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Kava Science Dr. Vincent Lebot- The Kava Expert


I thought I might share some of Lebot's comments to me (in varying discussions, topics, etc) in order to clarify some common questions regarding various topics including safety, the future of kava, kava quality, extractions and tudei from an expert in the field.

For those who aren't familiar with Dr. Lebot, he is a (if not, the) leading researcher and authored the book "Kava: The Pacific Elixir". He has a PhD and is a botanical geneticist and has authored 15 peer-reviewed articles, seven of which are related to kava. This link will show you all of his articles:
[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=lebot, vincent]

He has helped to write a piece of legislation called the "Kava Act of 2002" which remains as the only piece of legislation (other than interdictions) for kava.
This can be found here: http://faolex.fao.org/docs/html/van38473.htm

Here are some very important articles that he has contributed to, which everyone here should read:

Here are his thoughts on various topics, over the past year or so we've been in touch.
Anything in brackets has been added by me, the rest is straight from him.

Regarding a recent discussion on tudei kava:

Dr. Lebot said:
The only thing I can say is that nobody ever drank two day kavas, they appear on the market during the late 90s kava boom due to malpractices and greed...etc... but they are not considered as "kava" per se"
[This is because under the Kava Act of 2002, tudei kava cannot be called "kava", similar to calling grapes "wine"]

Dr. Lebot said:
"This fellow reminds me [of] the German scientists who 15 years ago wanted to plant tudei kavas and extract them because they were growing faster than noble varieties.
We told them that nobody was drinking these plants here because they were dangerous and causing terrible nausea. They were stubborn.
We know what happened next in Germany.

Anyway, to make this story short, tudei varieties are illegal in Vanuatu. So this fellow is basically advocating something illegal. I don't know what else I can say. "
Dr. Lebot said:
"Based on the conclusions of this study [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24423570], two days kava are very rich in F[lavo] K[avain]s compared to nobles... so why take the risk to expose ourselves to potential side effects.... especially as we know that they are not very pleasant to drink! the hangover, fatigue, and nausea are terrible"
His comments on safety:
Dr. Lebot said:
"Water extraction of noble kava, conducted since thousands of years in the Pacific, is the safest way to go."
Regarding the "Colorimetric Solvent test" (to test for tudei)
Dr. Lebot said:
[These tests] didn't get false positives nor false negatives; All nobles were yellow, all two-days were ambre and all wichmannii were brown
Dr. Lebot said:
I have observed the same variation in colors with other solvents, chloroform, hexane, methanol, ethanol
Dr. Lebot said:
[The solvent test detects an] "non identified molecule" [and hypothesizes that] "this molecule is biosynthesed by a peculiar genotype"
["genotype" is the genetic makeup of an organism]

Regarding the Terminology of "Noble" and "Tudei"
Dr. Vincent Lebot said:
there are many other good varieties outside vanuatu
Dr. Vincent Lebot said:
I cannot see why it would be improper to refer to other good kava varieties, from other Pacific Island Countries, as nobles. If they are good, it means that they have been nobilized. There is no patent on the Vanuatu Kava Act word "noble" it can be used for other good kavas elsewhere, and the same can be said for two-days (isa is a two-day) and wichmannii kava varieties.
His comments on the ever so unique "Solomon's Island" Kava
Dr. Lebot said:
Also, the only P. methysticum cultivated in the Solomons, is as far as I know, Borogu (syn Borogoru) originating from Pentecost Island, Vanuatu."
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