Kava (Piper methysticum) is an age-old herbal drink that was the beverage of choice for the royal families of the South Pacific. Believed to originate from Melanesia, kava grows abundantly in the sun-drenched islands of Polynesia. Although drank for centuries by the islanders, it was only during Captain Cook's second voyage to the Pacific in 1768-1771 when white man first encountered the plant and its consumption in sacred ceremonies. According to Cook's account, natives chewed or pounded the root and mixed it with water to produce a brownish, often bitter brew which they then consumed for its psychoactive properties.
A soothing drink with proven medicinal effects, kava is now available to anyone seeking to calm nerves or ease stress as well as anxiety while combating fatigue the natural way. Its special anti-depressant components fight the "blues" and bring on a happy, tranquil state. Kava is amazing for treating ailments like migraine headaches and cramps but best of all, it keeps the mind alert as the body relaxes. This traditional drink still plays a key role in Fijian, Samoan, and Tongan societies where it is drank in ceremonies meant to honor visitors, unite participants and validate their social identities. A member of the black pepper family, kava's active properties stems from the kavalactones found in its roots.