What Is Kava – The Ultimate Kava Guide

The mystical Kava plant and its health benefits are impressive. Kava can be described simply as a plant that you can make into a brew that has powerful health benefits.

The effects of Kava will put you in a mellow state of complete well-being, but the history of Kava, what it really is, and how to best use it can be more complicated and intriguing.

So what is Kava? In this kava guide you’ll learn about the history of the Kava plant, what gives Kava its effect, Kava culture and where it came from, where you can buy the best Kava, how to prepare your own Kava, the health benefits of Kava, and more. Let’s dive in.

The history of Kava

Kava was originally grown and cultivated in the Pacific Islands of Vanuatu, Hawaii, Fiji, Samoa, Micronesia, Polynesia, Melanesia, Tonga, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

What is kava
Kava originates from the Pacific Islands

Kava is a special plant. The plant cannot reproduce sexually. Also, the female plants are rare. To spread and reproduce, the plant is reliant on stem cuttings. Since this is the case, the reason that Kava has always been able to thrive and survive must’ve been with some help from humans.

Ancient drink of the Pacific Islands

It’s not known for how long the people on the Pacific Islands have benefited from the Kava plants, but it’s older than we can imagine.

The first people to cultivate the Kava plant and spread it across the islands were the Austronesian Lapita people who lived 1600 BCE to 500 BCE.

Before the Lapita culture spread the Kava plant, it was still used for its benefits. This plant is ancient.

The spread of the Kava plant among the Pacific Islands created a rich and strong culture where Kava played a centric part. The culture lived on through centuries and still exists today.

Spirituality, rituals and medicine

The ancient usage of Kava has always been related to spirituality. The Lapita culture and the people before them did not use Kava simply for the effect.

Kava has always been respected. Its usage has been reserved for ceremonies, healing, rituals and social gatherings. The respect of Kava through rituals and ceremonies lives on even today.

For example, if you visit a Kava ceremony in Fiji, there are certain dress codes and proper etiquette needs to be followed.

Old method of preparation – the virgin method

Until not long ago, on some islands, Kava was prepared only by female virgins. They prepared the Kava root by chewing it.

This might seem strange to us, but this method of preparation is out of respect for the Kava plant. Only these females were allowed to prepare the root.

Today this method has, of course, changed in many places to be more effective, but it’s important to remember the roots and heritage of respect we need to have for Kava.

Kava in pre-colonial Hawaii

The Kava plant had a strong impact on Hawaii culture. In pre-colonial Hawaii, the people coveted certain strains (cultivars) of Kava that were unique to their island. The strains are the Mo’i, Mahakea, Nene and Hiwa varieties.

In pre-colonial Hawaii, only royalty were allowed to experience the strain Mo’i. This strain has a very strong effect because of the high amount of Kavalactones it contains. Kavalactones is the active ingredient in Kava which causes the psychoactive effect.

A chant from pre-colonial Hawaii is a perfect example for us to understand their view of Kava and how important it was to their culture. (“‘awa” is a Hawaiian word for Kava):

The day of revealing shall see what it sees:
A seeing of facts, a sifting of rumors,
An insight won by the black sacred ʻawa,
A vision like that of a sacred god!

What is kava
Kava is still important in Hawaii culture

Kava culture in western society

Kava found its way from the Pacific Islands to the west. Ever since then, Kava has been growing in popularity. From an obscure market to over 100 bars opening up that serve Kava in the United States.

The heritage of Kava from the Pacific Islands lives on in our culture. A culture that really captures the “Aloha” spirit. Kava is growing in popularity. Every day more people find out about the South Pacific drink of happiness and reap the profound rewards to their health.

The culture has evolved into a heartwarming community of people who share their love and knowledge of Kava. Into social gatherings and bars where like-minded people get together to spread love and to have the time of their life.

Because Kava is so different from alcohol and alcohol culture, it’s almost a shock when you notice the differences, it’s like day and night.

Going back to love and nature

The western medicine culture has evolved further into a plague of prescribed medicine that is addicting and has awful side effects. Into a game of money at the cost of the people’s health.

Often the reason we are not feeling well is rooted deep within us, and we need to search for it. Numbing the call for help, from the body and soul, is not going to solve anything. Kava helps you look within and truly heal.

It’s only natural that we return to nature, to find cures to issues hidden deep within us, and open up to love and warmth. I think this has been a deciding factor in why Kava is becoming so popular.

People are going back to search for our roots in nature, for healing. Rather than going to a doctor who’ll throw them any medicine that they’re paid to promote.

What is kava
Kava has the healing power of nature

Kava is something to be raving about. Something that we need to incorporate more into our culture with respect to the heritage of the Pacific Islands. A heritage of love and happiness that we should hold on to and learn more about.

We should definitely take advantage of the health benefits and effects of plants like Kava. It’s something we all need to help root deep into our culture.

What Kava should you use

The Kava shrub loves a hot environment with plenty of rainfall. It has large green colored leaves and can grow over 2m tall. The roots of the Kava shrub is where the density of the active ingredient Kavalactones is the greatest.

Further up the plant, contain less Kavalactones. This is why we use the root of the plant to grind down and make Kava drink from.

Noble and Ignoble (Tudei) Kava

There are two types of the Kava plant and they are important to distinguish from each other, they are Noble Kava varieties and Ignoble Kava varieties. Ignoble Kava is not legal to export and is restricted to usage within ceremonies and as medicine in the Pacific Islands.

The Kava that we have exported to the west is Noble Kava, which has a more pleasing composition of Kavalactones and is much lighter on side-effects such as nausea and headache.

Why Kava is illegal in Europe

Kava is illegal in Europe (It’s legal in the USA) thanks to an old law that was written based on research made only on Ignoble Kava. Because Ignoble Kava can be dangerous to your liver when consumed in greater amounts over a long period of time, Kava as a whole was made illegal in Europe.

It’s important to know that this law is based on a completely ignorant investigation of the Kava plant. Noble Kava is not bad for you at all, it’s actually good for you and has health benefits.

On a side note, it’s such a coincidence that almost every natural plant with health benefits that corporate pharmacy doesn’t have a monopoly on is made illegal through ridiculous loophole-laws like the one that banned Kava in Europe.

Only consume Noble Kava and only buy Noble Kava, is all you need to remember. If you want to read a full article on the differences between Noble and Ignoble Kava, the Kava Guru blog has an extensive article that you can find here.

How to use Kava

To have the best effect when you use Kava, it is essential to understand what you are drinking. As explained previosuly in this article, you are drinking a heritage of the Pacific Islands that needs to be treated with respect and dignity.

Do not take for granted the spiritual effect of Kava, open your mind and heart and let the spirituality of centuries flow through you. Treat yourself and the Kava with the respect you both deserve.

What you are drinking is very different from alcohol and the alcohol culture of our time. Separate the mindset you have when drinking alcohol from Kava completely. Become yourself, let your mind be like water and be happy.

What is kava
Kava makes your mind flow like water

How to prepare your own Kava

Preparing Kava is simple, you can do it in 4 quick steps. I have an article explaining how to go through the process step-by-step and make your own perfect Kava in no time, you can check it out here.

Kava health benefits

Simply put, you should use Kava because it will improve your health. Kava has great health benefits. It reduces anxiety and stress [R].

A study that concluded the results of 11 other studies made on the stress and anxiety-reducing effect of Kava, concluded that Kava is effective as a medical treatment for anxiety [R].

Noble Kava is good for your liver. It will reduce the risk of Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease [R].

Kava promotes healthy and restful sleep. 24 people who were suffering from stress-induced insomnia was given Kava as a medical treatment. This study concluded that Kava is effective in treating insomnia [R].

What is kava
Kava reduces stress and anxiety

Kava mental health benefits

Aside from the proven benefits of the studies, Kava will increase your mental health and well-being in other ways. The psychoactive effects of Kava are inspiring, therapeutic and incredible for your mind and spirit.

If you use Kava properly, you can develop a better sense of who you are and your place in the world.

Again, do not take the spiritual effects of Kava lightly. Kava will make you reach closer and closer to who you are. Kava gives insights that are valuable to how you see yourself and the world. You’ll be amazed at the healing powers of Kava.

Where to buy the best Kava

When buying Kava it’s essential that you buy from the best source. This is because bad and good quality Kava really makes a huge difference. Here’s a list of a few of the best Kava vendors that are on the market. I’ll be releasing a full article on this subject in the near future, so stay tuned.

1. Kalm With Kava

This is the best vendor that you can find. Kalm with Kava provides truly amazing quality of all their Kava. You cannot go wrong with this vendor.

2. Real Kava

Another strong vendor. Provides high-quality Kava strains from Hawaii. It’s a proud family operated business, that really cares about the customer.

3. Kava.com

Has a great assortment of Kava wares that’ll satisfy your every Kava need. The quality of their Kava is super. They have many Kava brands for selection and they’re all good choice. I suggest you try their own brand if you decide to purchase from them.

3 Strain recommendations

So what should you try? Here are 3 strains that will fit for different occasions and moods. They are all unique and very potent. Perfect strains for beginners and experienced Kava users alike.


This Hawaiian strain is the one referenced in the chant at the beginning of the article. It’s a cultivar with a strong psychoactive effect. It’s truly uplifting, energizing and is light on the physical, sedating effect than other Kava strains.

Fijian Kava

A relaxing and stress-relieving Kava strain. Has the same effect on the body. Kava from Fiji is in a class of its own. A must try.

Melo Melo

A Kava that works in both a social environment and for a solo experience. Has a peaceful and fun vibe that melts into your mind. Mellow and tranquil, one of the best cultivars for relaxation.

The Kava Bar

Kava is a drink that’s amazing in when enjoyed in a social environment. When you’re not preparing your own tasty Kava at home or at a friends house, you should try a Kava bar.

A Kava bar is a bar that prepares and serves Kava. It’s a relaxing environment where you can enjoy all the benefits of Kava in a social and fun environment with other people. They often feature fun events that you should not miss out on.

What is kava
Kava Culture Kava Bar – Bonita Springs, FL

Why you should visit a Kava bar

If you want to make new friends, socialize and learn about new ways to enjoy Kava, there is no better place than a Kava bar. You can also try new strains in a Kava bar, before you order them for yourself.

For all of us Kava enthusiasts, it’s important to support our local Kava bars and promote this fantastic industry which brings happiness to so many people.

I’ve written a full article on Why You Should Visit A Kava Bar that you can check out here. In the article, you’ll learn all about the Kava bar, its history and what you can expect on your visit.

What is kava
House Of Kava – Brooklyn, NY

The article also contains a list of the best Kava bars in the USA, where to find them, links to their website, pictures, greetings from owners, and a short description of what you can expect on your visit to them.

The best Kava resources on the web

To stay updated within the inspiring world of Kava, and learn all about it. Here are all of the resources you need.

Follow this blog, comment and feel free to message me about anything. You’ll receive new articles covering intriguing and fun topics related to Kava and health.

Follow the evolution of the site and take part in all of the fun. Your support means the world to me.

A quality blog with many interesting articles about Kava. The author is an expert on Kava.

Another Kava blog with many articles that are easy to understand and interesting. Also has a shop that you can check out.

Superb blog that covers many Kava topics in depth. The author makes a great job of evolving their writer skills. Definitely check it out and stay tuned.

This amazing facebook group has members from all over the world who love to have fun and share stories, jokes and talk about Kava. Join here.

I’ve reviewed this Kava bar in my Kava bar article. Their blog has many fun Kava articles and Youtube videos with quality content. Subscribe and stay tuned to their blog, do not miss out on all this fun.

Also covered in my Kava bar article as one of the best Kava bars in the USA. The same fun, quality of content as Root of Happiness. You’ll find information about Kava, awesome Youtube videos on their channel and a shop with tasty Kava for sale. Subscribe and stay tuned.


What is Kava? Kava can be described as a plant that you can make into a brew. It has powerful health benefits such as reducing anxiety, stress. It will also treat insomnia.

Kava comes from the Pacific Islands. The first people to spread and cultivate the plant throughout the islands were the Lapita people.

Kava has had a strong impact on the culture of the Pacific Islands. The people of the Pacific Islands has always held the Kava plant in high regards and used it in ceremonies, social gatherings and as a medicine.

Kava eventually spread to the west. Here it has had and continues to have a great impact on our culture. A strong community that’s full of love has formed thanks to Kava. It has also created a market for bars that serve Kava to thrive.

Kava has a sprititual effect that can heal your body and soul. It’s a great natural medicine that works wonders compared to most addicting modern medicine that often have unpleasant side-effects.

You can learn how to prepare your own Kava here. You can learn more about the Kava bar and why you should visit one here.

The last section of the article contains every resource you need to stay updated within the fantastic world of Kava.

Please leave a comment with your thoughts about Kava, your experience with it or if you’re interested in trying it.

Want to know why you should visit a Kava bar? Here’s everything you need to know.

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