From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kava or kava-kava (Piper methysticum: Latin “pepper” + Latinized Greek “intoxicating”) is a crop of the western Pacific.
The name kava(-kava) is from Tongan and Marquesan; other names for kava include ʻawa (Hawaiʻi), ʻava (Samoa), yaqona (Fiji), sakau (Pohnpei), and malok or malogu (parts of Vanuatu).
The roots of the plant are used to produce a drink with sedative, anesthetic, euphoriant, and entheogenic properties. Kava is consumed throughout the Pacific Ocean cultures of Polynesia, including Hawaii, Vanuatu, Melanesia and some parts of Micronesia. (See canoe plants.) Kava is sedating and is primarily consumed to relax without disrupting mental clarity. Its active ingredients are called kavalactones. A systematic review of its evidence by Cochrane concluded it was likely to be more effective than placebo at treating short-term social anxiety.