With kids in tow, Megan and I ventured out to check out the first kava bar in the Bay Area, Melo Melo Kava Bar. The wonderful hostess greeted us warmly and introduced us to everything kava. She even treated us to sample their kava tea in its most pure form.
What is kava?
Kava ( a.k.a. kava-kava) is a plant found on the South Pacific islands. For centuries, islanders have used this for cultural celebrations, spiritual purposes and for medicine.
While Megan and I tried this as a tea, kava root is also available as a supplement powder and tincture form.
Kava has a calming affect, and has been used to help ease anxiety and sleeplessness. For the latter, kava reported induces deep sleep without affecting the REM part of the sleep cycle.
Kava is also used to boost the immune system. It has anti-cancer properties. Flavokawains are secondary metabolites found in kava root that may inhibit tumor growth
Other uses: depression, ADHD, epilepsy, psychosis, muscle pain, toothaches and canker sores.
The fine print
If trying for the first time, don’t be alarmed if your tongue starts to feel a little numb. This is totally normal! Also- to set expectations accordingly- longer you drink kava, the less sensitive you are to its effects.
Some warnings: don’t mix with alcohol or prescription medications. Long-term intake of large doses can damage the liver. Everything in moderation….
Hanging out at the kava bar with our kids turned out to be a really fun and informative field trip. We loved the pure tea as well as the infusions with ginger. Craving something tropical, try the pina colada version like Megan!
This is where I would normally hold my drink up and say “Cheers!” But in the spirit of the Polynesian culture, I’m going to clap and say “BULA!” instead. BULA means LIFE IN Fiji, a blessing of health and happiness. If you can’t make it out to Fiji, check out Melo Melo in Berkeley.