Kava Kava (Piper Methysticum) is a native plant to the West, found in Fiji, Hawai’i, Vanuata, Australia, & Samoa. It is held by the communities of these regions to be something of a sacred substance, with medicinal effects. The roots are the main part like with many other tropical flora that are used to produce the Kava drink. It is composed of Kavalactones which are the main ingredient that has the most direct effect on the body. The most traditional method is grinding the roots against coral or chewing it. It resembles a muddy water like sediment and doesn’t have much odor. The Kava extract from the shrub is a natural therapy to over-processed stress reducing drugs, and is hailed as the most potent alternative to insomnia and anxiety.

It has made its way to Western culture in modern pharmacological companies in ready form, but the ground root powder can be found in some culture/cannabis shops. It is extremely cheap, only about 0.20 per gram. It can be burned as incense or make into an infused cold or hot tea. I acquired a few grams of this to experiment with, trying the hot method. I prepared it like normal tea, letting the molecules seep out, and then after 10-15 minutes squeezing out the last drops from the pulp. The cold water version is called ‘grog’ but the hot version is supposedly more potent. It is traditionally a social thing to drink from the shorn halves of coconuts.

The effects: It makes your tongue and lips numb, and eases the throat. Euphoric states are common and lucid dreams sometimes follow if done late at night. I remember during my sleep, I had a dream where I was fighting, and no one could seem to conquer me. I was defending something or someone, this is all that I can recall. I have very rare dreams, so this seems to mean I did it properly. I did not experience any ‘bliss’ but was already very comfortable and calm, after having meditated for near an hour listening to throat singing in candlelight. Next time I will try it when I feel my nerves are being tested, or after I long excursion through the city.

Something I found weird is that Kava can not reproduce sexually, it is entirely human cultivated. It also can be found in our system with forensics if it within 48 hours of death. Tests have been done on long term. It is an inpirative plant for the Pacific tribes in yaqona (kava) ceremonies for easing the tension after a hard day of labor, and for meeting and conversing with people.

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