David: “A Blog-Worthy Scam”

Posted by on Apr 20, 2009 in Ask Makaira | 13 comments

David: A Blog-Worthy ScamWe sometimes get customers who don’t find that Kava Kava is for them, they find the taste too unpleasant for their palettes, or they simply don’t feel any effects from it. What’s rare is the customer who believes that Kava is a scam. This type of dissatisfaction is truly rare, but I thought that my response to David may offer some insight for any customers who feel the same as David does.  Kava has always been an integral part of my family and my culture for generations, but I can understand that Kava is not for everyone.


In the spirit of possibly offering something useful to you, I offer this: We know that no two human bodies are the same. Different bodies and systems react differently to everything from environmental conditions, to medication, and even to food. Some people respond well to particular medications, while others have no response whatsoever, and still others have dangerous reactions to them.  Most people get an energy boost from caffeine, but for some, it can make them extremely sick, and some…it can have the opposite effect and put them to sleep.

And it’s no different with herbal supplements such as kava kava. I invite you to do some research on the internet, and you will soon find that Kava has been used safely (and effectively) for thousands of years, it’s been the focus of clinical study, it’s been prescribed as an alternative to Prozac in Europe for anxiety, and it’s deeply ingrained in our culture and the cultures of Oceania.  It’s an herbal supplement that is protected by the FDA, and is now gaining immense popularity in the United States, where it has remained under the radar for many years. Kava can be a powerful and effective herbal supplement not only for healing, relaxation, and anxiety, but it’s also known as the “anti-shyness” herb because of its pleasurable and inhibition-lowering effects as well.

Knowing that, it’s quite unlikely that there could be a worldwide “scam” that perpetuates false claims about this herbal supplement. To me, it seems more likely that kava simply isn’t for you and that your body simply doesn’t react or recognize the effects of kava, at least at this time.  For some, it can take a little time to build up, or it can take us learning to recognize the effects since they are so unlike any other we’ve probably experienced.

We’ve been in the farming business for many generations, we’ve been selling Kava commercially for many, many years now, and although we have a vast database of returning customers, a growing number of stores and Kava Bars who offer our product, just like anything else on this wonderfully bountiful planet, not everyone will feel the effects of Kava or will enjoy its pleasurable effects.

But, this is an herb, and we all have our own dosage levels as well.  Our suggested doses are in line with what the FDA requires, and we would never advocate going above those doses, but sometimes they’re simply not strong enough for some.  In our family, we have doubled, tripled, or quadrupled the doses and measurements that the FDA suggests, and have done so safely for as long as we can trace our family history.

Kava also needs time in extraction (don’t ever rush extractions), and peaceful spaces to sit back and enjoy all kava has to offer the mind, body, and spirit. I typically drink my ‘awa in a few quick gulps, enjoying another cupful an hour later.  That’s what works best for me, but it took time to learn how kava best spoke to me.

Fret not, though; we of course offer our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, and you are free to return any product you’re unhappy with for a refund. Returns are rare for us, but we’re happy to offer them whenever a customer is unhappy with their purchase. Let me know if you have any further questions, and I wish you the best in your search for the herbal supplement that does what you hope.

Aloha no,

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  1. Cristina,

    With Kava, there’s absolutely nothing to worry about, especially because you can start as slow as you wish! I always tell newcomers to simply start with a small amount of Kava to get a feel for the taste, the numbing of the mouth, and to give your body, mind, and spirit, time to recognize the new and unique effects. If I had to boil down physical effects to a sentence, I would have to say that enjoying Kava is not that dissimilar to how that initial giddiness feels when one drinks champagne. I think this is why Kava is more popular than alcohol in most of Oceania; Kava is certainly different, but it does provide a relaxation that can help one unwind from a difficult day.

    Of course, for me, having worked with this herb since I was a little girl, there are all kinds of meanings and sensations for me. I feel that ‘Awa slowly gives up her secrets and rewards those with the patience to explore everything she has to offer. I find that ingesting Kava is at once spiritually uplifting, it gives me a sense of connection with Papa (Hawaiian for “Mother Earth), and helps me to realize that we are Divine beings and a part of a greater whole.

    Hope this helps! Aloha no, Makaira

  2. I am venturing into herbal medicine this year. I am very interested in the bounty of Earth and the way nature has the answers for so many things. I gifted myself today with an order from konakava of the sampler.

    I am a little nervous, though, because as insightful and informative as your site is, it’s difficult to get a good picture of what to expect. I’m hoping the sampler comes with directions!

    My intention initially was to order some kava to have in my little natural first aid kit. Along with some lemon balm, calendulum, etc. I just wanted something in there to help with anxiety and relaxation, insomnia. I read now, though, about the anti-shyness thing and I think I will enjoy trying it.

    Is there anywhere that the physical experience is described? Obviously there are likely varying accounts, but is there a general description? I notice people have said in this thread that it’s possible that the person taking it did not know what to expect, and so didn’t realize they were being affected. Any input would be appreciated.


  3. Curt,

    Very well-said! We are just grateful that so many get a chance to experience this sacred plant. As with anything, not everyone will understand what ‘awa has to say, not everyone will fall in love with it, and there will be some who only look to it to abuse it. Maybe that’s why the taste is such an acquired one; it takes some effort to get to know the spirit of ‘awa, but the rewards to the patient are many!

    Aloha no,

  4. The kava/awa experience is much too sublime for some people. Granted, if you drink enough strong kava, you will indeed get a bit “hammered.” But I would argue that striving to do so works counter to what a good kava experience should be.

    Kava is about relaxation, having a pleasant conversation with friends, unwinding after a stressful day, and the like. It probably will always be a disappointment to those who are just seeking to “get wasted” or who expect the experience to be like an alcohol buzz.

    Again, Kava is sublime, and differs from alcohol as much as good poetry differs from bad television.

  5. I have sent US dollars in mail and got my kava-kava. This is reliable site to order from. Kava kava does work, one should do search and just not expect to be “hammered” by any pill one pops (a sad thing I see growing all over the world). Read what kava’s all about it’s not about that. I’ve said to friends it’s the one thing I could imagine dropping beer forever for-it has the “good stuff” of alcohol and lacks the “bads”.

    Unfortunately customs here (Finland) took a turn to the “evil side” some time earlier and annoyed me by picking up a larger package, so I’ve been w/o supply for a while now. I think I’ll try another small package… Oh, I did not find images/size of “typical” package, not sure if my mailbox is tall enough 🙂

  6. Kava is not a scam, those who think so are probably unaware of the complexity of the human body. I know someone who just doesn’t react to regular opiates, she needs something more powerful to alleviate her pain. Neurotransmission is a complex world, sometimes you just need something a little different. That applies to me, i don’t react really well to extracted kavalactones, it takes me some two or three grams to feel it, but the powdered root is really effective. Why, i don’t know , but the fact is that i tried extracted kava, fijian kava, vanuatu kava, hawaïan kava and the best for me is the hawaïan strain.

    Some people may not respond to apigenine(chamomille) or lupuline(hops) but this is not because they are a scam. If people like you(Becca), want desperately to show their immaturity and how early they draw conclusions, they can say it frankly and stopping to throw the blame on others.

    Aloha and have a nice kava…..

  7. Becca, our hearts sink just a little when we see a comment like yours. But, this is also why we like the opportunity to respond, especially since we believe so deeply in this sacred herb that has been used safely and effectively for thousands of years throughout Oceania! Although we answer many of your concerns in our FAQ and in this blog post as well as other sections of our website, I wanted to offer you your own personal response:

    First, we have our 100% return policy, so even if you tried your Kava Capsules for an entire week and decided you didn’t like them, you can return them for a full refund. So, why not do just that? – You’re exactly the kind of customer we love to attract…those who didn’t initially feel the effects or get the opportunity to experience the wonderful calming effects that Kava can bring. Try them for a week, vary the dosage, try them on an empty stomach or a full stomach, and take some time to get to know this amazing herbal supplement.

    And this bring me to one of a few critical points:

    1. Every body is different and not every product we put into our bodies works for everyone. This is why there are so many different herbal products out there to help energize us and/or relax us! What works great for some has no effect or even the opposite effect on others. This doesn’t mean something is ineffective, it just means that it doesn’t work for us or our particular body chemistry. If Kava were a scam, then millions of people throughout Oceania who hold it as sacred are wrong, and the countless governments who banned it for a short while did it for no reason at all!

    2. Just like many natural herbal products, they can take a little time for you to recognize the effects, and they can take a little time to build up in your system. This is especially true of herbal supplements like St. John’s Wort. Until you take the capsules for a week, it will have little effect. Herbal capsules can sometimes take patience, but the benefits of having a natural alternative for your needs is immeasurable.

    3. The FDA sets very specific guidelines for doses, especially in relation to kava and kava capsules. We can never recommend that anyone take more than the FDA recommends, but I can tell you that the doses that the FDA recommends are far lower than what anyone I know who enjoys the effects of Kava takes.

    Lastly, if you ordered the plain Kava Root Capsules, know that taking them is like taking a shot glass of a kava drink. The plain Kava Root Capsules are for those who are VERY sensitive to Kava and only need a very small amount to get the effects they want. This is why we offer the Kavalactone 84% Paste and often offer the Kavalactone Capsules. in comparison, the plain Kava Capsules are like decaffeinated coffee, and the Kavalactone Paste is like a shot of espresso. But that’s also why we offer such a wide range of products as well; so many different body chemistry’s, so many different preferences, so many different tastes…we do our best to fill every one of them!

    We hope you will take a little time to discover and appreciate this amazing herbal supplement. Perhaps you’d like to try something a little stronger, but if you’re giving up, we completely understand. A refund will applied the moment the product returns to us, but just know you’ve got nothing to lose if you decide to give it a chance for a few more days!

    Aloha no, Makaira

  8. Hello,

    I received my first order of kava kava today in the mail. I took the recommended dosage of 3 capsules. It has been 3 hours and nothing. I feel more relaxed when I just have a cup of tension tamer tea. Honestly this product is a scam. I will be returning the box for a refund.

  9. Kona Kava is no doubt the best out there! I just hope to try the 84% liquid kavalactone capsules as soon as possible. Keep up the good work guys. =)

  10. I have been reading more lately about Kava being listed as a “drug”. Some of this even cites past uses of it. In my own experience, such claims are highly exaggerated if not simply false.

    And this is at the root of part of our mission here at Kona Kava Farm: Fighting against ignorance and misperception is perhaps one of the more challenging issues facing all of us today. The plain fact is, is that alcohol, tobacco, and prescription medication can kill literally hundreds of thousands each and every year, yet no one blinks an eye. The moment a natural herbal supplement that has been used safely for thousands of years gets falsely called a “drug” by a few troublemakers; many blindly march against it.

    Regardless of the chemical properties that Kava possesses, though, what on Earth is wrong with something natural that helps one to feel just a tiny bit happier for a while, just as coffee helps one feel more energy? If the activity of Kava were a valid argument against Kava itself, the fact is that it’s far less strong than things most embrace, such as alcohol and prescription medication…but maybe, just maybe that’s the real reason why this ancient drink is so threatening to the powers that be!

    Either way, thanks for taking the time to post your thoughtful comment. I wish you joyful ceremonies and a happy life. Aloha no, Makaira

  11. I have been using Kava for the better part of the last decade, first from another seller, and for the last several years from Kona Kava due to the high quality at a fair price. I have never had an adverse reaction, beyond the strong desire to stay in the peaceful comfortable bed come morning 🙂 , and certainly expect none in the future.

    I’m sorry that David had a less than expected experience, but as you note, there are many reasons for this, including but not limited to too high of expectations*, variances in potency of plants**, the differences in body chemistry, and others. I am especially sorry for David, as for me Kava has been a life and sanity saver for me given the long suffering from insomnia I have endured. With kava I can relax, awake well rested, and enjoy life far more than I had been able without it.

    *I have been reading more lately about Kava being listed as a “drug” that can get you high.. Some of this even cites past uses of it. In my own experience, such claims are highly exaggerated if not simply false.

    ** My own first experience, which was with powdered Kava from another seller, was one to knock your socks off.. My tongue was numb, I was relaxed, and almost “drunk.” The next batch from the same provider had almost no effect at all. All that I have gotten from Kona Kava has been of good quality and consistent in comparison, so perhaps the difference in plants was made more apparent in the first seller by other practices he/she employed.

    Regardless, I returned to the site tonight to order more.. Thanks for doing what you do..

  12. Thank you for your kind words. Part of the beauty in this diverse world (for me) is how much alike and how completely different we all can be at the same time. Knowing that, I think I might even be a little concerned if every one of our customers fell madly in love with Kava!

    But, it is important to me to help people understand that it’s not the Kava that’s a “scam” (although I can only attest to the Kava we offer); it’s just that it’s not for everyone. I’m pleased it worked for you, and hope the beauty of this plant continues to unfold before you. Who knows? – Maybe you will host your own Kava Ceremony with your favorite Kava recipe sometime! Aloha no, Makaira

  13. Makaira, it’s a testament to the quality of your business that you posted this. Unfortunately, too many people misuse the internet for selfish purposes. It makes people tend not to trust one another and, well, this kind of thing is the result.

    I experienced kava for the first time by way of Kona Kava Farms’ 30% kavalactone capsules. My best friend and I spent a long night together enjoying music, conversation, and each others’ company. I am sold on the powers of this wonderful plant. 🙂

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