Kava Plant — these are the leaves, which are not consumed in the Kava Drink

Have you heard of Kava recently? It’s starting to become more common in the United States. In short, it is a plant based tea that helps you feel calm. Who doesn’t need this in 2020 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Kava originated in the South Pacific — I found out about it from my husband who grew up in Fiji. In Fiji (and I’m sure the other islands in the South Pacific), kava is grown all over. Once the plant matures, the roots are harvested, dried, and pounded into a powder. Once you have this powder, you brew the tea in room temperature water by kneading it in a cloth and drink up! I prefer using a nut milk bag for making kava.

Traditionally prepared Kava (tea) in a Tanoa (large bowl)

Kava is a drink widely consumed on a regular basis throughout the islands — oftentimes after a hard day’s work while socializing among friends and family. It offers the benefit of being able to relax mentally while being sociable. Something interesting is that it numbs your tongue when you drink it. I was quite surprised when I experienced this for the first time.

I have found Kava to be an acquired taste as it tastes like dirt in my opinion. I tried it for the first time in a Fijian village during a traditional Kava Ceremony. It was a wonderful cultural experience and I am so incredibly grateful I was able to experience it. However, the flavor (in my opinion) can be improved by adding fruit juices and sweeteners like honey. If you’re curious, you should check it out and give it a try!