Root Beer Plant, Acuyo, False Kava-Kava. Close relative of Piper methysticum (Kava-Kava), and Piper nigrum (Black Pepper), this herb originated from Tropical America and grows also in the South Pacific. Large-leaved perennial, known for its leaves, which are used for their spicy aromatic scent and flavor, some liken to root beer, others to anise-clove. This species is easily identified by its huge leaves which can grow over a foot long in older specimens. The leaves are chopped and used for flavoring, as well as used whole, as wrappings for meats, tamales, etc. P. auritum is very often confused with Piper methysticum (Kava-Kava), and probably has some similar effects.