What is Kava? And why did it get Mike Calta and Drew Garabo Sick?

What is Kava? And why did it get Mike Calta and Drew Garabo Sick? 

Posted: 2:30 pm Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

By Staff Writer

Can someone please explain to us what this new “mud water” plant is that everyone is drinking/eating recently? Last week on the Drew Garabo Show, Mika brought some in and gave the guys a sample all while WWE Superstar Wrestler Samoa Joe was in studio.

And a day later some of them got sick. Why?

Is it because they have weak stomachs and this foreign substance was just wrong for them? Or or this plant something so unique that it just takes a while to get used to?

When I looked up the definition of it, it said,

“The roots of the plant are used to produce a drink with sedativeanestheticeuphoriant, and entheogenic properties. Kava is consumed throughout the Pacific Ocean cultures of Polynesia, including HawaiiVanuatuMelanesia and some parts of Micronesia for its sedating effects.”

Ummm…. so is it a drug or a plant… or both?

Kava is consumed in various ways throughout the Pacific Ocean cultures of Polynesia, Vanuatu, Melanesia and some parts of Micronesia and Australia. Traditionally, it is prepared by either chewing, grinding or pounding the roots of the kava plant. Grinding is done by hand against a cone-shaped block of dead coral; the hand forms a mortar and the coral a pestle. The ground root/bark is combined with only a little water, as the fresh root releases moisture during grinding. Pounding is done in a large stone with a small log. The product is then added to cold water and consumed as quickly as possible.

The extract is an emulsion of kavalactone droplets in starch and buttermilk. The taste is slightly pungent, while the distinctive aroma depends on whether it was prepared from dry or fresh plant, and on the variety. The colour is grey to tan to opaque greenish.

Kava prepared as described above is much more potent than processed kava. Chewing produces the strongest effect because it produces the finest particles. Fresh, undried kava produces a stronger beverage than dry kava. The strength also depends on the species and techniques of cultivation. Many find mixing powdered kava with hot water makes the drink stronger.

In Vanuatu, a strong kava drink is normally followed by a hot meal or tea. The meal traditionally follows some time after the drink so the psychoactives are absorbed into the bloodstream quicker. Traditionally, no flavoring is added.

In Papua New Guinea, the locals in Madang province refer to their kava as waild koniak (“wild cognac” in English).

Fijians commonly share a drink called grog made by pounding sun-dried kava root into a fine powder, straining and mixing it with cold water. Traditionally, grog is drunk from the shorn half-shell of a coconut, called a bilo. Grog is very popular in Fiji, especially among young men, and often brings people together for storytelling and socializing. Drinking grog for a few hours brings a numbing and relaxing effect to the drinker; grog also numbs the tongue and grog drinking typically is followed by a “chaser” or sweet or spicy snack to follow a bilo.