You Can Actually Drink Kava Root And Here's Why You Should

An ancient medicinal plant, kava root has been used ceremoniously and recreationally for hundreds of years. Native to the Pacific Islands, kava root is formally believed to have been discovered sometime around the 16th century, but many believe the sacred root has been celebrated and enjoyed for thousands of years prior. The root itself comes from a pepper plant that's a close cousin to the plant responsible for producing black peppercorns.

Kava root is typically consumed as a tea and boasts an earthy, clay-like flavor. Traditionally, Native Pacific Islanders hold kava ceremonies that bring people together in a social setting or as a ritual used for historically-significant moments in time. Today, kava root is widely-available to people outside of the Pacific Islands and sold as teas, extracts, and lattes. There are even alcohol-free bars and lounges across the United States that put kava at the center of their happy hour.

Although drinking tea that tastes like mud sounds a bit strange, you might be glad that you did.

Kava root can reduce stress, anxiety, and excessive alcohol consumption

Kava root is known to promote feelings of euphoria and full-body relaxation. The active ingredients in kava root, called kavalactones, stimulate the same areas of the brain that anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications target. Although there is still much research to be conducted, kava root offers a unique holistic approach to treating anxiety, depression, and even chronic pain and insomnia.

Thanks to its sedative effects, drinking kava root can be a useful practice for those reducing their alcohol intake. It's long been cited that excessive alcohol intake reduces someone's overall quality of life and eventually leads to chronic illness and disease. Enjoying Kava root can mitigate excessive alcohol consumption as it triggers a similar response in the body without the long-term consequence associated with alcohol.

Although it offers many mental and physical health benefits, Better Health suggests abstaining from kava root if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have a pre-existing heart, liver, or lung condition, are currently taking pharmaceuticals, or regularly consume large quantities of alcohol.

Now the real question is, will you be checking out your local kava bar?