For thousands of years the kava kava root has been used by the people of the South Pacific as a folk remedy as well as a social and ceremonial drink . The kava plant is a shrub which grows in the South Pacific. It is part of the pepper family. The root is the part used for medicinal purposes. Traditionally the root was chewed or made into a beverage. Now you can find Kava in stores in capsule, pill, tea, and liquid form. Kava is said to have sedating effects, reduce anxiety, reduce muscle tension, and produce analgesic effects.