Maybe you’ve heard of it but you aren’t exactly sure what is kava. The supplement was used by natives in the Western Pacific for thousands of years. Now, the plant is enjoyed as a supplement to treat anxiety and a range of conditions.

We’ll explore kava benefits, how to drink kava, and the many uses of kava kava.

What Is Kava and Where Does It Come From?

The kava plant is native to Polynesia. The term kava typically refers to the dried and powdered root of the plant that is formally known as Piper methysticum.

The root is rough and resistant to boiling. That is why the root is typically turned into powder before someone boils it. Someone can drink the kava hot, warm, or cold.

The name kava comes from the Polynesian word for bitter. The name is fitting because kava is bitter.

Traditional Uses

Traditionally, Pacific islanders crushed and chewed kava. After they chewed it, they soaked the root in cold water. This produced a drink for ceremonies.

The ceremonies strengthened ties among members of the island communities.

The drinking of kava also helped the native populations communicate with spirits.

Kava continues to be an important part of Polynesian culture. Immigrants who settled in Australia continue consuming kava to this day.

Modern Uses of Kava

Kava is a known sedative. Many people use it to treat insomnia, anxiety, and other conditions, although kava needs further medical research.

As an herbal supplement, kava is not FDA-approved. Anyone who uses this plant should be mindful of the kava dosage. A small dose of around 100mg is safe.

The physical effect of kava is related to the amount of kava that a user consumes. Bodyweight and fat composition are other factors.

In general, people who consume kava describe feeling relaxed and sleepy. Loss of appetite is also attributed to the consumption of kava. Due to the strong sedative effects of kava, users should not mix kava kava with alcohol.

How Should I Take Kava?

Most Americans wouldn’t want to drink raw kava the way it has traditionally been consumed. If you have ground powder, you can mix the powder with water. Or, you can blend it with any juice that you prefer.

Sweet drinks often take the edge off the bitter powder. Another popular way to consume kava is through powder. Many fans of this herb prefer to buy kava and kratom capsules in bulk.

We recommend experimenting. There’s no single best way to enjoy kava. Some people even mix the powder into foods.

Keep Up With Herbal Trends

Now you know the answer to “what is kava.” The herb continues to find new uses for people who struggle with anxiety and other conditions. As of 2021, kava remains perfectly legal to buy and consume in the United States. We love posting stories that you won’t find anywhere else. Always engaging, our articles run the gamut from tech to health and news.