Best Way to Take Kava

Posted by on Jan 1, 2010 in Kava Information | 102 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.

102 Comments

  1. Thank you all for such great information! This has really helped.

    I used to take a lot of Ibuprofen (like Christine posted way back in August of 2013.) I had an unfortunate side effect from that – it turns out too much ibuprofen can give you Shingles!! I would think the dermopathy you are talking about would be much easier to solve than shingles! So I’ve been looking for an alternative. Since I lived in Hawaii for several decades and have had kava, I asked a friend there to bring me back some. Now that I have it, I’ve discovered how much goes into the preparation. This and the Kava Forums have been a HUGE help.

    Thanks everyone! What a cool adventure I’m about to embark on!
    Mahalo and Aloha,
    Vickie

    PS – Bryan, I found the answers to my other questions that I posted (still waiting in moderation.) So no need respond to that or post it. Tnx eh?

  2. Vickie,

    Welcome to the Kava community! Kava has been a part of my life for over 20 years, and the joy it brings never lessens. It may seem like a lot of preparation, but it often becomes a meditative ritual just like many other things in our lives. To me, preparing Kava with a loved one or friends can be just as rewarding as enjoying the Kava we’ve prepared. And always be open to playing, to experimenting, to coming up with your own recipes and blends. That’s part of the beauty of the Kava experience!

    Thanks again for taking the time to post and to share. I look forward to any other comments you choose to share as you work with this wondrous plant!

    Mahalo,
    Bryan Kava

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