Native to the South Pacific Islands, Kava is the root of the pepper plant, piper methysticum. Known for its mouth-numbing sensation and its earthy taste, kava has been used traditionally in the Pacific Islands as a ceremonial beverage to be taken in a communal setting. Kava has been used to relax and connect socially for many generations.
Kava essentially acts as a central nervous system depressant as it impacts the GABA receptors and stimulates dopamine in the brain. This produces calming, sedative, and mood-boosting effects.
As previously mentioned, Kava is metabolized through some of the same liver enzymes that process alcohol and a number of common pharmaceutical drugs. As such, one should never consume alcohol and kava within the same 24 hour period. It is also advisable to consult your physician or pharmacist before choosing to consume kava on a regular basis while prescribed medications.