If you’ve never tried ‘awa before, now is the time!
‘Awa, or kava (Piper methysticum), is one of the 27 canoe plants brought to Hawaiʻi by the early Polynesians and cultivated here, and there are at least 13 varieties, explains Extension agent Glenn Teves. ʻAwa is consumed for its relaxing effects throughout the Pacific Ocean cultures of Polynesia, including Hawaiʻi, Vanuatu, Melanesia, and parts of Micronesia.
“The root of the plant is used to produce a drink with sedative, anesthetic, and euphoriant properties,” Glenn adds. “Its active ingredients are called ‘kavalactones.’ ‘Awa was consumed after a day of hard physical labor to relax muscles, as well as for ceremonial purposes. In the western world, it’s consumed as an herbal medicine.”
Emeritus faculty H.C. “Skip” Bittenbender was instrumental in researching ‘awa and spreading awareness of it, helping to create the annual Kava Festival held on UHM campus.
Pu‘u O Hoku Ranch on Moloka‘i produces USDA-certified organic and biodynamic Hawaiian ‘awa. In gratitude for the help CTAHR Extension has given the ranch, Puʻu O Hoku is offering a 15% discount to the CTAHR ‘ohana, for a limited time. Their ‘awa is in fresh frozen root pulp form, which creates a smoother and more potent drink than the more common powdered ‘awa.
Variety packs include a mix of several Hawaiian varietals: Hiwa, Mō‘ī, Nēnē, Papa‘ele'ele, ‘Opihikao, Mahakea, Hanakāpī‘ai, Pana‘ewa, Papa‘ele‘ele Pu‘u, or Mo‘oula.
To redeem, visit puuohokustore.com and use the promo code “MAHALO-CTAHR” at checkout. The special offer expires July 6.