Exhaustively researched, Kava: The Pacific Elixir written by Vincent Lebot, Mark Merlin, and Lamont Lindstrom, offers an extensive survey of this amazing plant from the perspective of the horticulturalist, the ethno botanist , and the pharmacologist. It provides compelling insights into this plant and 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.
Numerous chemical and pharmacological studies of Kava have been published over the past 140 years, producing a wealth of data.