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History of Kava

Over 3000 years ago the Lapita people, believed to be the ancestors of the Micronesian, Melanesian and Polynesian people, colonised the Pacific.  It was these competent seafarers from either Taiwan or the Philippines, who spread kava throughout the Pacific.  They used kava ‘as a sedative, muscle relaxant, diuretic, and as a remedy for nervousness and insomnia’.  Historians suggest that although the Lapita people used kava medicinally, the development of kava as a culturally significant plant did not extend from the Lapita culture and that it was more likely that the people of the eastern Lapita influence in the Pacific established Kava in their rituals and traditions.  People from places such as; Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu.  These people of the Pacific continued to use kava as a remedial plant and firmly embedded it in their cultures. It is believed that kava originated in either Papua New Guinea or Vanuatu.  Some historians suggest that the latter is more likely as they compare the wide use of betel nut in Papua New Guinea to the use of kava in Vanuatu and theorise that if kava originated in Papua New Guinea, that surely the use of kava would be more prevalent in their culture.