Best Way to Take Kava

Posted by on Jan 1, 2010 in Kava Information | 100 comments

This post is a response to a great question that one of our visitors asked regarding what the best way to take kava might be (we get a lot of great questions and we love to answer them almost as much as we love kava kava).  It’s something we get asked so often, that we decided to make it into a post.  Thanks Elizabeth from the “Kava Kava Root” article comment section for the inspiration!

First, though, one of our most-asked questions is “Now that I have this bag of Kava Powder, what do I do with it?

As a general rule, no matter the brand of Kava Powder you purchase, 2 tablespoons of the powder, blended into a liquid of your choice, for at least 1-2 minutes, is a great place to start.  Furthermore, it’s important to note that Kava Kava extracts into both water and fats (such as milk, soy milk, and coconut milk).  So, when you’re making your Kava drink, most people we know blend it with skim milk, soy milk, rice milk, or coconut milk as a start.  This will ensure a potent extraction of your Kava Root.

Then, the next question is always; “Do I need to filter out the powder after I extract it?

As a general rule, we always suggest filtering out the Kava Root after running it through your blender for a couple of minutes.  We prefer plain old muslin bags, but there are lots of people who have all kinds of solutions to this filtering question.  It certainly is not harmful or dangerous to ingest the powdered Kava root after extracting it.  In fact, it might actually have some health benefits, especially since it’s a fibrous root.*  But, to keep things simple, pour your extract through a muslin bag, cheesecloth, a clean t-shirt, or whatever you have lying around that you want to use as a filter.  Experiment.  Play.  This is all part of the joy of discovering Kava Kava and the many ways to enjoy it!

Onto the rest of the explanation:

KAVA KAVA ROOT: For me, I like anything I put into my body to be as natural as possible.  Therefore, I only make kava drinks out of pure kava kava root.  Then, as I explained to Joe (also in the Kava Kava Root comments), I then like to give my kava an extra “kick” by adding a small amount of Kavalactone Paste.  When I’m making my favorite Kava Drink Dietart Supplement recipe, this is that added “secret ingredient,” but it can make a huge difference for me.

But, truly…that is just my own personal preference!

KAVA CAPSULES: Speaking of, many people don’t quite like the taste of kava kava root.  This is understandable, and that is exactly why there are so many options provided by many retailers of Kava. Capsules can provide a “down-and-dirty” way of getting to enjoy the effects of Kava, but something we highly recommend is to take capsules that are no more than 30% Kavalactones.  Why is this?  It’s because all of the best effects of Kava Root don’t come only from Kavalactones (the main active ingredient):  The pleasurable and “good-for-you” effects come from the full spectrum of alkaloids contained within the kava root (24+ to be exact).

With a 30% Kavalactone Capsule, you still get all of the benefits of the entire kava plant, but with enough concentration and potency to get all the pleasurable effects.  And this is something we wish we could say more on, but we will leave it with this one thought:  The FDA has VERY strict rules in relation to how much Kava Root they feel a person can ingest at one time.  These minimums are FAR below what history has shown is safe for anyone who ingests Kava.  We would never recommend that anyone does NOT follow the FDA dosage charts for Kava Root, but we know that what they force retailers to list as a typical dose is at least half as much as we prefer to take to get the pleasurable effects we take Kava for.

KAVA TEA: One option that is not really an option is KAVA TEA.  Why is this?  It’s because the active ingredient in kava is destroyed at a very low temperature, so the hot water required to make tea, destroys all the best parts of kava!

KAVALACTONE PASTE: This is one of our staples in the world of Kava.  Because it is so concentrated, it can be quite expensive (we’ve seen Kavalactone Paste for as much as $79.99 per ounce!), but so little is needed.  And, our absolute FAVORITE version of Kavalactone Paste is something called a “Full Spectrum Kavalactone Paste.”  We try so hard to be unbiased and fair here, but so far, we’ve only found one online retailer that offers this Full Spectrum product, and we can’t imagine our Kava Drinks without it.  It’s not as strong as pure Kavalactone Paste, but we have the comfort of knowing that it contains all 24+ alkaloids from the plant, giving us a concentrated, but completely natural product.

CONCLUSIONS: Aside from preference, we have found that, for whatever reason, Kava Capsules offer a more relaxing, sedative experience, and that drinks made out of Kava root offer a more social and energizing experience.  As a result, I’m EXTREMELY interested to hear from more kava fans, especially in relation to their experiences with Kava in its different forms and what they’ve personally found to be their best kava experience. What do you think is the best way to take kava kava? Do capsules energize you or relieve pain and help you sleep?  Does making a drink energize you and make you feel more sociable?  If you take a larger amount of Kavalactone Paste do you feel tipsy and extra happy in a way that is similar (but far, far safer) than having a drink or two of alcohol?  Have you found a way to make drinks out of Kava that we need to know about?

Let me know, and thanks again for all the great comments, questions, and thoughts! – Aloha, Bryan Kava

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  Our products are not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease.


  1. Lew,

    You share a sentiment that many share! For many who enjoy Kava, though, the preparation is part of the joy of the Kava experience. But, there are plenty of products out there which make the experience even easier: There are capsules, pastes, instant drinks, cordials, teas, and a few others. That’s also why we find Kona Kava Farm such a great place to go; they’re a 1-stop shop for everything from powdered Kava Root, to Instant Kava Drinks, to one of my personal favorites; Kavalactone Paste.

    As far as ice and a blender…I couldn’t imagine making my Kava WITHOUT a blender! It’s a great way to extract as much as possible from the Kava root, with very little effort. For me, I usually add 2 heaping tablespoons per drink, drop it into a blender with (ahem) soy milk (sorry!), a dash of coconut milk, some organic chocolate syrup, and blend for 5 minutes. I then strain through a muslin bag and enjoy. And the ice; that’s no problem at all either. I think it helps keep the temperature as low as possible, preserving the Kavalactones even more.

    Lastly, as far as making a larger batch; I’ve been told that your Kava drink will keep for 2 weeks. (On a shelf, dry, in a sealed package, it will stay fresh and potent for 2 years.) A personal suggestion is this: Purchase an Instant Kava Drink with some Kavalactone Paste. That way, whenever you want a quick Kava drink, you simply blend the instant drink with juice or water or tea, add 2 pea-sized amounts of Kavalactone Paste, drop in a blender for 5 minutes…ad you’ve got great Kava with none of the squeezing or mess.


  2. Two weeks? Well, I doubt it’ll last that long. I was thinking two days! Cool!

    I’ve discovered several things. First, it wasn’t the blender I was doing wrong, it was the way I was straining it and I didn’t let it sit long enough.
    I bought a nylon straining bag and it made ALL the difference. No more GrittyKitty(tm) for me. Cheesecloth is for the birds and requires 3 hands!

    I did buy some connoisseur-grade called “WOW” Kava and ..well WOW! I’ll stick to the Fijiian market Waka for my normal drinking but the WOW is worth the price for special occasions and parties. I also bought some instant Kava, but I haven’t tried it yet. The paste from Kona Kava Farm looks really good, so that will be my next purchase!
    Thanks again!

  3. Lew,

    I also wouldn’t advise keeping your Kava in the fridge for 2 weeks, although I have heard from visitors that they’ve kept it that long. The longest Kava has been around here has been about a week, and it was perfectly fresh on the last day as it was on the first.

    So happy to hear that you’re building a relationship with ‘Awa! I’ve heard that nylon straining bags can be great, easy to clean, and very reusable. I use muslin bags, but if you have your source for nylon bags, feel free to post it here.

    And, we’d love to hear back about the different kinds of Kava you’re experiencing.

  4. Just started eating Kava recently and the best way i have found is basic toss and wash if you like the taste to get the fullest effect plus the mouth numbing effect. My favorite washes currently are chocolate milk and/or iced coffee. I appreciate the note about taking the effects out with heat. Came here to see if there was some better way of taking it but i guess only so much can be done with powder ie drink mixing, capsules, toss and wash, and straining. For some reason, i think its because kava sounds like java, i keep imagining an iced coffee drink with chocolate, caramel, and whipped cream on top that is energizing but relaxing. It would work both as a mix or a wash. Going to give mixing it a shot and will let you know how it tastes but I already got a feeling it is going to be quite delectable.

  5. I have not seen this question answered or asked on your blog – How long is the maximun time that you can keep the kava for full potency, once you make the mix. How do you keep it, in the frig or unrefrigerated?


  6. Jen,

    Good question, and I would defer this question to the experts who actually grow and extract the kava for a living at Kona Kava Farm: Can I Keep My Kava Drinks Refrigerated?

    Kava dot com

  7. I have a question. I have ordered some instant Kava and was curious about the paste you mentioned. The instant Kava is stated to be more potent than the powdered root I assume because it is concentrated. How would one use the paste here or is it even an aide? I haven’t yet recieved my Kava in the mail so I haven’t tried it yet.

  8. Kavalactone Paste can indeed help make any Kava drink more potent. For me, I use a reference of a “pea-sized” amount as a single serving of Kavalactone Paste. When I make Kava drinks, I sometimes add 2-3 pea-sized amounts of Kavalactone Paste, although the recommended amount by the FDA seems to roughly be 1 pea-sized serving. I use a blender to make my Kava drinks (even the instant ones), so I just drop that Kavalactone Paste into the blender as I’m making my drink. It blends in nicely with the drink, especially when there’s something “fatty” like coconut milk, real milk, or soy milk.

  9. I have been an addict for a very long time, and have used a wide range of all kinds of drugs (mostly legal mind you), and I have recently come to the conclusion that getting high/drunk just wasn’t good for me and it had to end. I quit cold turkey and after going through the withdrawels I managed to be able to keep it together sober throughout my day, but at night time I still couldn’t sleep because my brain was programmed to “go to sleep happy”. I stumbled upon kava but was afraid it was just going to be another drug to abuse.
    I’m happy to say that the buzz is more of an emotional thing than a physical thing, it makes me sleepy and happy, but I’m in no way high, and in no way drunk. So while YOU can’t say that it’s a wonderful alternative for the alchohol/drug addict, I would like to say that for me it is! And not only that, I’m not craving it all day long while I go to work and stuff because it leaves me in a pleasant mood the whole next day! I wouldn’t go so far as to say “miracle herb” but it sure is a godsend! (I’ve been off all other substances for 3 months now with no thought of going back)

    P.S. If you are a drug user and expect to get “high” off of it, you won’t, you have to be content with a lesser, but totally pleasant kind of feeling.

  10. When you add soy lecithin, how much do you add? I’m thinking of using the gronulated soy lethicin from GNC. Also, I’ve heard of people letting the root powder sit in milk for 30 minutes or so before ingesting, does this help make the drink more potent?

  11. Chris,

    When adding soy lecithin, 1 typically add anywhere between 1 rounded teaspoon to 1 flat tablespoon per extraction, depending on how large of a drink I’m making for myself. If you’re using a blender, granulated soy lecithin from GNC will work just fine.

    And yes, the longer the power sits (within reason and up to an hour), the more potent the drink becomes. Blending for about 3 minutes will extract the bulk of the active components from Kava Kava, but if one blends for 5 minutes or more (up to 10 minutes), there are more active components that will be extracted, making for a somewhat more potent drink. It will be noticeable, but it’s not a huge difference in potency.

    Kava dot com

  12. I’ve been taking Kava by capsule for at least seven years now, but I occasionally open a kava capsule and take the powder directly by mouth in order to accelerate the effect and/or to numb any discomfort in the mouth (i.e., a sore throat). This may sound crazy, but while attempting to ingest kava powder in this manner tonight, I somehow ended up with kava in my nasal passages. (I should probably mention that I have never ingested any powdered substance in this manner before.) My nasal passages felt extremely uncomfortable when this happened tonight, but within 30 seconds I felt otherwise absolutely incredible! I’ve been taking Kava for years and have never before experienced this intensity of effect. It’s been several hours now, and I still feel great! I am, of course, now tempted to deliberately repeat this experience, not every day, but when I really need a dramatic lift. Is this manner of ingesting kava dangerous, or is it okay?

  13. Divine,

    I appreciate your honesty and candidness, and none of us here were quite sure how to respond. Surely you know that you’re treading in very “taboo” territory here, yes?

    Either way, since we know the kind folks over at Kona Kava Farm (our favorite place to buy all-things Kava), we thought we’d ask them if anyone in their family has ever heard of such a practice involving Kava. The reaction was not what I expected: no one was against this specific form of ingestion, but no one had heard of anyone trying it either. I was told that concentrating natural plants to such a degree and then insufflating them is largely a Western phenomena, and that the spirit of the Kava plant has always spoken of mashing the roots, mixing with water (the fresh roots used to be chewed by females in the tribe and then spat into a large vessel mixed with water), and then gulping down.

    Hmm. I then went to my doctor and asked about ingestion of anything through the nasal passages, and this is what he said: “Insufflation of anything poses a danger the the delicate tissues of the nasal cavity. If a disruption occurs due to irritation, the normal host defenses inside the sinuses can allow bacteria that are normally present in the nasal passages to enter the body. Once there, the bacteria may stick to the lining cells and cause infection. Also, many medications and herbal products are designed to have dosages released over time. By insufflating (snorting) something such as Kava powder, you are altering the rate at which the herb will enter your bloodstream and brain. Since there is little to no medical data on this type of ingestion, I can’t tell you what the side-effects might be. My advice to you: Abstain.”

    So, I hope this helps; it’s the best I’ve got for you at the moment. As always, though, I’m very thankful for the openness of the discussions here, and am curious to know anyone else’s experience with Kava in this manner or any other.

    Kava dot com

  14. Hi,

    Just followed your advice and ordered the 30% kavalactone capsules and the 84% full spectrum paste. Taking the capsules is easy, but how do you recommend taking the paste as a “kicker” to the capsules?

    As a side note, I tried the kava powder many years ago and noticed a definite calming effect, but the taste was just so !!!!!!!, that I couldn’t bring myself to take anymore. I am truly hoping that the capsules work as advertised.


  15. Larry,

    To use the Kavalactone Paste as a “kicker” to the capsules, we recommend what Kona Kava Farm says; simply take a “pea-sized” amount to start with, and simply eat it right out of the jar. Others have encapsulated it, many blend it in with their Kava drinks, whether powdered or instant, and it seems that many actually cook with it. In other words; use your imagination! Experiment! Find a way that works best for you since there’s truly no “right” way or “wrong” way to take the Kavalactone Paste.

    Kava dot ocm

  16. I bought some kava root by bulk at the local health food store. I “brewed” it in warm, almost hot water with coconut oil added to the water. I let it steep for over an hour or two and drank it in the morning mixed with coffee or yerba mate. At night, I drink it alone. I adore it. I realize my preparation isn’t what you recommend, and perhaps it isn’t “correct” but I definitely feel the benefits.

  17. thank you for all the good information. It answered my question, “Is kava kave good for anxiety?” So what a blessing to be able to enjoy something (despite the taste) that is safe and not really a drug, although I think valium is a “god-send” when you are really really anxious and who cares if you become dependent on it, as long as your doc will prescribe it for you and you use it responsibly. But I bought a book on kava many years ago and didn’t feel the calming effect that the drug brought. Now am trying the root and “think” I get the calm, not sure yet, but surely hope so as my pastor vehemently asserts that we should not drink wine. Of course I disagree with him (remember Jesus’ first miracle) but all in all I wouldn’t trade my pastor for any other. (luv him). I will try the paste as well. That’s all, just mainly wanted to say thanks for the great website and your ever consideration and kindness in all your writings.

  18. hey i was wondering about the capsules. how many of them would you have to take to get a good mellow buzz? reports from other people say that the capsules have no noticable effects, and that taking more than recommended can hurt your internal organs. what is your say on this?

  19. Hi Joe!

    The number of capsules depends on the person and the capsule in question. Some questions are root-only, while others contain extracts. I would recommend starting with a low does and working your way up from there.

    Capsules often contained unprocessed kava material that is not traditionally consumed. This can be a bit hard on the stomach. If you have any previous stomach or digestive issues, I would recommend a more traditional kava tea or beverage in which the root material is not consumed. Otherwise, though, kava capsules are less harmful to your internal organs than Asprin. :)

  20. I thought I had found the best possible way to consume full spectrum kavalactone paste when I mixed it with natural peanut butter . . . then I mixed it with cashew butter. Mmmmmmm.

  21. I was wondering what you thought about kava kava extract? I mix it in with tea, but I also did not know that the best part of the kava is destroyed with the tempratures? What do you suggest mixing it with? Thanks so much, Jill

  22. Jill,

    Kava kava extract is great mixed with any liquid that is cold or lukewarm. In fact, you can heat kava to about 105 F before it starts to lose potency. We really enjoy mixing kava extract with almond or soy milk and then heating on the stovetop over low heat just until the kava dissolves. Then sweeten with honey or agave nectar. This makes a delicious, warming drink with no loss of potency! If you try this method out, let us know what you think!

  23. I bought some kava kava root extract in a bottle and it says on the back that is contains alcohol USP 65-75%. Golly does this mean I am consuming alcohol too and I really don’t want to. Please advise

  24. Dear Tracey,

    Yes, if you take the root extract in alcohol you will be consuming a small amount. However, it’s only going to be a few milliliters. In terms of safety this is not an issue – a few milliliters of alcohol is not going to have a noticeable effect on the liver. If you have VERY SERIOUS liver disease or damage, I would recommend another method of taking your kava, such as powder or capsules, but other than that, the tiny amount of alcohol in an extract should not have a negative effect, especially if you put a few dropperfuls in a big glass of water and take it that way. When we say kava and alcohol should not be combined for safety reasons, we’re referring to having several alcoholic drinks AND kava at the same time.

    Hope this helps! :)

  25. Any pointers on beating this reverse tolerance? I’ve worked with a few brands of root and now am trying to acclimate with a tincture. Don’t know if the quality was poor, I wasn’t squeezing the root out enough, or there is some factor I’m not seeing. All I know is that I am yet to experience this plant.

  26. Dear Kirk,

    I would not recommend a tincture if you are having a tough time experiencing the effects of kava. You may be receiving low quality root, as well. Make sure you are steeping the root in cold water and try steeping for up to 10 minutes. You may want to try out a kavalactone concentrate paste as well – you can find them from a few online vendors. These pastes are easy to take and very effective! They may be just what you need to experience the potency of kava.

    Best of luck! :)

  27. 1st Question: If I bought some Kava powder, and made a bunch to last me 7 days and kept it in the refrigerator, would it still maintain its potency? Are there any other issues with this? Because going through the hassle of making it every night does not seem worth it to me. But on the other hand, pills and paste does not seem as effective and natural (and potentially safe) as brewing it the way it has been done historically. I’m also interested in powders, because there are different varieties of the herb that one can purchase for experiencing different types of symptoms.

    2nd question: What is the most cost-effective way of buying Kava to get the nice, relaxed effect (about 250 mg kavalactones worth). I don’t have a lot of money, but don’t want to buy a worthless, cheap product.

    So far I’ve been taking pills at night and sleeping like a baby–but I have nothing else to compare it to, since I haven’t tried the other products. I haven’t noticed any euphoria except for perhaps when I first started taking it; noticed subtle anti-anxiety effects, especially at first.

    3rd Question: I’ve heard people in forums talking about developing tolerance. Is this just in their heads, or is there something to that; because on the websites advocating Kava they indicate that there is no tolerance? Would 4 weeks on/1 week off help with potential tolerance and other issues?

    By the way, since I’m looking at taking this long-term; I’m ordering milk thistle, just for some extra protection for my liver.

  28. Ricky,

    1st Question: How long does Kava keep in the fridge? Typically, Kava will keep just fine in the fridge for a week or so. We’ve never had it around long enough to test it past a week, but there was no loss of potency that we could detect from Day 01 to Day 07.

    2nd Question: Most Cost-Effective Kava? We think that a potent (8% – 10% kavalactone content) Kava root like ANY of the high-quality Kava Root we offer in our new Kava Marketplace is the most cost-effective means of getting the 250 mg of Kavalactones that the FDA feels is the maximum safe dosage for a single day. It may be more difficult to make, but you do get the most bang for your buck, and longer extraction times means stronger ‘Awa.

    3rd Question: Does Kava Build a Tolerance? We have noticed that there can be an increase in tolerance with Kava over time. I’ve never noticed in the first week, but definitely by the 2nd or 3rd week of daily consumption, I notice a small tolerance building. Although Kava has been enjoyed daily in much larger amounts throughout Oceania for 3,000 years, we do not recommend going above the FDA-suggested doses, and see no reason why Kava should be consumed daily. Even a day on, day off is enough to stave off any tolerance.

    Bryan Kava
    Direct: 716-803-6427
    Email: bryan at kava dot com

  29. I’ve tried to “brew” the root powder purchased in bulk, can’t really say I like the taste. I plan on buying some instant powder soon, maybe with better luck. In the meantime, I still have some of the root powder I purchased from local store. I bought some empty gel capsules and filled with the root powder.
    Your thoughts and recommendations? Is this basically like taking small doses of the drink? And how different from capsules purchased?
    I’m mainly looking for a sleep aid but look forward to the mellow “aloha feeling” I’ve heard so much about?

  30. 1st time trying this wonderful stuff, I had my doubts. However it proved wrong I wasnt quite sure what too expect.Too my surprise about a halfhour after drinking this i woke up 5 hous later & felt very refreshed, nothing like after having afew drinks.The best sleep I’ve had in a long time without the draging feeling of alcohol. Kava forever, alcohol never. Well, ishould never say never! ;-)

  31. I see on some sites not to take Kava more than 3 months in a row. If one were to stop taking prescription anti-anxiety medication, would Kava be a suitable substitute for the prescription method to relieve anxiety? If so, I would think it would need to be used on a fairly regular basis to give the same benefits of the prescription meds. I understand that mixing the prescriptions and Kava is not recommended process, but if one were to stop the presriptions all together, could Kava be a good replacement?


  32. William,

    We’re trilled that you may have found a natural herbal solution to help ease your stress, but as is our mantra throughout this website, I’m sorry, but I can only offer you this: Kava is a dietary supplement and is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or cure any disease. Also, since we are not doctors here, we cannot dispense medical advice of any kind.

    Our best advice to you is to visit with your doctor, bring him/her your kava research, and have a discussion about your desire to try this natural remedy.

    Bryan Kava
    Direct: 716-803-6427
    Email: bryan at kava dot com

  33. You’re right that buying empty gel capsules and placing the root inside them is just like taking small doses of the drink. Please be careful and never take more than the suggested serving of a tablespoon of powder at a time. And, as we always say; every person and every body is different, and Kava affects each in different ways. Some it helps them to relax and others report and “aloha feeling” but it’s up to you to see what works best for you while working with safe amounts of the kava. Aloha,

  34. Hi all, I accidentally stumbled upon this website and read through all the comments. I am glad I did because it gave me hope I can conquer my terrible anxieties that are getting worse every day. I was starting to lose hope and get discouraged in my daily attempts to win this battle. All my doctor was willing to do is put me on Ativan and Lexapro and I am so against it. The anxieties that started due to stress at work intensified over the time and are present now even after I quit that job (almost a year now), but developed peri-menstrual issues with sweats ( I am 47), yo-yo effect and constant worry something is wrong with me. I was bleeding a lot for a year and developed iron deficiency anemia, which is getting under control now but I can’t sleep well anymore and I have to fight this feeling of dread almost every day now. :( My labs and tests are all clear. What dosage of kava-kava capsules would you suggest I try for anxiety? Any other advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  35. Jane,

    We’re trilled that you may have found a natural herbal solution to help ease your stress, but as is our mantra throughout this website, I’m sorry, but I can only offer you this: Kava is a dietary supplement and is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or cure any disease. Also, since we are not doctors here, we cannot dispense medical advice of any kind.

    Our best advice to you is to visit with your doctor, bring him/her your kava research, and have a discussion about your desire to try this natural remedy.

    Bryan Kava
    Direct: 716-803-6427
    Email: bryan at kava dot com

  36. Hi! I’ve been taking Ibuprofen PM to help me get to sleep at night, but lately have become worried about the long-term side effects. The reason I take it is that I have arthritis and neck pain and the Ibuprofen does help me wake up without the usual stiffness. However, I’ve been reading a book about Kava, and now your website, and wonder if this might be something that would help me, as I’d really prefer to take something more natural. Would be interested in reading comments from others who’ve had similar issues. Thanks!

  37. Hello,
    I am a musician and unfortunately have trouble getting over the performance anxiety when playing a solo for example. Someone told me kava may be able to help me relax and help me get over the anxiety. I am certainly willing to give it a try but am unsure on which of the products would benefit me most. Any advice on the issue is very much appreciated!
    Thank you!

  38. Kava was tested in Germany years ago and someone (whom doctors suspect already had liver problems) reacted badly to it. Then there was a knee-jerk reaction to its side effects. Common sense and building slowly – knowing your body is good advice. This is a good sensible forum that covers even ‘taboo’subjects with integrity. Well done all!

  39. I was thinking about getting some of the kava paste and I’m trying to decide on whether to get one the percentage kavlactone pastes or the full spectrum paste (I’m leaning towards the full spectrum, however). I was just wondering what are the different effects, generally, of the full spectrum vs one of the kavalactone percentage pastes? I’m looking for the recreational experience, as opposed to just an anxiety reliever or sleep aid(although I’m not opposed to using it for those reasons).

    It’s funny that I just found out about not heating kava, because the first time I made it, I didn’t know anything about the traditional preparation methods, so I just used what I had learned from Western herbalism. Since it was a hard, woody root, I just boiled it! I reduced it my half, strained it, and drank. I have to say, it worked! Wow, did it work! That was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had! I won’t go into much detail, but it is my benchmark for kava.

  40. Very good question, Taylor, and the answer is definitely what you may have suspected: The longer you leave the Kava powder brewing, the more potent the drink will be. In fact, Kava needs both milk AND water to extract all 25 of its active components. And, if you want to supercharge your Kava drink, we recommend a blender, on low, for at least 5 minutes. After that 5 minutes, we then suggest letting the Kava brew for an additional 15 minutes, stirring once during that 15 minutes.

    Hope that helps!

    Bryan Kava

  41. Liquid Kava Extract, in our experience, takes about the same time as powdered Kava Root made into a drink. And that time is actually shortened when taking an increased dosage (which should never exceed the FDA’s recommended Daily Dosage, of course).

    And yes, potency can vary quite a lot between liquid, powdered root, capsules, and pastes. Generally, pastes are the strongest, followed by powdered root, and then it would be a ties for liquid extracts and pastes, IMHO.

    Bryan Kava

  42. Brian,

    This is another question we get asked a lot, and there really isn’t a simple answer. Your instincts were correct, though: For us the best way to experience the relaxing effects of Kava is to enjoy it as a freshly-made drink from Kava powder (and not the Instant Kava Mix), or from the Full Spectrum Kavalatone Paste.

    And yes, we’ve heard about so many people who have cooked, boiled or microwaved their Kava, with astounding results. Although we don’t have the scientific data, it does seem that the magical “140 degrees” is not proving to be true for countless of our visitors.

    Bryan Kava

  43. I tried Kava for the first time yesterday. I definitely felt the euphoric and social effects, but I couldn’t seem to sleep afterwards. I was up until 1am before I finally slept. Is this normal for beginning use? Will I need to try it a few times before it relaxes me, or are there different kinds of Kava? If so, what is the most mellow, sleep inducing variety? Any advice would be appreciated, thanks.

  44. Every body is different, as are the effects that Kava may have on different bodily systems. It’s not unusual for Kava to have an opposite effect on you; it happens quite a lot, actually. Some find it makes them energized, while others find it relaxing. Whether or not it’s energizing or relaxing is also very dose-dependent. Oddly enough, smaller amounts of Kava seem to have an energizing effect, while larger doses seem to sedate. Either way, that’s the beauty of herbal supplements; you’re free to work with it, to work with the dose size, and find what works best for you.

    Aloha & Mahalo,
    Bryan Kava

  45. Camryn,

    Kava definitely has a large and growing number of studies that show it’s effectiveness to help alleviate anxiety, so you’ve made a great, natural choice to help you with yours. And yes, not all Kava is created equal, and different Kava with different kavalactone lineups will indeed have different effects on the body. Typically, the most effective cultivars for anxiety are the Hawaiian Makaea Root and the Vanuatu Noble Kava Root. Either have been known to have the coveted 4-2-6 kavalactone lineup, which indicates a high concentration of kavain (the #4 in the lineup), the kavalactone responsbile for dopamine release in the brain.

    Mahalo & Aloha,
    Bryan Kava

  46. Eli,

    Actually, we have never heard of anyone getting a burning sensation from Kava before, but I believe it. There have been a few, very rare reports of light sensitivity, but that was a very temporary sensation. I’m approving your comment here to see if anyone else chimes in about this similar effect with the Kava they’ve tried. Kava is definitely a very effective natural combatant for anxiety, as proven in numerous studies in recent years, so good choice in stopping your use of phamaceuticals!

    Aloha & Mahalo,
    Bryan Kava

  47. Honor,

    As is always our mantra; we are not doctors and cannot dispense any advice regarding prescription medication or medical conditions. St. John’s Wort has been shown to be effective in helping ward off anxiety, but as with anything anyone introduces into a bodily system; as many different bodies as there are, there are probably as many different effects. With the St. John’s Wort, perhaps you didn’t get a quality brand, perhaps she didn’t take it for a long enough period of time; St. John’s Wort typically requires at least a week of daily consumption before the effects are felt. Kava, on the other hand, has numerous studies showing its effectiveness to help reduce anxiety. You would, of course, need to check with your health-care provider, but we think that Kava might be a perfect opportunity for your daughter to find something that might have a positive effect on her world.

    Aloha & Mahalo,
    Bryan Kava

  48. Personally find that the lower the dose and the more often the better. I put roughly a fifth of a teaspoon of fresh kava root powder under my tongue one to six times a day. Within a couple minutes my mouth produces saliva which starts to dissolve the llactones. Around five to ten minutes after putting it in my mouth my salivating really starts to increase which in turn is dissolving more lactones. This is when I add a sip of milk. This really seems to get everything out of the root. If my mouth produces too much saviva I simply swallow some. I then swallow the final product. I find you don’t even have to swallow it. You can just spit it out. If you want a body buzz as well as euphoria then I’m sure swallowing will work better. If I decide to swallow nothing and just spit it out after ten or fifteen minutes I still get euphoria.

    Remember how kava has a reverse tolerance. Well buy the time I do it a third time I feel AMAZING!!! And I was the worst drug addict so I know how much people think they need to take of something to really get a desirable effect. Kava is unique. You may find my method tedious or time consuming or weird but it works! Great site guys. We’re bless to have each other! Stay safe and listen to your body! And yes kava can be toxic. Especially if you take medications or abuse drugs that are hard on the liver. Kava itself may not be toxic but it can change the way your liver processes something. It’s common sense. Don’t just defend something because you like it lol! No argument just care about being healthy and want you guys to take care as well. Kava needs to be respected :)))

  49. Today, I bought a 1oz bottle of liquid kava. I put the recommend 30 drops in some water, I never felt the relief of anxiety and stress as I expected. My question I suppose is, is there a certain brand that works best as far as the kava liquid goes or is there a certain way to mix it that works better?

  50. We found that tinctures have been working well for those seeking an immediate effect; a happy boost. But those looking to assist with anxiety; capsules seem to be a more effective choice. We’ve listened to our customers, especially those looking for some relief from stressors of the day, and spent over a year developing ‘Awa Calm. It’s a blend of Kava, but with several key herbs that have been shown to be great choices in the battle against stress in our lives.


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