Kava (Piper methysticum) is a plant native to the Pacific Islands that has been used as a ceremonial and relaxing drink by people of that region for centuries. The traditional kava drink is prepared from water extracts of the raw kava root or rhizome. It is commonly prepared by mixing powdered kava with water.
Kava, also known as Piper methysticum or kava-kava is also contained in some medicinal products such as tablets, capsules and tea bags for the treatment of anxiety.
From 2020, ACT Health Directorate will no longer be issuing exemptions to supply or consume kava for traditional purposes at public events as these are no longer required.
Kava supply and consumption is now permitted in the ACT and is no longer restricted to public events. Kava may now be consumed as a food in the ACT if it is:
- a beverage made from dissolving kava root using cold water only and not using any organic solvent; or
- dried or raw kava root.
All other forms, kava are schedule 4 (prescription only) medicines and regulated in the ACT under the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 2008.
Further information about kava regulation as a food in the ACT may be found here.