Piper methysticum, also know as Kava Kava, is a crop of the Pacific Islands and a popular herbal supplement. With its unique bitter and earthy flavor, Kava-kava is primarily used as a mild sedative. Used as a tea or infused into a tincture it is said to be a relaxant, without dulling the mind.
Traditionally Kava kava is ground and strained, then mixed with water. It is usually served after meals or tea from small bowls made from coconut shells. Throughout the Pacific, Kava kava is held in high esteem due to its important place in cultural, religious, and social practices.
To prepare a serving of Kava powder, put 2-3 tablespoons of powder in a food-safe bag such as a muslin bag or cheesecloth. Place the bag in a bowl large enough for 8oz of warm water and with space to knead the bag. Pour the water directly into the bag and onto the Kava. Steep for 10 minutes. After steeping, twist the bag to strain the water back into the bowl and remove the air. Alternate between kneading the bag of Kava and squeezing the water back into the bowl for another 10 minutes. After kneading, remove the bag and allow the Kava to cool. Consume quickly, and ideally on an empty stomach, to get the most effect.
*CAUTION: US FDA advises that a potential risk of rare, but severe, liver injury may be associated with Kava. Consult a health care practitioner before use, and if taking any medications. Not for use by persons under 18 years of age, with alcoholic beverages, or by pregnant or breastfeeding women.