Please consider this entire page as a draft, and unreviewed.
What is Kava?
Kava is a good alternative to alcohol.
Kava can provide a similar buzz to alcohol, without the confusion, and without the calories.
Reverse tolerance: Kava has a reverse tolerance – you’ll feel the effects more the second time.
Note, Kava would be more for the social inhibition features of alcohol – so it would work well for a chill party, or relaxing at a house, but less well for a club/other event where you want a similar effect to a decent dose of alcohol.
What type to buy?
Buy and consume only Noble kava - this is a type of kava.
For a beginner - buy micronized/instant kava. It’s simpler, and the only substantial downside is it costs a little more, but you can be willing to pay a little more for your first few uses while you’re trying out kava. You can graduate to prepared kava later on.
Read this for more information on whether Kava Kava is safe. Tl;dr the things I’ve read tell me yes it’s safe or at least safer than alcohol as long as you don’t combine with other liver stressing drugs and you don’t already have a damaged liver.
⬆️⬆️ Subjective well-being (sometimes euphoria)
⬆️ Sleep quality
Benefits — No hangovers. Non-addictive.
2-4 teaspoons in 6-12oz (~1 cup) of beverage (with instant kava, it doesn’t need to be hot, it can be a cold beverage)
(Regular teaspoons, not heaped)
Frequency of dose:
Start with 3 teaspoons after being on empty stomach for 4 hours. If you feel a little nauseous, have a piece of fruit or small snack. Don’t have a big meal soon after.
Wait 60 minutes after your first cup, and then have another serving (2-4 teaspoons) if you’d like. Have another serving in 20-60 minutes if you’d like.
For best results: Gulp, don’t sip.
Good upper limit: 2-3 servings. 4 servings on rare occasions.
Note — you may not properly feel the effects until your 3rd or 4th session of Kava. So, stick with the same dose (3 teaspoons in a cup), up to ~3 cups in a night, until say the 5th session.
“Our instructions indicate 2-4 teaspoons/serve (3 teaspoons = 1 Tablespoon). The nice thing about kava is you can slowly redose until you reach the desired effects. For some people it will be 1 serving, some will be 3 servings. But as you experienced, chugging multiple servings at once can upset your stomach (This is tru e for any kava product/preparation). Most people space out servings 20-60 minutes to let the kavalactones kick in and assess from there. Kava is pretty unique in that it has a naturally built in mechanism to deter abuse - when your body has had enough, you’ll start to get nausea or very tired. It’s best not to push past this point because as you experienced, you will get sick even from the most Noble of kavas. Being a beginner to kava, it’s also tough because over 50% of people experience “Reverse Tolerance”. This is a phenomena not completely understood but theorized that your body needs a few sessions of kava consumption to process the effects. Over time, less kava will be needed to get the same effects and it’s almost like a light switch when users pass through the reverse tolerance phase with many saying “Oh, so this is what kava is all about!”” (https://www.reddit.com/r/Kava/comments/5ay63p/micronized_kava_dosage/)
Stats: - Lasts: 3-6 hours after dosing - Takes 30-60 mins for the effects to onset - Strongest effects: 01:00-04:00
“You feel friendly… never cross…. You cannot hate with Kava in you.” (https://kalmwithkava.com/kava-vs-alcohol/)
Beware people may tease you for drinking it instead of alcohol, if they aren’t used to it.
First time — what to expect?
“Kava will make you feel great, but it doesn’t always taste great, especially when you drink it for the first time.” “First, it’s common for your lips [and mouth] to become numb. Some people enjoy this sensation while others dislike it. The numbness is normal and can last for a few minutes. It is the start of the relaxation process that will slowly seep through your body. And it is a sign that the kavalactone content in the kava you are drinking is strong, and that the kava is high quality and will have the desired effect. Next, you will begin to feel a bit warm and tingly all over. Muscle tension will start to release and you’ll start to feel as if your cares and worries are melting away and in their place you’ll start to feel calmer and happier, even a little euphoric. Ultimately, what you personally experience when drinking kava for the kava for the first time will depend on your body, how it reacts, and how much you drink etc. Kava isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ type of herb. Eventually you may wish to experiment by trying different types of kava and changing the ratio of kava to water or other beverage to adjust potency levels. Drinking kava is a journey of discovery and you’ll soon establish your own kava preferences.” (https://kalmwithkava.com/kava-first-time/)
“Let me make a quick, important distinction: Kava does not make you sleepy. What Kava does do, is help you get into a state that can be conducive to sleep.”
“Kava can act as an aphrodisiac especially in women.”
“Kava has a “Reverse Tolerance” effect for some people, meaning the effects of kava may not be felt fully with the first couple of times of use. Stick with it through this period though, the benefits eventually become clear.” (https://kalmwithkava.com/your-quick-guide-to-kava/)
⚠️ Warnings — Kava tastes bitter and not very pleasant. Eat an orange or some pineapple with it, to mask the taste, if you’d like. Chase with water or fruit between servings.
🚫 Avoid — Kava extracts, pills or tinctures. (https://www.reddit.com/r/Kava/wiki/kava-extracts) Kava should not be taken within two weeks of surgery.
🚫 Combinations to avoid — don’t take with other pharmaceuticals. Avoid with acetaminophen (Tylenol). Better to avoid Ibuprofen too, but would possibly be okay to take ibuprofen if needed. Best to avoid taking a sleeping pill if you’re still feeling the effects of kava. Melatonin is okay.
📅 Frequency of use — Seems fine to use a couple times per week.
🍺🍷 Alcohol — Ideally abstain 24h before and 24h after. Avoid with alcohol. (https://kavasociety.nz/frequently-asked-questions)
🚔 Driving — Basically if your motor skills / muscles are still affected from the Kava, you’re not good to drive. This might mean ~3 hours after your last cup. This is certainly not medical/legal advice. Always err on the side of being more cautious.
🤕 Nauseous? — Stop drinking Kava for the night. “If you start to feel dizzy or nauseous when drinking kava, it’s likely kava’s way of telling you that you’ve had enough to drink for the night!” (https://kalmwithkava.com/kava-safety/)
🧀 Food before — Zero food for 2-4 hours before. Zero food for 6 hours before for max effect. “A small amount of people will feel slight nausea when drinking kava on a totally empty stomach and prefer to eat a piece of fruit or small snack before or after their first shell to eliminate this.” (https://kalmwithkava.com/kava-safety/)
🧀 Food after — Kava seems to be an appetite suppressant for many. After a while of feeling the Kava (e.g. ~60 mins), you can eat some food, and the Kava feeling may significantly intensify the Kava feeling. “Oh wow, it’s really common to have a small snack after drinking kava, but I would never recommend a full meal. That’s a sure fire way to have a bad time.” (https://www.reddit.com/r/Kava/comments/70ypvh/eating_shortly_after/)
Making Kava Safer with Supplements
All of these supplements are for liver health.
If you don’t eat at least 4 eggs (with yolks) a day: 250mg/day Choline Bitartrate, on Amazon (1 pill/day, each pill has 250mg choline)
N-Acetyl Cysteine. 1000mg/day. Amazon (2 pills/day)
Silymarin/Milk Thistle. 150mg/day. Amazon (1 pill/day, taken in the morning, and not before drinking kava and not before drinking alcohol)