Kava (Piper methysticum) (Piper Latin for "pepper", methysticum Greek for "intoxicating") is an ancient crop of the western Pacific. Other names for kava include ʻawa (Hawaii), 'ava (Samoa), yaqona (Fiji), and sakau (Pohnpei). The word kava is used to refer both to the plant and the beverage produced from its roots. Kava is a legal intoxicant in many countries and if consumed before driving would be widely regarded as DUI. It is a tranquilizer primarily consumed to relax without disrupting mental clarity. Its active ingredients are called kavalactones. In some parts of the Western World, kava extract is marketed as herbal medicine against stress, insomnia, and anxiety.
4 years ago