Publications des agents du Cirad


Kava, the Pacific elixir: the definitive guide to its ethnobotany, history, and chemistry

Lebot V., Merlin M., Lindstrom L.. 1997. Rochester : Healing Arts Press, 272 p..

The most comprehensive treatment of kava ever written, Kava: The Pacific Elixir summarizes the literature and research on a plant that is now considered comparable or superior to anti-stress prescription drugs. Kava is consumed throughout the Pacific as a relaxing beverage for social interaction and as a support to religious inspiration. Because of its many beneficial qualities it is superior to alcohol, nicotine, tranquilizers, and other substances that serve to reduce stress and improve mood. Interest in kava is growing worldwide and its consumption is now extending well beyond the Pacific Rim as new products are developed from it for pharmacological and recreational markets worldwide. Exhaustively researched, this book offers an extensive survey of this amazing plant from the perspective of the horticulturalist, the ethnobotanist, and the pharmacologist. It provides compelling insights into this plant that has been an integral part of the religious, political, and economic life of the Pacific islands for centuries. It contains information that is invaluable to the serious scholar yet is not written with the specialist alone in mind. Beyond its soporific qualities Kava is also used throughout the islands of 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.

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