How Long Has Kava Been Used For

Kava Culture
Also Check OutThe People Who Discovered Kava

Sometimes we get the question of just how long humans have been drinking kava. Well, there is no real answer to this as the kava root is far older than what written records we have. In spite of this, we do have some extremely old accounts of kava being used as a spiritual and relaxing social drink.

Generally speaking, kava has been used for well over 3,000 years. Historians and archeologists believe that the first use of kava came about sometime around the 1st millennium BC and occurred in the southwestern region of the Pacific ocean. Since then people of all walks of life have started to consume the herbal plant for its relaxing effects.

The team here at Kava-Bula strive hard to bring you the best kava articles on the internet. If you want us to look into a certain fact or piece of information to write an article about go ahead and get in touch with us by clicking here. We love talking with you guys and look forward to meeting you.

Kava Being Used 3,000 Years Ago in the Pacific

The first that kava was drunk was around 3,000 years ago while Polynesian settlers crossed the pacific on rafts. This was the focal point of kava consumption and has continued to be the heart of kava for the past 3,000 years.

Nobody knows which island of the Pacific Ocean developed and cultivated kava. If you go to the island of Fiji they will tell you that kava, or awa, originated on their shores. However, if you go to the island nation of Vanuatu you will be told the same story.

In reality, the most likely probability was that kava was an indigenous plant that was on many of the islands of the pacific ocean. The kava root floats on water and as such would have likely drifted between the islands over several millennia. This would have allowed it to spread slowly between the islands and become native to these lands.

If you were to ask me I believe that kava was first used on the home island of Vanuatu located in the western Pacific. The reason for this is that archeological evidence has found that it is one of the oldest inhabited islands in the world! For over 4,000 years the small island of Vanuatu has been constantly inhabited and also is one of the places where kava is found to be native.

Has The Use of Kava Changed Over The Past 3,000 years?

So, today kava is used as a recreational drink that is designed to bring the local community together. However, in the past this was not the case and kava had a much more spiritual use.

In ancient times kava was used to communicate with the spirits of loved ones and enemies. It was a ceremonial drink that was consumed in a semi-circle and by chiefs of a local village. Drinking kava was an all-day ritual where the chiefs would sit down and be served kava at regular intervals.

The reason that we clap and yell bula before we drink kava is because it is a ritual that is designed to scare away evil spirits. During the ritual, kava would be given to the chiefs and in unison, they would clap and then throw back the drink. After this other members of the ritual party would be allowed to drink kava but in smaller amounts. Once the chiefs were ready for another round the clapping and yelling would begin again.

In essence, the kava ritual was used as a way to both ward off bad spirits and bring together the local community. After the chiefs had enough kava then they would begin to discuss the administration of the clan and the other members of the drinking party would talk about their recent lives.

However, when the Europeans arrived the kava ritual was a foreign thing and rumor on the islands was that it was a dark ritual performed in secret. This is far from the case but the damage to the kava reputation was done. Unfortunately, this damage to the kava reputation has persisted up until the modern day.

However, the team here at Kava-Bula aims to correct this. We constantly put out kava articles that are designed to keep people informed about kava and all of its positive traits; this includes kava’s ability to treat anxiety.


There you have it; all the information we currently have on how long kava has been used for. Generally speaking, kava has been actively used as both a ritualistic and relaxing drink for the past 3,000 years. In many ways, this makes kava one of the longest-used specialty products in human history.

The team here at Kava-Bula wants to wish you a happy existence. We constantly drink kava and love sharing our history and culture with those around us every day. When we drink kava we always say ‘Bula!’ because this wishes our local community and friends good health and fortune. So Bula to you!


Comments are closed

Subscribe to our newsletter!