Have you heard of kava tea? It’s been called the “prescription-free alternative to Xanax.” Cara Matteson, a friend of GNI, first told us about this relaxing tea she first encountered in Hawaii, so we asked her to write a quick review of it here.

“As if Hawaii wasn’t magical enough, I stumbled into a hut tucked behind the main drag in Kona and experienced kava for the first time. We drank it mixed with juice out of a coconut shell and I felt a giggling wave of calm wash over me. I wanted to down the whole cup but restrained myself in front of my partner’s family – it felt a bit like I was lighting up a joint, though kava is perfectly legal. I tried it again as a chocolate bar a few days later but this time the only change I felt was my tongue slowly going numb.

The locals talk up the relaxing powers of kava, a plant that is hailed to have shamanic and euphoric properties. As someone who battles anxiety and has tried every homeopathic remedy imaginable (from passionflower tablets to pre-dawn meditation), I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard of or tried kava. When I got back home to DC, I went to my local grocery store and found a kava blend tea. I brewed a cup and within minutes felt assuredly relaxed and carefree. I wouldn’t recommend kava for daily use, as I’ve found if I drink it consistently it’s less effective. But every now and again, it’s just the remedy I need.”

— Cara Matteson, founder of Classy Womyn