There is a craze for Kava and everyone in Denver is talking about it!
I had driven by Kavasutra on Colfax several times over the past year but I never had the time to stop or the company to join me. I read the sign "Alcohol is so 2014, Try Kava" so I knew it wasn't alcohol and thought maybe it's a form of tea or a weird marijuana-type drink.
WHAT IS KAVA:
It is a crushed, dried root that you mix with room temp water. Kava comes from the Western Pacific and is used to promote wellness such as curing skin disease, urinary tract infections, canker sores, muscle pain, and more. It even helps balance sleep and can help you fall into a deeper sleep. Kava is not a drug [that will show up on a drug test] which is why most "sober" people drink kava instead of using drugs or drinking alcohol.
It is the side effects that are attracting a large crowd. Kava makes you more calm, reduces anxiety and makes your muscles less tense. Kava has a reverse-effect meaning you have to drink more your first time but once you continue to drink kava [on other occasions] you will only have to drink a little bit each time until you are a kava-master and one shot will give you the same feelings as the first time when you gulped down a whole drink and a shot.
The "Kavatender" walked me through the drink that all beginners need to try called the "Ed Shell" which is pictured in the photo. It looks like muddy water and served with a pineapple. I opted-in for mine to have coconut added to it as the kavatender recommended. When he handed me the bowl I was very confused on what to do next. Do I drink it at once? Do I sip it? What will happen? When will I start to feel the side effects? Do I need to uber/lyft home?
Well for the newbies here is a quick instructional. Add flavor! Drink the whole thing at once and don't stop for a second or you might not continue to drink your kava. Eat your pineapple to cure the bitterness but beware of the lingering dirt taste. Eventually you will start to feel the side effects. For me, my tongue felt numb and my throat was tingly. I thought I was having an asthma attack but I was able to fully breathe. It felt similar to when I had to take Valium. It was a very calming experience and environment but I kept giggling that I paid $10 for mud water. I probably didn't seem as calm as the rest of the people at the kava bar playing Humanitarian G-Rated version of Cards Against Humanity. Lastly, Don't Kava and drive! Chill and let it wear off, plus you won't be putting other drivers at risk.
WILL THE HYPE DIE:
Yes, most definitely. Kava has been banned in many countries including our neighbor Canada. It has been linked to cause liver damage and even failure. The FDA is not sure of which side of the fence it is on and hasn't made any moves yet. Like all fads, this will eventually die or the government will shut it down.
I'm not a fan. I don't enjoy this type of "social" atmosphere. To each their own, I'll stick with wine, water, and vodka.