(Piper methysticum)



Select the roots from the plant.


Can be ground and dried or made into a beverage like tea.


  • Wash roots well before use.
  • Chew or grind roots into a pulp and add to cold water as a beverage.
  • Be careful and seek supervision of a medical doctor if you are being treated for disease and especially if on any type of medications.
  • (Ehrlich, 2011; Foster, 2006)

Photo Source

University of Hawaii


Kava has been used as a ceremonial drink in the South Pacific for centuries and is still consumed for various purposes such as medicine, recreation, and spiritual practices. It is a tall shrub plant with long, slender flowers and large, green, heart-shaped leaves. The roots are in bundles of hairy branches and contain the active ingredients, kavalactones, which have relaxing qualities to the body when consumed (Ehrlich, 2011; Foster, 2006).

Traditional Names
  • Hawaiian – ‘awa
  • Kosraean – suhka
  • Marshallese – kava
  • Pohnpeian – sakau
  • Samoan – ava