“Its advertised effects are about the same as a cocktail: kava is a sedative used to relieve anxiety and relax the muscles. But, unlike alcohol, kava allegedly doesn’t interfere with any cognitive abilities, and, if you hydrate properly, it won’t give you a hangover.” The healthy hipsters have borrowed a plant used for ceremonies in Samoa and other parts the South Pacific and turned it into the latest cocktail fad. I’ve participated in a kava ceremony, and for what it’s worth, it’s better washed down with a few cans of beer.