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Tongan Kava should be used to combat mental illness

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 26/04/2017

A Tongan academic says he hopes that Tongan Kava be used commonly to combat mental illnesses among Pacific People.

Dr. Sione Vaka – a lecturer at Massey University of NZ – says the crops contain relaxant properties and the setting makes people reconnect with others around the kava circle.

This was the outcome of his research which was based on Tongan men.

Meanwhile Psychologist of the Ministry of Health- Dr. Mapa Puloka says, Tongan kava is used in the Hospital’s Psychiatric ward to replace usage of drugs and alcohol by his patients.

He says many have accepted the change but once they have no access to Tongan kava many can always go back to alcohol and drugs.

Tongan kava has been exported to European markets as a source of medical treatment.

The kava has become a gift to the Pacific region, Tonga included because this is where the crop grows best.

Kava is one of the main revenue earners to many growers in Tonga.

© Radio and Television Tonga News