Photo by Derek Owens
Let’s be honest, most of us dream of spending our days on a tropical beach instead of dealing with the realities of work and family, especially in the depths of the winter months when it seems like sunshine is very far away. While you may not be able to make that dream a reality all at once, you can bring a little piece of the Aloha spirit to your home in the form of Hawaiian Kava without hopping on the next flight out.
What is kava root?
Hawaiian Kava is a traditional plant that has been used for centuries in ceremonies and social gatherings. The kava root originated in the South Pacific and was brought to Hawaii centuries ago and incorporated into the culture. Careful cultivation means that there are now 13 different types of kava root, each with different effects.
In the past it was prepared by chewing the root into a paste and mixing it with water, now it is typically sold in the form of teas, powders, capsules or tinctures. When used in its powdered form it should be mixed with something containing fat like milk or non-dairy milks to get the most from it. Simply mixing it with water will not fully extract the root and lessen the effectiveness of the kava. My personal favorite is a fruity smoothie blend that mixes kava with coconut milk and tropical fruits like banana, pineapple and papaya. Don’t forget that the beauty of smoothies is the ability to customize them for any picky eaters. Though kava is available as a tea, heating kava destroys the active ingredients and removes most of its potency so it is not recommended.
Photo by Jakob Owens
Benefits of Hawaiian Kava
Hawaiian kava is known for being exceptionally relaxing while simultaneously increasing mental clarity. Sipping kava can’t replace the feeling of your toes in the sand but it can give you a relaxing escape while you lazily daydream about your next family vacation. No matter how you incorporate kava into your life, taking the time to sit down with family and bond together over a cup of Hawaii’s finest is beneficial for everyone.
Make Tropical Relaxation a Family Activity
Consuming Hawaiian kava is a chance to unwind and bond with your loved ones, so take a leaf out of the Hawaiian’s book and make it a social event by getting the whole family involved in preparing and drinking the kava. Smaller children can decorate the table while their older siblings help you stir and prep. See if you can find fun cups or bowls made from coconuts to engage your children and maintain that beachy vibe. Go a step further and add some fresh fruit or even fake leis. Given the relaxing effects of kava, this time could be spent as a way to unwind at the end of a busy week or perhaps as a bedtime ritual to prepare for a good night’s sleep.
Bringing Aloha Home
However you decide to incorporate Hawaiian kava into your life, keep in mind some of the guiding principles behind the idea of Aloha. More than saying hello and goodbye; it is about love, connection and family, all important things to prioritize and teach your children about. Who knows, maybe you can even use this family time to plan a future tropical vacation where you can experience kava at its source.