Drinking Kava

Welcome to Drinking Kava

What is Kava?

Why do are people drinking kava and what is kava? Kava is a root found in the Pacific. This root grows on several Pacific islands including Fiji, Hawaii, Vanuatu, and Micronesia.

The root grinds into a fine powder to create Kava drinks. Similarly, it’s perfect for cultural, religious, and medicinal purposes. Also, it has a long history of usage in the Pacific. Due to the location of these Pacific islands, drinking kava is now popular in Australia.

Why are people drinking kava?

Drinking Kava traditionally was a religious and ceremonial affair. For example, in Fiji, Kava is the national drink. As a result, it is drunk often as part of the Yaqona Ceremony.

Similarly, in Vanuatu (The original location of the root), Kava was drunk in rituals. Besides, these rituals included powerful men and held in secret.

The traditions of drinking Kava are still relevant in some countries. But it has evolved with a new purpose. The following are some of the main reasons kava is drunk:

In Pacific countries like Vanuatu and Micronesia, it is a social drink. People gather in villages and enjoy a coconut shell to relax and discuss their day.

Also, Kava has various benefits for the mind and body. In countries like Australia and the USA it reduces stress and anxiety. Similarly, some people use Kava to help with sleep. It is a great drink that provides peace and relaxation.

Drinking Kava Drink

7

Countries Grow Kava

200

Different Kava Plant Varieties

180+

Kava Bar in the US

Ground Kava

Why not eat ground Kava?

So why is this root drunk? The main reason is taste. Kava root, paste, and powder have an unpleasant taste. Also, consistency isn’t great. As a result, water is usually added to create the Kava drink. Conversely, this dilutes the taste somewhat and improves consistency.

Also, a drink is more social – this is one of the main aspects of Kava culture. It is easier to sit in a group and enjoy several kava drinks.

Kava Preparation

The preparation of Kava has some interesting variations. As a result, different cultures have different processes. Two of the most notable preparation techniques are from Fiji and Vanuatu:

Fiji Preparation
Fiji

In Fiji, drinking Kava is part of the Yaqona Ceremony. First, the root its pound into a pulp. It is then placed into a cloth sack and mixed with water. The resulting mixture strains into a tanoa (bowl). As a result, cups pass round the circle of participants. Finally, each person takes a drink.

Vanuatu Preparation
Vanuatu

In Vanuatu, drinking Kava is a communal affair. Traditionally, the root is pound into small pieces. As a result, people chew kava, and spit juices into a wooden bowl. Finally, the juice mixes with coconut milk or water and strained.

In other countries like the USA and Australia, less traditional methods are available. Kava is usually imported as a ground root or powder. This is because it is not grown in these countries.

The ground kava creates tablets or drinks. Before adding the powder to liquids, it is often strained to improve consistency. You can find some interesting kava recipes here including cocktails and milkshakes.

Drinking Kava around the world

This root has different uses worldwide including the following:

Drinks

Tinktures

Supplements

Tinctures and supplements are generally a western method. In the Pacific, Kava is always drunk. Furthermore, it is a social drink and enjoyed in groups.

Alternatively, in countries like the USA and Australia, Kava culture has evolved. It’s ingested as a supplement to for wellness.

Also, Kava bars are increasing in popularity. These bars often serve traditional kava drinks. Also, they also experiment with new and exciting recipes. For example, kava combines with fruits to create smoothies. Alternatively, it creates fun cocktails.

What are the effects and side effects
of drinking Kava?

Physical effects of kava

Whilst the taste of Kava is not pleasant for everyone, the effects are fantastic. Standard side effects include:

Generally, you feel brilliant. Also, you enjoy an enhanced state of relaxation. Furthermore, higher doses instill a sense of euphoria. Some compare the effect of alcohol, without the debilitating impairments.

Health benefits of kava

Kava has many reported health benefits. These are due t the kavalactones present in the root. Kavalactones are psychoactive and provide that great relaxed state of mind. Benefits of kava include:

If you suffer from anxiety, drink kava several times per day. As a result, you feel relaxed and the negative effects of anxiety disappear.

Alternatively, if you struggle to sleep, drink kava an hour before your bedtime. As a result, you can fall asleep easier and enjoy a trouble-free sleep.

In addition, Kava is generally a great drink for relaxation. If you have had a stressful day, a tot of the drink helps. Alternatively, you can use it if you want to relax and chill with a group of friends.

Negative side effects of kava

The main reason why kava is so popular is its lack of side effects. In addition, drinking kava does not cause a hangover unlike alcohol. However, you must understand the potential effects it causes including:

Warnings arose about potential liver damage. The U.S FDA has several case reports where liver damage has occurred. Conversely, the people all had other complications. For example, some had pre-existing liver disease. Alternatively, others had excessive alcohol consumption.

Essentially, there was no proof of a connection between Kava and the condition.

Kava can cause drowsiness. As a result, don’t drink it when operating machinery or driving.

Furthermore, this substance can interfere with blood clotting. If you have a bleeding disorder, don’t drink kava.