Since I've been known to stress just a little over papers and exams during my final semester of college, my neighbor decided I might benefit from a new anti-energy drink, Malava Relax. She assured me it tasted like Snapple, while my other neighbor stood by, sipped from the bottle and confirmed, “It tastes like iced tea.”

Malava Relax is the brainchild of a cosmetic dentist from San Diego and a one-time marketing consultant for Snapple. It's made with Kava, a member of the pepper family, Piperaceae.

The effects of Kava are listed as increasing relaxation and sense of well-being, improving concentration, focus and muscle control, promoting restful sleep, easing symptoms of stress, aiding in mental clarity and the decision-making process and so on.

Ranging in flavors from Orange Mango, Pink Lemonade and caffeine-free Brewed Black Tea to sucralose-sweetened Cranberry Grapefruit, Sangria and Orange Citrus, each drink offers a unique kick. (I tried them all!)

Yet I had my doubts. Sure, another beverage put on the market with some new, exotic twist. This time it's some herb that's got some kind of calming effect. OK, whatever.

But then I tasted one, mmmmm, not bad … sweet, yet not overbearing. Rather tasty, actually.

It promised to be calming, and after a few, I felt good, actually; sober-minded, perhaps. Was it purely psychological? Was I feeling calm and relaxed because I had just been prepped for calm and relaxed? Or was it really some crazy exotic tranquilizer?

It made me think about the power of the mind. Do we have control over our feelings by what we focus on, or are we just passive agents of an immensely complex and dynamic orchestration of chemical reactions?

Whatever the cause, I was feeling pretty groovy as I sipped my Malava Relax. I give it two thumbs up and a gulp to boot.

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