Kava is a plant of the pepper family, botanical name Piper Methysticum, indigenous to the Western Pacific (Vanuatu, Fiji, Papau New Guinea, Micronesia, and Hawaii). In these Pacific island communities Kava is consumed before the beginning of any important religious ritual or ceremony. Most commonly though it is used as a beverage to relax and unwind from the day. Often served at Nakamals (Kava Bars), it is drank socially instead of alcohol.
Kratom is a tropical, evergreen tree in the coffee family, botanical name Mitragyna speciosa. It is native to Southeast Asia, (Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Borneo, etc.) where it has been a part of traditional culture for thousands of years. There, it is traditionally chewed, in raw leaf form, by workers to stave off exhaustion, relieve pain and as a mood enhancer.
The effect of drinking Kava has been well documented and there is an increasing body of research that proves how it can be used to reduce stress, anxiety and pain or to promote muscle and emotional relaxation. Drinking Kava can reduce social inhibitions and induce a sense of euphoria and happiness akin to other nootropics. With kava, there are 3 categories a variety will fall into:
which are varieties for daytime use and create a clear headed calm and slight boost of energy,
which are varieties that are better suited for evening use and act with more of a sedative effect, and
which are a good balance of both.
A popular drink in the Pacific Islands for over 3000 years now, kava-kava is consumed before the beginning of any important religious rituals or ceremonies. It is commonly taken at formal functions, get-togethers of senior members of the village and social events. However, the islands witness a complete kava ceremony only when guests of special repute arrive for the occasion. They come with a bowl of kava and suitable drinking tools. The container or the bowl is kept between the guests and the makers of this drink and after this the drink is poured in a cup by a chose person who then turns to the visitors and serves it to the guest of honor.
While Kava and Kratom may be offered alongside one another at your local kava bar and online, it’s important to know the differences. Kratom has shown to be highly beneficial for certain individuals and uses but can be addictive and is becoming increasingly banned in the U.S. Kava on the other hand has seen widespread acceptance in it’s producing countries and here in the U.S. It has no addicitive properties and is ingrained in cultural tradition.