Kava or kava-kava is a term used to describe a variety of cultivars used for therapeutic and ceremonial purposes in many places in the South Pacific, including Micronesia, Hawaii, Vanatu, Polynesia, Fiji, and Melanesia.
The noble cultivars of Kava, from which ceremonial kava is harvested, contain kavalactone, the active compound, and are extremely unlikely to cause adverse effects.
Kava is traditionally brewed into a cold tea in a ceremonial setting. It is ground into a fine paste, mixed with cold water and quickly consumed.
Outside of the Pacific Islands, kava is available as a powder, and in pre-made drink mixtures.