Editor’s Note: This article is for educational purposes only. It should not be referred for medical advice or treatment substitutes. Always consult a healthcare practitioner with any questions regarding your health.
A root native to the islands of the western Pacific made its way to the United States, bringing with it useful medicinal properties.
Kava is rapidly gaining popularity due to its physical and mental health benefits. Studies have determined that it can help with weight loss; help users cope with pain; and reduce anxiety, depression and insomnia.
Katerina Clouthier, a PPCC student from Colorado Springs, said she discovered kava through a friend. According to Clouthier, Kava changed her life from then on for the better.
Clouthier said she suffered from severe general anxiety and liked kava because it’s a natural alternative to anti-anxiety medication, which she took all her life before finding out. She attributes her ability to socialize in groups and her decreased anxiety to her consumption of Kava.
Kava has even taken root here in Colorado.
Tucked away in downtown Colorado Springs is Ohana Kava Bar, a cafe-inspired kava restaurant serving the root in many forms. Ohana serves Kava in the form of lemonade and a regular mixture of ground powder and water. Ohana also serves other wellness drinks like wheatgrass, kava shots, and immunity boosters.
Customers generally relax and enjoy the benefits of Kava in the company of others. For those wishing to pay homage to the Pacific Islands, the bar also serves Kava in traditional ceremonial bowls.
In the Pacific Islands, kava was used as a ceremonial drink, often at weddings and birthday parties, while in the United States it was used most often for medicinal and social purposes.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, kava comes from a leafy plant in the pepper family. The root is powdered and mixed with water to make a drink, which is then ingested.
Kava is most often consumed as a drink and causes feelings of relaxation and numbness, hence the use of the root for pain and anxiety. Its effects are similar to those of marijuana or anti-anxiety drugs.
College can be a stressful time for many, and kava could be the solution to the anxiety and stress of classes and exams. The next time you need some relaxation or relief, consider Kava.