In my recent visit to Hawaii, I made a stop at the local kava bar. I wanted to brush up on my kava herb knowledge and to see what the kava hubbub was all about.
For centuries, Hawaiians and the Pacific Islanders have used kava as part of their ceremonial rituals. Even today, my Hawaiian ʺbruhhdahsʺ regularly enjoy drinking kava.
Kava, which is a plant with deep roots, is native to the Hawaiian and South Pacific Islands. Kava is also known as awa, kava pepper, kava kava or piper methysticum.
The underground stem and root of the kava plant is smashed and mixed with water. After the mixture is strained, it is generally served at room temperature and in a coconut shell.
Kava bars are popular in Hawaii. Most of the main towns have a kava spot which is frequented by locals and international travels. On my visit, there were Hawaiian locals or kama'āina’s and travelers from Germany, Japan and Australia.
The cost of a shell will run you about 5 bucks. The taste of kava equals a bowl of milky, nutty, dirt water. The recommended use is 1-2 cups during your visit to a kava bar.
Everyone drinks their kava differently. Some will drink it straight and throw it back or chug it. Others, like myself, will nurse it and occasional stir it with a piece of pineapple. Also, you can mix the kava with coconut milk or an exotic fruit juice like guava, mango, or pineapple.
After you drink kava, you will notice that your tongue may become numb. This is short-lived and only lasts about 30-45 minutes. Kava can also be used as a numbing topical agent. Kava is a diuretic, so expect to make a few potty stops.
Kava is all natural and many drink kava to relax after a hard stressful day. Personally, I’d rather drink something natural than pop a pill or have a glass of wine. Kava can also be purchased in a capsule form at a health food store. There is also kava tea which you can prepare with hot water.
Natural herbal products are prevalent in the Hawaiian culture, as well as other cultures.