Kava is a beverage or extract that is made from Piper methysticum, a plant native to the western Pacific islands. The name "kava" comes from the Polynesian word "awa," which means bitter. In the South Pacific, kava is a popular social drink, similar to alcohol in Western societies.
Kava kava (“kava” for short) contains substances called kavapyrones. They act much like alcohol on your brain, making you feel calm, relaxed, and happy. The plant is also thought to relieve pain, prevent seizures, and relax muscles.