kava (kah-vuh), also know as awa, 'ava, yaqona, is the name of the plant, root, and traditional beverage made from the root of the plant piper methysticum, which means "intoxicating pepper". Kava grows in the warm humid environments of many south pacific nations and has been enjoyed socially, spiritually, and medicinally for over 3,000 years.
Traditionally prepared kava involves straining water through the ground root fibers to make a beverage that causes a mild euphoria and relaxes the mind and body. Although kava is a narcotic, it is not chemically addictive, and does not cause diminished mental cognition. Kava makes for an excellent alternative to alcohol and is also widely used as a treatment for anxiety, pain, and insomnia.