Kava has been a popular drink in the Pacific Islands for over 3,000 years. Today, kava is still traditionally enjoyed for various ceremonies, rituals, formal and family functions, and social events. Each culture within the Pacific Islands has their own rules and etiquette when it comes to drinking this wonderful tonic.
How is Kava made traditionally? The root of the Piper Methysticum plant is ground and then soaked in water. As the ground root is left to soak in the water, it then expands, which is then strained out. A woodsy and bitter drink is left over which upon drinking will create a numbing feeling in the mouth. Effects begin within 20-30 minutes upon ingestion. Long before that, virgins would masticate the roots into pulp in their mouths then spit it into a bowl before it was mixed with coconut milk.
What are the effects and taste? There are over 70 varieties of kava, even though it is technically only one species. Each strain possesses a different amount of kavalactone’s (what make you feel the effects) and flavor profiles.
How is Kava being used in Northern America? Kava is becoming more and more popular, to the point that it can be found in any major retailer. Sadly, it has very little connection to ceremonies in the past. However, it’s medicinal benefits are being tooted as an alternative to prescription anti-anxiety medications such as benzodiazepines such as Xananx or anti-depressants.
Today, there is a growing market for both kava bars and kava products. There is a wealth of knowledge on the internet for making your own kava drinks. However, no such luck for kava edibles as the bitter taste can be a turn off and the very tricky extraction process can be temperamental.
Luckily, I have been busy in the kitchen experimenting with extraction processes, recipes, and methods. I will be starting a blog, “Just Kavalicious”, on my website so that you can follow along and enjoy my recipes in addition to my cannabis ones! Kava absolutely can be made into delicious and medicinal treats in the comfort of your own home <3 The first recipe will be up next week! And of course, it will be Kava strain specific!