Effects of Kava

There are many notable effects of kava that are renowned the world over. Throughout the plant's long, rich history, the virtues of kava have been discussed and espoused among the people of the Pacific Islands and beyond. Most commonly, those who use kava find that it helps them focus, relax, and be more at ease in a social context*. These effects of kava have been well-documented throughout the history of the islands.

Kava produces an effect on the body like no other botanical. Unlike other herbs, kava helps to support a calm and focused mind*, and it is used by everyone from athletes to businessmen to dignitaries and diplomats, to those who just want to have a peaceful ending to their day.

Kava is one of several options available these days for reducing stress and attaining a more peaceful state of mind. Other ways to improve your ability to cope with stress, relax, and focus your mind include meditation--often known as mindfulness training--light exercise such as walking or yoga, and breathing exercises.

Though not one of the effects of kava per se, the first thing about kava that people usually comment on is the flavor. This is sometimes described as earthy, peppery and resinous. In the South Pacific, shells of kava are consumed in a few gulps to minimize the strong taste. Following that, one of the most well-known effects of kava is its tendency to cause numbing of the tongue and mucus membranes of the mouth. Thought to be caused primarily by two kavalactones, kavain and dihydrokavain, this numbing is harmless and simply means that there are a good amount of kavalactones and other active constituents in your kava drink.

One thing to remember about this numbing effect of kava is that it can sometimes cause the stomach to feel numb as well! While experienced kava drinkers are used to this effect (which goes away in a few minutes) newcomers might interpret this numbness as nausea. One way to reduce it is to eat a small snack or a bit of candied ginger after consuming the kava.

Traditional ritual use of the plant includes the legendary kava ceremony. Kava ceremonies date back thousands of years and are still practiced today in Hawaii, Fiji, Samoa and Vanuatu. Kava ceremonies range from the formal ceremony to the informal gathering. They can function as a greeting custom for guests, as a component of tribal negotiations, and as part of the soothing social drinking get-togethers that take place in the evenings. So, you could say that one of the traditional effects of kava use is to strengthen and reaffirm social bonds in South Pacific communities.

As it spread beyond its home, kava brought its reputation with it: many world-class athletes and dignitaries, as well as average citizens, now incorporate kava into their daily lives.

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