"Wanna go grab some Kava tea?"
A Fun Drink for Relaxing and Socializing Without the Hangover
Pacific Islanders have been making Kava tea from the kava kava plant for generations as a means of relaxation and bonding during social gatherings. And now Kava is finally making its way to the United States as displayed by the increasing number of kava bars popping up.
How Will Kava Make Me Feel?
The first time you try kava, the first thing you'll notice is the numbing effect on the mouth as kava is a natural anesthetic. It's strong, but not unpleasant, more soothing than anything. When the numbing feeling subsides, a very soft feeling of calm starts to float up to your brain and around your body.
Kava relaxes your muscles and eases the anxiety in your body and brain, without making you feel "under the influence" of something.
For me, it feels like my thoughts appear less frightening, and I'm able to work through things that, without kava, overwhelm me too much to dive into and understand.
That's kind of the essence of kava. It lightens the problems around you, not making them go away, but almost changing your relationship with them. It makes them feel less urgent, less scary—just less.
This is why kava is recommended for people who suffer from generalized anxiety or social anxiety, because with kava you don't risk a "bad high" or feeling paranoid or overly emotional like you might with marijuana or alcohol. It's a more controlled euphoric feeling.
A Great Option for a Night Off Drinking
And yet kava has a social aspect to it that makes it a great option for a night off of drinking. Many kava bars are creating kava cocktails (AKA mocktails) and blend their kava tea with coconut water or a tropical mango puree. This helps balance kava's earthy flavor and can easily replace an alcoholic happy hour drink.
Kava increases your sense of empathy for those around you, making it easy to enjoy your friends' company and appreciate a night of socializing. This is why kava has been used by Polynesians during important ceremonies as it increases the feeling of bonding and closeness to those around you.