How to Make Kava

Three Methods:Using Ground Kava RootUsing a StrainerKneading the Kava

For thousands of years, south Pacific islanders have drunk kava, a beverage made from the roots of the pepper plant, Piper Methysticum. Kava is known for its mellow and relaxing effects. Many people drink kava because it is a natural alternative to alcohol and anti-anxiety/anti-depressant medication. There are a couple ways to consume kava. Drinks can be prepared from ground kava root, alcohol extracts, and kava can be chewed or put under the tongue (sublingual).

Method 1
Using Ground Kava Root

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    Find quality kava. Local stores might sell it or you can order some online. There are many different kinds of kava and one brand may be stronger than another. Imports from Vanuatu or Fiji tend to be strongest. For this method you will need ground kava root but other forms exist.
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    Mix the kava powder in water but remove the kava root before drinking. You can do this with a large teabag or filter the drink latter. If you don't mind the taste and want some extra fiber you can leave the kava in your drink.
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    The amount of kava depends on your taste -- more kava means a more potent drink. As a general rule use one heaping tablespoon for every cup of water used. Some people like to add vegetable oil or a cup of milk (e.g. 2 cups water, 1 cup milk, 3 tablespoons kava).

Method 2
Using a Strainer

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    Add kava directly to water and mix. You can use a blender for larger quantities or a spoon if you're making one cup. Let the water and kava mix for at least 10 minutes. Give your blender a couple breaks though during the 10 minutes.
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    Filter kava with a strainer (wire mesh, cheesecloth, or an old shirt). Coffee filters don't work.

Method 3
Kneading the Kava

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    Get a shallow bowl and fill it with a desired amount of water (eg 3 cups or more).
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    Put a square cloth in the bowl and fill with desired amount of kava.
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    "Knead" kava through the water without letting the kava escape into the bowl. When done lift out strainer and squeeze any remaining water out.


  • You can grow your own kava to ensure there is no chemicals and ask for some tips from experienced growers.
  • You sometimes need 2 people if your using a rag as a bag.
  • Fresh kava is more potent.


  • Kava can sometimes cause nausea, especially when using unfiltered kava drinks.
  • Supplements (pills) you can buy at vitamin stores generally have little effect.
  • Although the FDA put out "warnings" about the adverse effects of kava a number of years ago, they never updated their suspicions/claims. The culprit, apparently were kava producers that were using the whole plant. Be sure you are only using kava root!
  • In reference to the alcohol mention above, regular consumers of alcohol may find kava is a better choice. It is unwise, however to put both in your system at the same time.
  • Kava should not be used by anyone who has any liver problems, or by anyone who is taking any drug product with known adverse effects on the liver, or anyone who is a regular consumer of alcohol. Consuming Kava concurrently with alcohol is especially not recommended.

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Categories: Drinks