Kava (Latin name Piper Methysticum)is a non-addictive medicinal South Pacific plant species belonging to the pepper family. The plant – also known as asava pepper or intoxicating pepper – can grow to an average height of six feet, with heart-shaped leaves that stretch 10 inches wide.
For centuries, Pacific Islanders have used kava as a medicinal plant because of its sedative, anesthetic, euphoriant, and psychotropic properties. (In other words: It can calm you down and make you feel good.) The herb has been used to treat everything from migraines and insomnia to infections and rheumatism. In some cultures, kava is used for religious and cultural traditions, including weddings, political events, funerals and royal events.
Studies have shown that the properties in kava can ease anxiety, relieve stress, and relax muscle and nervous tension, as well as combat insomnia and improve sleep problems. That’s why many people who consume kava use it a natural alternative to anti-anxiety medication.