Have you heard of kava or kava tea? Whether you’ve heard of it or not, there are many questions out there like “What is kava root,” “What does kava do,” “What is kava used for,” and “Does kava give you a buzz.” If you haven’t heard of kava before, we’ve probably piqued your interest now!
Kava, also known as kava kava and used in kava tea, is an herbal remedy made from the roots of the Piper methysticum plant found in the Pacific Islands. It has been used as a ceremonial drink for hundreds of years. Kava is known for its relaxing qualities, with some people reporting that its effects are similar to alcohol. The meaning of its name, translated to English, is “intoxicating pepper,” so there may be some truth in how it makes some people feel when taken in large quantities.
What Is Kava Used For?
If you aren’t in the habit of holding ceremonies for dignitaries, you can still incorporate kava into your life! The kava kava root used in our kava tea is said to elevate your mood, support feelings of well-being and contentment, and produce an overall sensation of relaxation. The findings from several studies indicate that kava may be helpful in treating anxiety, insomnia, stress, and providing pain relief. Drinking kava tea can be beneficial in alleviating these feelings and helping you relax.
What Does Kava Do?
The root of the kava plant contains nutrients and organic compounds, including chemicals known as kavalactones. Just like tea plants, the compounds in kava plants are affected by their growing conditions, and different varieties of the kava plant can have varying effects on the strength of the kavalactones.
Kava is a central nervous system depressant. While there is no alcohol in kava, it can mimic symptoms of intoxication when taken in large quantities, so the answer to the question “Does kava give you a buzz?” could be “yes” for some. The effects are dependent on the strength of the kava mixture, as well as an individual’s body size, general health, strength, amount taken, and if you are taking other drugs. You should never drink alcohol while taking kava. Before drinking kava regularly, check with your physician, especially if you have any health conditions. Kava is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
How Do I Prepare Kava?
Traditionally, the roots were either chewed into a pulp or ground into a powder and added to cold water. Sometimes, compared to the social equivalent of wine in France, kava was served up to guests and people of importance who visited Pacific Islands like Fiji and Tonga.
At Harney & Sons, we make enjoying kava much easier than chewing or grinding your own kava roots! We offer three different types of kava and kava tea:
Kava Root. This is kava root in convenient ground powdered form. Simply add to hot water and enjoy the relaxing benefits. My uncle Paul enjoys this regularly and says he’s a better man for it! If you’re wondering what straight kava tastes like, it is often described as earthy, spicy, and a bit bitter. Quite frankly, kava on its own isn’t enjoyed for its taste but for its effects.
Turmeric Spice With Kava. This powerhouse tea has both relaxing and anti-inflammatory benefits, the former from kava and the latter from turmeric. The benefits of turmeric are enhanced when taken with black pepper, which is also included in this spicy black tea flavored with cinnamon, orange peel, and cloves.
Holiday Kava CBD. Made by our sister company, The Hemp Division, this flavorful black tea with kava, CBD made from all-natural hemp grown on our farm, and flavored with orange, cloves, vanilla, cinnamon, and safflower will have you chillin’ during holiday mania.
Is Kava Tea Safe to Drink?
While we are not qualified to make that specific determination for every person, when taken in small doses, kava is proven to help create feelings of relaxation with no negative side effects. When taken in large doses over a long period of time, some people have experienced mild side effects such as headache, dizziness, fatigue, and depression, and some studies have shown it may cause issues with the liver. If you have any concerns, talk with your physician. But as with all things, taken in moderation, kava can help lessen anxiety and stress, something we can all use from time to time!