Kava is a plant that is consumed in South Pacific Ocean cultures. Usually a tea is made from the root. It is taken to relax without affecting mental clarity. I went to a kava bar in Boca Raton called Nakava (http://www.nakava.com/). We bought a small pitcher of the liquid to split between two people. Bottoms up! The drink itself was disgusting. Not only did it taste gross, but the texture was gritty and dirty. It was like drinking mud. After drinking it, I immediately washed it down with water and put a hard candy in my mouth, but that took a while to get rid of the taste and feel in your mouth. I’ve heard that other places serve it with a slice of pineapple which helps get rid of the taste faster.
As I said, it is used as a relaxer. The friend that I was drinking it with said it made her feel relaxed, but I didn’t really feel relaxed at all while we were drinking it. In fact, I felt a little keyed up, as if I’d just drank a coffee or a soda with caffeine in it. One interesting thing about kava is that it has a reverse tolerance effect. The more often you drink kava, the less you need to feel the effects. Maybe I need to do it more in order to feel the effects more. But that’s not going to happen! About an hour later I began to feel nauseous. My nausea went away for a bit after I ate some food, but came back later and lasted the rest of the day. I’m told by others who have taken kava that it also helps them sleep well that night, which I certainly did. So I guess that was the one positive part of the experience for me.
I found out later that you can also take kava in pill form, which seems infinitely better than my tea experience. It’s definitely not something I’ll do again, but at least I’ve experienced it. 🙂