Kava Anxiety

People all over the world have discovered kava's wonderful relaxing* and stress-reducing* properties and incorporated them into their daily lives. Yet for some who are new to kava, this herbal supplement's, shall we say, "unique" taste can inspire what has been called kava anxiety. More likely to occur in newer kava users, kava anxiety usually manifests as a need to psych oneself up before drinking a bowl of kava prepared the traditional way.

Kava anxiety is not an official term; rather, it's a phrase we've encountered a few times that describes an acquired aversion to the taste of kava that makes it difficult for some users to consume kava even though they want to. And this is really a shame, because the effects of kava are well worth the effort taken to prepare and consume it. In fact, perhaps the best way to get over one's kava anxiety is to focus on kava's gentle, relaxing benefits.

The main reason people use kava is to help them let go of the stressors of the day and feel at ease, especially in a social context. The wonderful thing about kava is that it can reduce stress* and encourage a more balanced mood* without causing mental fogginess or impairing concentration*. Kava's ability to promote calm without sacrificing mental clarity* makes it the ideal herbal supplement for situations where you may be under stress and need to be able to think clearly. "Kavasseurs" from athletes to business professionals have found kava invaluable for use during travel, business meetings, exams, and other potentially demanding situations.

Kava is native to the South Pacific region that includes Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga, and South Pacific locals are well-acquainted with this herb's ability to dispel stress and worry*. For instance, Fijians' legendarily relaxed approach to life and disdain for schedules (summed up in the concept of "Fiji time") has been linked to the popularity of kava in Fiji. Relatedly, Vanuatu was recently named the happiest nation on Earth in a 2013 New Economics Foundation survey.

One of the best things about kava is that its relaxing effects don't appear to diminish with continued use. This means that you don't have to increase your dose of kavalactones to derive the same benefits from kava over time. In other words, kavalactones are completely non-addictive*.

Given kava's tangible benefits, it can be frustrating to be stuck with kava anxiety that prevents you from quaffing your daily bowl. Luckily, there are some answers for those people who just find themselves unable to face the taste of kava. First of all, keep in mind that one mild initial effect of kava is to numb the mucus membranes of the mouth. For many, this means that after a couple sips of kava their sense of taste is temporarily anesthetized--or at least dulled--making it that much easier to drink up the rest of the bowl.

Furthermore, there are so many kava products out there that taste great, totally unlike the mud-and-pepper flavor of traditional kava. Need some ideas? Check out Kona Kava Farm's yummy kava powder mixes in flavors like Chai Spice and Banana/Vanilla! Plus, the Hawaiian Mahakea kava that forms the basis of all our products, including our straight powdered kava root for diehard traditionalists, actually has quite a sweet, smooth, un-kava-like taste due to its unique balance of kavalactones.

A last note on kava anxiety is that it's more likely to occur when someone is trying kava for the first time, simply because they are unfamiliar with kava and not sure what to expect from it. Fortunately, you can overcome any misgivings you have about kava by familiarizing yourself with kava's history, properties, and effects. Consult a variety of resources on kava: books, commercial and non-commercial websites, and anyone you know who has already tried kava. Become familiar with kava before you drink it and you'll go a long way toward decreasing your kava anxiety.

*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.