Is Kava a Great Alternative to Alcohol?

A Photograph taken in the sunny daylight of fresh Hawaiian ahvah ('awa) or kava, with the backdrop of a waterfall.
Picture of Kavahana

Native to the Pacific Islands, Kava has been used for generations by the native peoples as a traditional social, ceremonial, and celebratory drink. 

A natural alternative to alcohol, drinking kava promotes feelings of relaxation, euphoria, and happiness without the many downsides that come along with drinking alcohol. 

side of man outside with trees smiling with eyes closed looking happy

Historically used by native people, Kava was traded around the region by island seafarers. It was first noted by Western culture in the 1600s. It has spread around the world ever since and has seen a resurgence in recent years. 

More people are looking for natural and healthier alternatives in their lives. Reducing or cutting out alcohol is a big step towards a healthier life. 

What is Kava?

Kava is made from the root of the kava plant. Found all over the Pacific Islands, with the most species found in Fiji and Vanuatu. The root of the plant is dried, ground into a fine powder, and then traditionally mixed into water to create a drink. 

At Kavahana, the first kava-only bar in Los Angeles, delicious flavors are a priority. With interesting options like vanilla coconut cream and brown sugar kava milk tea, people enjoy our kava for its taste as much as its effect. 

How is kava an alternative to alcohol?

Many people suffering from stress previously found alcohol a convenient and surprisingly socially acceptable way to cope. With our increasingly full schedules and stressful lives, many people regularly feel overwhelmed, anxious, and unable to relax. 

man at desk with papers holding head looking stressed

Despite drinking culture becoming normalized, many people have questioned their own use of alcohol. Many started to ask whether they drink solely for pleasure or as a response to stress and overwhelm. Kava is a relaxing alternative for sober and sober curious people who still feel the stresses and anxieties of modern life. 

We have learned so much in recent decades about the health implications and life-shortening effects of alcohol. With the stresses and demands of life, our mental health as a whole has suffered so much. The naturally uplifting and relaxing effects of the kava root offer a safer and more lifestyle-friendly alternative to alcohol. 

Alcohol use is a problem, and people are looking for alternatives

We all witness the sheer number of people declaring a “dry January” every New Year. The problem is that although many of these people would prefer that they live with less alcohol in their lives, the daily stresses continue regardless. 

How is Kava different from alcohol?

close up of glass of brandy with woman hand over the glass and her other hand signaling no

Kava contains kavalactones, which interact with our brain receptors when we drink it. It creates a feeling of relaxation and euphoria without interfering with our cognitive and motor functions. 

Alcohol impairs our cognitive and motor functions in often unpredictable ways. 

Too many times, we have all seen a quiet relaxing drink turn into a messier evening. Often when drinking alcohol, people feel their mood worsen, and their social skills suffer. 

Does drinking kava make people aggressive, like alcohol?

The unpredictable effect of alcohol can pose a problem for many people. Alcohol can make people’s behavior unpredictable. Sometimes even aggressive and argumentative. 

Kava brings a feeling of happiness, and relaxation. It doesn’t interact with the brain the same way alcohol does. For many people who turn to alcohol for stress relief but end up feeling worse, kava is a welcome change. 

Does it give a hangover like alcohol?

Kava doesn’t leave people with a hangover the way that alcohol does. 

Physical hangover symptoms from alcohol occur when the liver metabolizes the alcohol. In the process, it creates acetaldehyde. Alongside dehydration, acetaldehyde in the body adds to the feelings of fatigue, headache, vertigo, nausea, and muscle aches and cramps. 

young man sat on couch hand on head with hangover

Drinking culture often leaves people in a cycle of drinking to relax, then feeling physically and mentally worse afterwards. For people who drink lightly every day, even though their hangover symptoms are often not severe, they don’t feel as healthy as they otherwise would. The body is still processing the alcohol in the body. Leaving a low-level hangover. 

While drinking kava, even when the effect wears off, there aren’t any surprises in the morning. Many people feel more focused when they have reduced their stress with Kava. 

Is it totally natural?

When produced and served correctly, kava is completely natural. It is made simply from the ground roots of the kava plant. As with any natural product, it’s important to ensure that you purchase kava from an authentic source.

kava powder on wooden spoon

Some producers of kava have mixed additives to their powder. This is not only a money-saving tactic but can change the effects of the kava on the brain and the experience as a whole. 

These additives can also create a more traditional hangover feeling after drinking. These symptoms are not associated with natural 100 % Kava. These effects from cheapened kava defeat the purpose of escaping the disadvantages of drinking. This reinforces why it’s vital to source only natural, quality kava. 

At Kavahana, we only serve 100% natural kava

At Kavahana, we bring only 100% natural kava from the islands of Fiji and Vanuatu to the stressed and overwhelmed people of southern California. 

As the first Kava bar in West Los Angeles, we only wish to bring true natural products to our customers. Kava is such a beautiful and natural gift from the earth. We believe we should use it as nature intended.  

Read more

Photo by No Revisions on Unsplash Alcohol has become a staple in our society as a way to unwind and relax. That nice cold beer or glass of wine can […]

Kava and the liver. It’s a challenging topic that has been a huge debate and has ruined kava’s reputation since the early 1990s. It’s probably the most publicized myth about […]

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash When you’re new to kava, there’s a wealth of information to absorb: understanding its effects, mastering the preparation process, and even experiencing the unique […]

Is Kava a Great Alternative to Alcohol?

A Photograph taken in the sunny daylight of fresh Hawaiian ahvah ('awa) or kava, with the backdrop of a waterfall.


More Articles

Get in touch!