibliography
225
Index
247
Copyright

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Acknowledgments

1. Introduction

2. Botany: Morphology, Biogeography, and Origin of the Species

3. Chemistry: Active Principles and Their Effects

4. Ethnobotany: Cultivation, Classification, Preparation, and Medicinal Use

5. Anthropology: The Cultural Significance and Social Uses of Kava

6. Economics: Kava as a Cash Crop

7. Kava: A World Drug?

Appendices

Bibliography

Index

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