Best Way to Take Kava

Kava Blender BottleThis 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, a popular question: “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. If you want a stronger drink, try adding a teaspoon of our exclusive Kava Blender – 100% vegan, rice-based fat extractor.

Or, for the easiest solution possible, try our Kava Blender Bottle. It’s the perfect no-mess way to enjoy your Kava, whether it’s Kava root, Instant Kava, or a drink with some tincture added to it.  With just a few shakes for a few minutes, you’ve got extracted Kava simply and easily. For instant Kava mix supplements, we feel this is the best way to take Kava, but it will also work well for the root. The custom blender ball works better than the typical wire blender ball that many blender cups have. We specifically use this hard plastic ball for tougher jobs such as Kava Kava.

Then, the next question is always; “DO I NEED TO FILTER THE POWDER ONCE 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 about the best way to take Kava:

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!

Team 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.

130 Responses

  1. Hi. I have been a severe migrain sufferer for 40 years which has added stress to my life, never knowing when one will strike. They have ruined many social functions.
    My sister just introduced me to Kava Kava. I am going to try it this Holiday season in hopes it will be the first time in a long time that it will be migrain free.
    I’ll keep you posted.
    Best Holiday Wishes

  2. I’ve been in some trouble lately with marijuana, and i’ve been looking for some alternatives for relaxation. I’ve been debating a few other herbs, and so far from what i’ve heard, I think I’m going to try Kava. It sounds like the perfect remedy for a relaxing day. :)

  3. Kava is certainly not a legal alternative for any illegal drugs (or even ones prescribed in some states such as medical marijuana), but it certainly is quite effective as a stress-reducer and relaxant. We can’t think of anything that helps ease the stress of the day than Kava, in any form, and we know some folks in Hawaii who enjoy Kava every day, and have for many generations, safely, and without the effects lessening over time, or becoming addictive at all.

  4. Hello, I have been researching kava kava, and have concluded that I would like to use it inorder to help me be less stressed and more comfortable around certain people. We have a bottle of Kava Kava root in our medicine cupboard, but I can not find an expiration date. The bottle is brand new and completely full. I just don’t know how long we have had it. Does it expire? Should I be ok, taking the supplement?

  5. You hit the nail right on the head when you say you want to take Kava to feel “less stressed and more comfortable around certain people.” Kava is also known as the “anti-shyness herb” and for that very reason. As far as your Kava Root in the medicine cabinet; Kava typically has a shelf life of 2 years. We’ve never heard of anyone getting sick from expired Kava products; most-likely you will simply not feel the effects if it’s been in there for more than 2 years.

  6. For Keith: Try a dab of the paste in some pudding or yogurt. Capsules give me indigestion. I’m new to this Kava thing too-would like suggestions too! Thanks!

  7. While kava – the drink made from a cold water infusion – was usually reserved for special occassions, kava is now widely imbibed, but beneath the the convivial drinking, kava still has deep meaning to many islanders. Perhaps the biggest mistake of early missionaries and now some governments was to discourage kava drinking among indigenous communities. Alcohol was soon substituted and the well documented outcomes followed.

    As is to be expected kava’s reputation led to it being employed in local medicine in Melanesia and Polynesia.

    In Fiji an infusion of the leaves is given to children suffering from convulsions, while an infusion of the stem is used to treat sore throat or sore tongue. A cold water infusion of the branches is used to treat the dreaded filariasis.

    In New Caledonia the locals chew the leaves to treat bronchitis, while in New Guines the plant is taken as a tonic and soporific and is valuable for treating gonorrhea and inflammations of the uterus.

    In Polynesia an infusion of the yellow leaves is used to soothe crying infants in Tonga, while in Samoa it is also used for treating gonorrhea.

    Should you need anything further, just Google fiji taro and kava and look for the ‘bula’ sign.

  8. Hello. I wanted to ask a question as far as dosage. I just purchased Kava Powder from a supplier recommended on this website. On the package it says to use two table spoons for a glass of water. I took two table spoons and threw it on a blender with coconut milk. Then I put it trough a strainer. Drank it. Mouth went numb but other than that I didn’t feel much. Do I need a larger doze? Is 2 tablespoons a sufficient doze? Also, do I have to put this stuff through a strainer? Can I just drink it with the powder in it? Is it digestible? I am sorry for all these questions, but I think I am doing something wrong. Thank you very much in advance.

  9. As we often say throughout our website; Kava suppliers must abide by extremely strict standards set up by the FDA in relation to Kava herbal supplements. Although the dosages personally we take for our drinks is much higher than what’s on any label, even as an informational website, we can’t tell people to go take ginat doses of kava either.

    Also, Kava is a unique experience; it doesn’t kick you in the rear…instead, it’s a gentle feeling and ease that takes recognizing and appreciating. Many are used to the kick of a cup of espresso…but Kava is much subtler than that. To know if it’s working, your mouth will go numb…that is the Kavalactones at work.

    That being said, Kava isn’t for everyone, and not everyone will feel the effects of Kava, no matter how they take it. As far as eating the root…it’s quite good for you. It’s a lovely dose of fiber for your system, as well as other essential vitamins and minerals. Most simply don’t like the chalky root, but if you do, then you’re not only enjoying an exotic drink, you’re doing something good for your body as well!

  10. What are your thoughts on kava tincture? I just purchased one, to see if it will help with severe pms symptoms and endometriosis pain. Is this a good, effective way to take kava? Thanks :)

  11. Personally, we’re not huge fans of Kava tinctures and Kava liquid extracts. But, it feels important to stress that it’s strictly a personal preference. Many people love tinctures and elixirs and liquid extracts, and feel that their bodies react better to Kava in that form. Also, Kava is most effective when there’s some sort of natural fat introduced such as coconut milk, soy lecithin, or soy milk. If you put the tincture into a smoothie made from soy milk or one with soy lecithin in it, then there’s no reason the tincture would be any less effective than any other form.

    Another issue with tinctures that we’ve found, is that it typically takes for more than just a dropper for us to feel the effects. It might be our higher tolerance, but as with many herbs, for them to be effective, it can take more than one might expect, especially in a liquid extract form, and especially a liquid extract that is alcohol-based. Kavalactone and other kava alkaloids prefer water and fats for extraction (which is why making Kava drinks with soy milk is such a perfect and healthy way to make a kava drink), so the alcohol-based Kava tincture might need a little extra help to be as effective as it could be.

    – Kava dot com

  12. I have been looking all over but couldn’t find an answer to my question. Is it still safe to just ingest the powdered root without straining it into tea? i really enjoy the soothing of the mouth and also feel that it would be more potent than the typical drink. But I also do not want to do anything that will cause adverse side affects.

  13. One is certainly not required to strain the Kava powdered root when making a drink or a tea out of it. The only reason most strain out the powdered root is because it can make the drink somewhat chalky. The powdered root is actually good for you, and has a lot of fiber and other minerals that the body can always use. Most natives we know in Oceania seem to consume their drinks with the all the roots in the main bowl of kava, while simply scooping out enough for their own drink, without straining anything.

  14. I am currently experienceing my maiden voyage with kava. I took it in the form of a strees relief tea that was given to me. I was surprised to feel the euphoric efffects hit me in a short time and notably improved my mood. Im a beginner, but the tea worked for me.

  15. Pere,

    We know many who enjoy coffee with their Kava, and we’re anxiously awaiting a recipe that actually makes some sort of “Kava Coffee”. (It would have to be iced coffee, though, since heat destroys Kavalactones; the active component in Kava Kava). Anyway, to answer your question: it depends on what you’re taking Kava for. Some are stimulated by Kava, and find the addition of coffee to make the experience too “jittery.” Others are relaxed by Kava and really enjoy the “boost” it gives both them and their experience. Some take Kava for back pain, and still there are others who take it to help them sleep. On those cases, it might make sleep a little more difficult! When I asked the kava dot com staff what they preferred, it was split half and half.

    So, as often is the case with herbal supplements such as Kava; maybe you can start small and work your way up. Try a bit of coffee before, during, or after your Kava and see if it’s something that enhances your experience. Personally, I enjoy the Kava experience all on it’s own, but that’s most certainly just one person’s opinion.

    -Kava dot com

  16. I purchased the kava root powder from Kona Kava Farm. It does not make my mouth go numb like the kava from the kava bar did. I used 2 rounded tbsp for 1 cup coconut juice (5g fat in coconut juice). I blended it for about a minute, let it sit for a few and repeated 2 times. I did not use any lecithin. Should I purchase some? Is there a better way to prepare it?

  17. Kelly,

    We often wish there was a way for those who sell kava root powder to legally say what they’d like to say in relation to this amazing root. Since they can’t, we’ll say it for them: Stores and online shops who offer kava root powder are bound by the rules of the FDA when telling customers how much to take per serving per day. At a kava bar, you really have no idea how much kava root powder went into making your drink, unlike at home. Personally, no one here has ever used just 2 rounded tablespoons when wanting to match the “punch” of a reputable kava bar.

    We are NOT encouraging anyone to take any more than the FDA-recommended dosage per serving of kava, but are only sharing personal experiences and the possibility that a kava bar might have the freedom to put more or less kava into your drink, without you truly knowing exactly how much went in. Also, if you had purchased from somewhere other than a highly reputable place, we might suspect the kava root powder itself, but Kona Kava Farm is one of the places we buy our product from on a regular basis.

    But, we do see errors in your extraction method that might also account for no numbness: We always blend for 3-5 minutes, especially when we don’t have something fatty like milk, soy milk, coconut MILK (not water), or lecithin to extract the active components. We can’t stress how important it is to have something “fatty” in your blend; many think coconut water is similar to coconut milk…but they’re vastly different from each other. Maybe follow one of the countless recipes on the internet, but I suggest blending longer, and adding lecithin or some kind of milk for your extraction especially when using the bare minimum of just 2 tablespoons.

    – Kava dot com

  18. Is it possible to overdose on Kava pills? I have been taking Kava in the form of pills for 2 days now ( Gaia Herb Liquid Phyto-caps). The dose says take 1 pill 3 times a day between meals. 3 pills = 409mg of kava kava root and 225mg of kavalactones.

    Either I’m super stressed or I’m not taking enough..because when I take 3 I feel only very slightly relaxed…very slightly.

  19. This is a very good question. The simple answer is that there is no record of any healthy individual ever overdosing on Kava. (There was a study done that caused worldwide banning of Kava in the early 2000’s, but the study was done with regular drinkers of alcohol who already had liver damage.) The complicated answer is that the Federal Government, without any extensive testing Kava products, set an arbitrary “Recommended Serving” for all Kava products. They determined that 120mg of Kavalactone equals a single serving, so products like 84% Kavalactone Paste would have about 120mg of Kavalactone in a 1/4 teaspoon measure. For us on staff here, that’s way too small (I like 2 tablespoons of powdered root, plus 1/2 teaspoon for my Kava drinks), but by law, anyone who sells Kava isn’t allowed to recommend more than that.

  20. Hello!

    I recently experienced a very bad panic attack (with choking and throat lump) so I took 2mg of Diazepam (Valium). I am very interested in taking some natural substance like Kava. Could Kava be substitution for Diazepam and what is the “level” of calming? I am asking this because I do not want ever to have panic attack again.

    Also, I am interested in what is the best way to take Kava? I read this whole thread, but still I do not understand what is the best way and how to recognize good Kava extract (pills, power and etc…). What should I look for onto the bottle? How to recognize “scam” (dead root, bad powder)?

    I read that the best way is to take 10:1 extract of Kava? What does it mean? Does that mean 10% extract of Kava?

    Thanks in advance.

  21. Dear Stefan,

    I’m sorry to hear about your difficult experience with benzodiazepenes. Kava is not a substitute for medicine prescribed by a doctor but there is no harm in giving it a try.

    In terms of deciding what kava to purchase, I would recommend looking for a company, such as ours, that clearly states that they are using a noble strain of kava and are using root ONLY. A 10:1 extract of kava contains 10 parts solvent to 1 part kava, so yes, that is about a 10% kava extract. :)

    Aloha no,

  22. is it harmful to take kava extraxt daily for more than 4 weeks? The warning on the bottle says it is.

  23. Dear Lisa,

    I know many individuals who take kava every day without experiencing harm, but they usually use the whole root powder. The chemical makeup of the extract is a little bit different, so it’s hard to say where there will be any negative effects from taking it daily for an extended period. Better play it safe and follow the directions on the bottle!

  24. Hey!

    I recently ordered 10g of Kava extract from This stuff is in powder form, and says it has 50% kavalactones. I have a 100mg scoop- how much should I use, and how should I take it? I’ve been searching around on the net, and most places have said to take something like 150-250 mg. Is that right? Am I to understand that this is the FDA approved amount, and not the amount used in kava bars and such? Thanks!


  25. We cannot offer dosage information because we are not medical doctors. I always recommend starting low, and working your way up if you desire a stronger effect. :)

  26. I have an adopted daughter who was severely abused when only a few weeks old. She was put on Risperdal because of her hyperactivity. I don’t like drugs. We eventually weaned her off it (with her doctor’s approval) since it didn’t work. We tried St. John’s Wort with no effect. Do you think Kava would be beneficial? She is 23 years old now.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.

  27. I was recently at a Fijian party, where they were serving a Kava drink. I came to the party with a very sore and stiff neck and back pain from the work I had been doing that week. After drinking a couple of glasses of Kava, I felt very relaxed. The pain went away and never returned. I felt much the same as having a couple of beer, except no hangover or headache later. Alcohol and I do not get along well with each other, but there were no negative after affects with Kava. I noticed a little bit of numbness on my lips while drinking the Kava.

  28. I have Depersonalization Disorder and lots of anxiety. So far I have found only 2 substances that help me manage these disorders; One is clonazepam which is hard to get prescribed and has many side-effects, of which I experienced a surge in aggression, memory loss, and the withdrawal was one of the worst weeks of my life. What is the other? KAVA! This substance has changed my life. I’ve only been taking the capsules for about a month and change but it has been the best month I’ve had since I was on the clonazepam. For the first time in a long time I have hope. If you’re not sure about Kava and you think you might not even try it, just go buy the cheapest bottle of capsules you can find. Consider it your Kava place-holder. Try it, if you notice any difference, go into the fine-tuning of your dose and what brand you prefer. I think a big problem is people like me who need Kava the most are also the least likely to give it a try because our anxiety requires us to be 100% sure and 100% prepared for everything we do. But more often than not, this leads to many missed opportunities. DO NOT MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY! Find a healthfood store or a grocer with a decent health food section and try the Kava!

  29. Hi, I was writing to see if you, or anyone reading this, has ever experienced a burning sensation in their sinus, head and eye, as well as a throbbing headache on one side of your head in the temple area, after drinking kava. I’ve read that kava can make your eyes sensitive to light. As for the burning sensation, could the fact that kava is in the pepper family contribute to this? I first tried kava 2-3 years ago and have used it every now and then with no adverse side effects. However, I stopped using pharmaceuticals two months ago and made some kava to relieve anxiety, irritability, etc., which is when I first experienced these burning effects. I asked my doctor if he knew anything about it and he didn’t. Any information you might have or be able to provide me with would be very helpful and much appreciated.
    Thanks, Eli.

  30. I recently purchased 1 fluid oz of Vanuatu Kava Root (alcohol-free, administered with a dropper). The label recommends 30-60 drops for a serving and lists an Herb Strength Ratio of 1:2. Other ingredients include: Vegetable Glycerin, Deionized Water, and Honey. It tastes better than it smells and has bits of what looks like the original root still floating around in it. I purchased it after reading that kava root calms and fosters mental clarity/alertness. I originally wanted to purchase the root in it’s entirety and grind it myself, but I ran across the liquid form accidentally before making my way to the herbal pharmacy.
    In this liquid form, how long do the effects of Kava normally last and is this time increased with an increased dosage?
    Do the lengths of Kava’s effects vary between liquid, ground-up root, capsules and paste?

  31. I was recently introduced to kava the right way. A group of fellow dudes sitting in a circle on the beach. One had just returned from Fiji. My question is that when they were making it they used water. I just found sone great kava powder and it says to mix with milk. My question is are these 2 different types. Is some water soluble and other types go with fatty liquids such as whole milk or coconut milk. I guess I’m confused and want this to reach it’s full potential. Any help? Oh yea. And can I feel the effects from just eating the powder. Like sticking it in my lip throughout the day?

  32. One more question as well. Does the amount of time you allow the kava powder to brew in whatever fatty liquid you choose effect the potency. I have been buying 100% natural Vanuatu kava powder and mixing it with whole milk. I also wanted to mention that as a recovering alcoholic with just over one year sober kava has now provided my own little social drink I can enjoy when out while others drink. Although I belive the kava I am buying is good the effect I hear described by others has yet to impact me. I’m wondering if I am mixing and drinking too fast

  33. Not to be a devil’s advocate, but my experience with Kava tea knocked our socks off! The kavalactone in this case was apparently not boiled away or the power lessened.

    We boiled the organic tea leaves (not much…about two tsps) we purchased from a local food co-op in a pot. Then, we strained the liquid into our mugs and sipped away. After approx. 15 min. and less than half-way through the drink, I started laughing uncontrollably. And Larry, my friend, jumped out of his chair with a huge grin on his face. We laughed, went for a three mile walk, laughed, heard some live music, laughed, went home, plopped down, smiled, and had a comfortable night’s sleep.

    What do you make of this???

  34. Taylor,

    Great question! And the answer is: No, there aren’t different types of Kava. All Kava will extract into BOTH water and something “fatty” like milk, soy milk, coconut milk, or even something like soy lecithin. Kava is a complex herbal supplement, and with 20+ different lactones in it (the active ingredients responsible for the pleasurable effects of Kava), some extrat better into water, and some extract better into “fatty” liquids like the ones mentioned above.

    So, to get the most potent Kava, a mix of both water and something like coconut milk would do the trick.

    Hope this helps, and I hope you enjoy your experiences with Kava Kava!

    Bryan Kava
    Direct: 716-803-6427
    Email: bryan at kava dot com

  35. JD,

    You’re part of a growing chorus of Kava lovers who are finding out that Kava is still effective even when boiled! (“Knocked your socks off,” huh? – Love that!)

    I decided to try my own experiment(s), and what I found is that I had to boil my Kava Kava for about an hour to feel that the effects were significantly reduced. I then baked some brownies with Kava Kava in them, but, I wasn’t sure if I felt any effects beyond the chocolately goodness of the brownies. So, from all of our personal experiences here, it

    These revelations do open up a WORLD of possibility for what fun and beneficial effects could come from this herbal panacea. I’d love to hear more comments and people’s experience, and will now start a post to discuss Kava and the possibility that it might be able to be boiled but still remain effective. Once I do, I’ll post the link here, so visitors can make their way over there.

    Kava dot com

  36. Hi there, i’ve got myself some of the chopped kava root, none longer than a finger nail and quite thin. I’m having trouble finding and way of preparing it in this way, as most people get the powder. Help, please? Thanks!

  37. Chris,

    If you’ve got chopped kava root (or whole roots), what you need to do is soak the roots overnight in water. This will soften the roots, and then, you’ve use a meat tenderizer to “mash” the roots. Once they’re mashed, you can put them back into the water you soaked them in overnight and place them in a blender with your favorite recipe for making a Kava drink. This method is a little more labor intensive, but just like coffee made from freshly-ground beans, to me, the extra effort is well worth it for Kava Roots as well.

    Kava dot com

  38. Steven,

    I actually haven’t heard of this, although taking anything on an empty stomach will typically increase the intensity of the effects. So, what we tell people is that if they’re having a difficult time feeling the effects of Kava Kava, to take it on an empty stomach. That way, you have the best chance of feeling the many-faceted effects of this ancient and sacred drink.

    Kava dot com

  39. I’d love to hear any suggestions for the best way to make a drink using a tincture. I’m new to kava, and that’s the first form that I’ve purchased. The brand is “Vitality Works,” and it’s the alcohol free kind.

    I tried it tonight in a glass of coconut milk and I do think that I may have felt a mild calming effect, but so mild as to not be certain if it’s really doing anything. Perhaps I am not using enough? I would say I put in the equivalent of one full stopper. I weigh about 200 lbs if that means anything.

  40. Jonas,

    Something I’ve found with tinctures is that you need A LOT of the tincture to get anywhere near the potency of a drink you make from powdered Kava root, or even from the instant drinks that places like Kona Kava Farm offers. When I’ve purchased a tincture, I used 1/2 of the bottle to make a drink. That was nice, but mild effects. Think of it this way: Kava tincture is an extract, and I imagine that extract as a Kava drink…although it’s concentrated, that’s one small Kava drink in that 1 ounce bottle!

    Kava dot com

  41. hello kava people i have recently been thinking about my intake as far as natural things go. im sick of all these poisons from our government and i am now TRYING to eat all natural by hunting my own food and growing my own garden. i used to drink alcohol but i now realize its just another poison. im sick of all of it. i have a friend that grows kava and he hooked me up with a bag. i wanted to know the reccomended mixture of the powder and water because im not into that capsule stuff. i believe if ur goin drink kava u should do it traditionally, thats where the spirits at. your website is awesome. can you help me? mahalo nui loa

  42. I was experimenting with making syrups and decided to make a kava one…not realizing that heat supposedly kills the active ingredient I made a nice batch of chocolate kava syrup. It is yummy and let me tell you… somehow boiling it gently for over 40 min. did not kill it’s effects. I tasted it and my tongue went numb and shortly after I started feeling nice and relaxed. So..I’m just wondering what’s up with that?

  43. Brody,

    Always happy to hear when others are working towards a more natural diet and life! A very typical dose of Kava when making a drink out of powder is 2 tablespoons per cup of water. That’s a good start, but also remember that Kava likes to be mixed with something “fatty” as well. That means a little coconut milk, or, my favorite; soy lecithin. I usually blend my Kava drink for at least 5 minutes; one can never extract for too much time!

    Kava dot com

  44. Laiste,

    Boiling Kava gently for over 40 minutes and the effects were the same…that’s exciting to hear! From personal experience, I’ve made tea out of Kava on more than one occasion, and putting Kava into hot water to make that tea didn’t lessen its effects. I’ve also tried to experiment with blending Kavalactone Paste with everything from water to glycerin to alcohol, trying to make a tincture. I usually don’t get it to the boiling point, but I do put it over low heat for an hour or so. Although my tinctures have never worked, I’ll take the Kavalactone Paste that was gently heated, and again; I still feel the effects.

    So, all I can guess, is that perhaps Kavalactones aren’t as delicate as we’re told. But, it’s important to remember that Kavalactones aren’t the only part of Kava Kava responsible for the pleasant effects. There are over 24 unique compounds and lactones in Kava Kava, so even if the Kavalactone has broken down, I don’t doubt that there would still be some effects. And, I’m guessing that not ALL the Kavalactones break down at 140 degrees Fahrenheit; perhaps only some of them.

    I am, of course, guessing. I’ve worked with Kava for over 10 years, but I’m not a chemist or a scientist. I’d love to hear about others’ experiments with heating Kava!

    Kava dot com

  45. I just picked up Kava root capsules from a company called Oregon’s Wild Harvest. I don’t see any mention of Kavalactones listed in the ingredients. The only thing listed is kaya rhizone 800 mg. Am I to assume that Kavalactones are part of the make up of the capsules? Also it states to take two capsules as needed not to exeed 4 capsules in 24 hours. Also it states not to take for more than a month. Does this sound correct?

  46. Steve,

    Kavalactones aren’t always mentioned in the ingredient list because, as you guessed, Kavalactones are a natural part of Kava Kava. If it’s a Kava Extract, though, one would want to have the exact Kavalactone content listed because it can vary wildly from one Kava extract to the next. And, although we would never advocate the one takes more Kava than the FDA recommends, we where at Kava dot com do feel that the amounts the FDA states as a “daily maximum” are far lower than what a typical safe amount of Kava throughout Oceania over the last 3,000 years of safe use is. The FDA tries to limit a single serving of Kava to about 120mg of Kavalactones, and bases their numbers on that.

    Kava dot com

  47. I sure love Kava. But it sure is a pain in the butt to make. I wasted quite a bit trying blender shortcuts without proper squeezing. Is there a sure-fire way to make it taste better without making it less potent? Does throwing it in a blender with ice ruin the potency? Also, how long can I keep kava in the fridge before it loses potency? Normally I drink it straight away, but since it’s a labor-intensive drink I’d like to make up a big batch ahead of time.

    I work at a soy milk factory, so I’m not very fond of soy milk. Let’s just say I’d rather drink kava straight up than anything with soy in it. I tried mixing it with Lipton’s Green Tea and that was a lot better.

  48. Lew,

    You share a sentiment that many share! For many who enjoy Kava, though, the preparation is part of the joy of the Kava experience. But, there are plenty of products out there which make the experience even easier: There are capsules, pastes, instant drinks, cordials, teas, and a few others. That’s also why we find Kona Kava Farm such a great place to go; they’re a 1-stop shop for everything from powdered Kava Root, to Instant Kava Drinks, to one of my personal favorites; Kavalactone Paste.

    As far as ice and a blender…I couldn’t imagine making my Kava WITHOUT a blender! It’s a great way to extract as much as possible from the Kava root, with very little effort. For me, I usually add 2 heaping tablespoons per drink, drop it into a blender with (ahem) soy milk (sorry!), a dash of coconut milk, some organic chocolate syrup, and blend for 5 minutes. I then strain through a muslin bag and enjoy. And the ice; that’s no problem at all either. I think it helps keep the temperature as low as possible, preserving the Kavalactones even more.

    Lastly, as far as making a larger batch; I’ve been told that your Kava drink will keep for 2 weeks. (On a shelf, dry, in a sealed package, it will stay fresh and potent for 2 years.) A personal suggestion is this: Purchase an Instant Kava Drink with some Kavalactone Paste. That way, whenever you want a quick Kava drink, you simply blend the instant drink with juice or water or tea, add 2 pea-sized amounts of Kavalactone Paste, drop in a blender for 5 minutes…ad you’ve got great Kava with none of the squeezing or mess.


  49. Two weeks? Well, I doubt it’ll last that long. I was thinking two days! Cool!

    I’ve discovered several things. First, it wasn’t the blender I was doing wrong, it was the way I was straining it and I didn’t let it sit long enough.
    I bought a nylon straining bag and it made ALL the difference. No more GrittyKitty(tm) for me. Cheesecloth is for the birds and requires 3 hands!

    I did buy some connoisseur-grade called “WOW” Kava and ..well WOW! I’ll stick to the Fijiian market Waka for my normal drinking but the WOW is worth the price for special occasions and parties. I also bought some instant Kava, but I haven’t tried it yet. The paste from Kona Kava Farm looks really good, so that will be my next purchase!
    Thanks again!

  50. Lew,

    I also wouldn’t advise keeping your Kava in the fridge for 2 weeks, although I have heard from visitors that they’ve kept it that long. The longest Kava has been around here has been about a week, and it was perfectly fresh on the last day as it was on the first.

    So happy to hear that you’re building a relationship with ‘Awa! I’ve heard that nylon straining bags can be great, easy to clean, and very reusable. I use muslin bags, but if you have your source for nylon bags, feel free to post it here.

    And, we’d love to hear back about the different kinds of Kava you’re experiencing.

  51. Just started eating Kava recently and the best way i have found is basic toss and wash if you like the taste to get the fullest effect plus the mouth numbing effect. My favorite washes currently are chocolate milk and/or iced coffee. I appreciate the note about taking the effects out with heat. Came here to see if there was some better way of taking it but i guess only so much can be done with powder ie drink mixing, capsules, toss and wash, and straining. For some reason, i think its because kava sounds like java, i keep imagining an iced coffee drink with chocolate, caramel, and whipped cream on top that is energizing but relaxing. It would work both as a mix or a wash. Going to give mixing it a shot and will let you know how it tastes but I already got a feeling it is going to be quite delectable.

  52. I have not seen this question answered or asked on your blog – How long is the maximun time that you can keep the kava for full potency, once you make the mix. How do you keep it, in the frig or unrefrigerated?


  53. I have a question. I have ordered some instant Kava and was curious about the paste you mentioned. The instant Kava is stated to be more potent than the powdered root I assume because it is concentrated. How would one use the paste here or is it even an aide? I haven’t yet recieved my Kava in the mail so I haven’t tried it yet.

  54. Kavalactone Paste can indeed help make any Kava drink more potent. For me, I use a reference of a “pea-sized” amount as a single serving of Kavalactone Paste. When I make Kava drinks, I sometimes add 2-3 pea-sized amounts of Kavalactone Paste, although the recommended amount by the FDA seems to roughly be 1 pea-sized serving. I use a blender to make my Kava drinks (even the instant ones), so I just drop that Kavalactone Paste into the blender as I’m making my drink. It blends in nicely with the drink, especially when there’s something “fatty” like coconut milk, real milk, or soy milk.

  55. I have been an addict for a very long time, and have used a wide range of all kinds of drugs (mostly legal mind you), and I have recently come to the conclusion that getting high/drunk just wasn’t good for me and it had to end. I quit cold turkey and after going through the withdrawels I managed to be able to keep it together sober throughout my day, but at night time I still couldn’t sleep because my brain was programmed to “go to sleep happy”. I stumbled upon kava but was afraid it was just going to be another drug to abuse.
    I’m happy to say that the buzz is more of an emotional thing than a physical thing, it makes me sleepy and happy, but I’m in no way high, and in no way drunk. So while YOU can’t say that it’s a wonderful alternative for the alchohol/drug addict, I would like to say that for me it is! And not only that, I’m not craving it all day long while I go to work and stuff because it leaves me in a pleasant mood the whole next day! I wouldn’t go so far as to say “miracle herb” but it sure is a godsend! (I’ve been off all other substances for 3 months now with no thought of going back)

    P.S. If you are a drug user and expect to get “high” off of it, you won’t, you have to be content with a lesser, but totally pleasant kind of feeling.

  56. When you add soy lecithin, how much do you add? I’m thinking of using the gronulated soy lethicin from GNC. Also, I’ve heard of people letting the root powder sit in milk for 30 minutes or so before ingesting, does this help make the drink more potent?

  57. Chris,

    When adding soy lecithin, 1 typically add anywhere between 1 rounded teaspoon to 1 flat tablespoon per extraction, depending on how large of a drink I’m making for myself. If you’re using a blender, granulated soy lecithin from GNC will work just fine.

    And yes, the longer the power sits (within reason and up to an hour), the more potent the drink becomes. Blending for about 3 minutes will extract the bulk of the active components from Kava Kava, but if one blends for 5 minutes or more (up to 10 minutes), there are more active components that will be extracted, making for a somewhat more potent drink. It will be noticeable, but it’s not a huge difference in potency.

    Kava dot com

  58. I’ve been taking Kava by capsule for at least seven years now, but I occasionally open a kava capsule and take the powder directly by mouth in order to accelerate the effect and/or to numb any discomfort in the mouth (i.e., a sore throat). This may sound crazy, but while attempting to ingest kava powder in this manner tonight, I somehow ended up with kava in my nasal passages. (I should probably mention that I have never ingested any powdered substance in this manner before.) My nasal passages felt extremely uncomfortable when this happened tonight, but within 30 seconds I felt otherwise absolutely incredible! I’ve been taking Kava for years and have never before experienced this intensity of effect. It’s been several hours now, and I still feel great! I am, of course, now tempted to deliberately repeat this experience, not every day, but when I really need a dramatic lift. Is this manner of ingesting kava dangerous, or is it okay?

  59. Divine,

    I appreciate your honesty and candidness, and none of us here were quite sure how to respond. Surely you know that you’re treading in very “taboo” territory here, yes?

    Either way, since we know the kind folks over at Kona Kava Farm (our favorite place to buy all-things Kava), we thought we’d ask them if anyone in their family has ever heard of such a practice involving Kava. The reaction was not what I expected: no one was against this specific form of ingestion, but no one had heard of anyone trying it either. I was told that concentrating natural plants to such a degree and then insufflating them is largely a Western phenomena, and that the spirit of the Kava plant has always spoken of mashing the roots, mixing with water (the fresh roots used to be chewed by females in the tribe and then spat into a large vessel mixed with water), and then gulping down.

    Hmm. I then went to my doctor and asked about ingestion of anything through the nasal passages, and this is what he said: “Insufflation of anything poses a danger the the delicate tissues of the nasal cavity. If a disruption occurs due to irritation, the normal host defenses inside the sinuses can allow bacteria that are normally present in the nasal passages to enter the body. Once there, the bacteria may stick to the lining cells and cause infection. Also, many medications and herbal products are designed to have dosages released over time. By insufflating (snorting) something such as Kava powder, you are altering the rate at which the herb will enter your bloodstream and brain. Since there is little to no medical data on this type of ingestion, I can’t tell you what the side-effects might be. My advice to you: Abstain.”

    So, I hope this helps; it’s the best I’ve got for you at the moment. As always, though, I’m very thankful for the openness of the discussions here, and am curious to know anyone else’s experience with Kava in this manner or any other.

    Kava dot com

  60. Hi,

    Just followed your advice and ordered the 30% kavalactone capsules and the 84% full spectrum paste. Taking the capsules is easy, but how do you recommend taking the paste as a “kicker” to the capsules?

    As a side note, I tried the kava powder many years ago and noticed a definite calming effect, but the taste was just so !!!!!!!, that I couldn’t bring myself to take anymore. I am truly hoping that the capsules work as advertised.


  61. Larry,

    To use the Kavalactone Paste as a “kicker” to the capsules, we recommend what Kona Kava Farm says; simply take a “pea-sized” amount to start with, and simply eat it right out of the jar. Others have encapsulated it, many blend it in with their Kava drinks, whether powdered or instant, and it seems that many actually cook with it. In other words; use your imagination! Experiment! Find a way that works best for you since there’s truly no “right” way or “wrong” way to take the Kavalactone Paste.

    Kava dot ocm

  62. I bought some kava root by bulk at the local health food store. I “brewed” it in warm, almost hot water with coconut oil added to the water. I let it steep for over an hour or two and drank it in the morning mixed with coffee or yerba mate. At night, I drink it alone. I adore it. I realize my preparation isn’t what you recommend, and perhaps it isn’t “correct” but I definitely feel the benefits.

  63. thank you for all the good information. It answered my question, “Is kava kave good for anxiety?” So what a blessing to be able to enjoy something (despite the taste) that is safe and not really a drug, although I think valium is a “god-send” when you are really really anxious and who cares if you become dependent on it, as long as your doc will prescribe it for you and you use it responsibly. But I bought a book on kava many years ago and didn’t feel the calming effect that the drug brought. Now am trying the root and “think” I get the calm, not sure yet, but surely hope so as my pastor vehemently asserts that we should not drink wine. Of course I disagree with him (remember Jesus’ first miracle) but all in all I wouldn’t trade my pastor for any other. (luv him). I will try the paste as well. That’s all, just mainly wanted to say thanks for the great website and your ever consideration and kindness in all your writings.

  64. hey i was wondering about the capsules. how many of them would you have to take to get a good mellow buzz? reports from other people say that the capsules have no noticable effects, and that taking more than recommended can hurt your internal organs. what is your say on this?

  65. Hi Joe!

    The number of capsules depends on the person and the capsule in question. Some questions are root-only, while others contain extracts. I would recommend starting with a low does and working your way up from there.

    Capsules often contained unprocessed kava material that is not traditionally consumed. This can be a bit hard on the stomach. If you have any previous stomach or digestive issues, I would recommend a more traditional kava tea or beverage in which the root material is not consumed. Otherwise, though, kava capsules are less harmful to your internal organs than Asprin. :)

  66. I thought I had found the best possible way to consume full spectrum kavalactone paste when I mixed it with natural peanut butter . . . then I mixed it with cashew butter. Mmmmmmm.

  67. I was wondering what you thought about kava kava extract? I mix it in with tea, but I also did not know that the best part of the kava is destroyed with the tempratures? What do you suggest mixing it with? Thanks so much, Jill

  68. Jill,

    Kava kava extract is great mixed with any liquid that is cold or lukewarm. In fact, you can heat kava to about 105 F before it starts to lose potency. We really enjoy mixing kava extract with almond or soy milk and then heating on the stovetop over low heat just until the kava dissolves. Then sweeten with honey or agave nectar. This makes a delicious, warming drink with no loss of potency! If you try this method out, let us know what you think!

  69. I bought some kava kava root extract in a bottle and it says on the back that is contains alcohol USP 65-75%. Golly does this mean I am consuming alcohol too and I really don’t want to. Please advise

  70. Dear Tracey,

    Yes, if you take the root extract in alcohol you will be consuming a small amount. However, it’s only going to be a few milliliters. In terms of safety this is not an issue – a few milliliters of alcohol is not going to have a noticeable effect on the liver. If you have VERY SERIOUS liver disease or damage, I would recommend another method of taking your kava, such as powder or capsules, but other than that, the tiny amount of alcohol in an extract should not have a negative effect, especially if you put a few dropperfuls in a big glass of water and take it that way. When we say kava and alcohol should not be combined for safety reasons, we’re referring to having several alcoholic drinks AND kava at the same time.

    Hope this helps! :)

  71. Any pointers on beating this reverse tolerance? I’ve worked with a few brands of root and now am trying to acclimate with a tincture. Don’t know if the quality was poor, I wasn’t squeezing the root out enough, or there is some factor I’m not seeing. All I know is that I am yet to experience this plant.

  72. Dear Kirk,

    I would not recommend a tincture if you are having a tough time experiencing the effects of kava. You may be receiving low quality root, as well. Make sure you are steeping the root in cold water and try steeping for up to 10 minutes. You may want to try out a kavalactone concentrate paste as well – you can find them from a few online vendors. These pastes are easy to take and very effective! They may be just what you need to experience the potency of kava.

    Best of luck! :)

  73. 1st Question: If I bought some Kava powder, and made a bunch to last me 7 days and kept it in the refrigerator, would it still maintain its potency? Are there any other issues with this? Because going through the hassle of making it every night does not seem worth it to me. But on the other hand, pills and paste does not seem as effective and natural (and potentially safe) as brewing it the way it has been done historically. I’m also interested in powders, because there are different varieties of the herb that one can purchase for experiencing different types of symptoms.

    2nd question: What is the most cost-effective way of buying Kava to get the nice, relaxed effect (about 250 mg kavalactones worth). I don’t have a lot of money, but don’t want to buy a worthless, cheap product.

    So far I’ve been taking pills at night and sleeping like a baby–but I have nothing else to compare it to, since I haven’t tried the other products. I haven’t noticed any euphoria except for perhaps when I first started taking it; noticed subtle anti-anxiety effects, especially at first.

    3rd Question: I’ve heard people in forums talking about developing tolerance. Is this just in their heads, or is there something to that; because on the websites advocating Kava they indicate that there is no tolerance? Would 4 weeks on/1 week off help with potential tolerance and other issues?

    By the way, since I’m looking at taking this long-term; I’m ordering milk thistle, just for some extra protection for my liver.

  74. Ricky,

    1st Question: How long does Kava keep in the fridge? Typically, Kava will keep just fine in the fridge for a week or so. We’ve never had it around long enough to test it past a week, but there was no loss of potency that we could detect from Day 01 to Day 07.

    2nd Question: Most Cost-Effective Kava? We think that a potent (8% – 10% kavalactone content) Kava root like ANY of the high-quality Kava Root we offer in our new Kava Marketplace is the most cost-effective means of getting the 250 mg of Kavalactones that the FDA feels is the maximum safe dosage for a single day. It may be more difficult to make, but you do get the most bang for your buck, and longer extraction times means stronger ‘Awa.

    3rd Question: Does Kava Build a Tolerance? We have noticed that there can be an increase in tolerance with Kava over time. I’ve never noticed in the first week, but definitely by the 2nd or 3rd week of daily consumption, I notice a small tolerance building. Although Kava has been enjoyed daily in much larger amounts throughout Oceania for 3,000 years, we do not recommend going above the FDA-suggested doses, and see no reason why Kava should be consumed daily. Even a day on, day off is enough to stave off any tolerance.

    Bryan Kava
    Direct: 716-803-6427
    Email: bryan at kava dot com

  75. I’ve tried to “brew” the root powder purchased in bulk, can’t really say I like the taste. I plan on buying some instant powder soon, maybe with better luck. In the meantime, I still have some of the root powder I purchased from local store. I bought some empty gel capsules and filled with the root powder.
    Your thoughts and recommendations? Is this basically like taking small doses of the drink? And how different from capsules purchased?
    I’m mainly looking for a sleep aid but look forward to the mellow “aloha feeling” I’ve heard so much about?

  76. 1st time trying this wonderful stuff, I had my doubts. However it proved wrong I wasnt quite sure what too expect.Too my surprise about a halfhour after drinking this i woke up 5 hous later & felt very refreshed, nothing like after having afew drinks.The best sleep I’ve had in a long time without the draging feeling of alcohol. Kava forever, alcohol never. Well, ishould never say never! ;-)

  77. I see on some sites not to take Kava more than 3 months in a row. If one were to stop taking prescription anti-anxiety medication, would Kava be a suitable substitute for the prescription method to relieve anxiety? If so, I would think it would need to be used on a fairly regular basis to give the same benefits of the prescription meds. I understand that mixing the prescriptions and Kava is not recommended process, but if one were to stop the presriptions all together, could Kava be a good replacement?


  78. William,

    We’re trilled that you may have found a natural herbal solution to help ease your stress, but as is our mantra throughout this website, I’m sorry, but I can only offer you this: Kava is a dietary supplement and is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or cure any disease. Also, since we are not doctors here, we cannot dispense medical advice of any kind.

    Our best advice to you is to visit with your doctor, bring him/her your kava research, and have a discussion about your desire to try this natural remedy.

    Bryan Kava
    Direct: 716-803-6427
    Email: bryan at kava dot com

  79. You’re right that buying empty gel capsules and placing the root inside them is just like taking small doses of the drink. Please be careful and never take more than the suggested serving of a tablespoon of powder at a time. And, as we always say; every person and every body is different, and Kava affects each in different ways. Some it helps them to relax and others report and “aloha feeling” but it’s up to you to see what works best for you while working with safe amounts of the kava. Aloha,

  80. Hi all, I accidentally stumbled upon this website and read through all the comments. I am glad I did because it gave me hope I can conquer my terrible anxieties that are getting worse every day. I was starting to lose hope and get discouraged in my daily attempts to win this battle. All my doctor was willing to do is put me on Ativan and Lexapro and I am so against it. The anxieties that started due to stress at work intensified over the time and are present now even after I quit that job (almost a year now), but developed peri-menstrual issues with sweats ( I am 47), yo-yo effect and constant worry something is wrong with me. I was bleeding a lot for a year and developed iron deficiency anemia, which is getting under control now but I can’t sleep well anymore and I have to fight this feeling of dread almost every day now. :( My labs and tests are all clear. What dosage of kava-kava capsules would you suggest I try for anxiety? Any other advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  81. Jane,

    We’re trilled that you may have found a natural herbal solution to help ease your stress, but as is our mantra throughout this website, I’m sorry, but I can only offer you this: Kava is a dietary supplement and is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or cure any disease. Also, since we are not doctors here, we cannot dispense medical advice of any kind.

    Our best advice to you is to visit with your doctor, bring him/her your kava research, and have a discussion about your desire to try this natural remedy.

    Bryan Kava
    Direct: 716-803-6427
    Email: bryan at kava dot com

  82. Hi! I’ve been taking Ibuprofen PM to help me get to sleep at night, but lately have become worried about the long-term side effects. The reason I take it is that I have arthritis and neck pain and the Ibuprofen does help me wake up without the usual stiffness. However, I’ve been reading a book about Kava, and now your website, and wonder if this might be something that would help me, as I’d really prefer to take something more natural. Would be interested in reading comments from others who’ve had similar issues. Thanks!

  83. Hello,
    I am a musician and unfortunately have trouble getting over the performance anxiety when playing a solo for example. Someone told me kava may be able to help me relax and help me get over the anxiety. I am certainly willing to give it a try but am unsure on which of the products would benefit me most. Any advice on the issue is very much appreciated!
    Thank you!

  84. Kava was tested in Germany years ago and someone (whom doctors suspect already had liver problems) reacted badly to it. Then there was a knee-jerk reaction to its side effects. Common sense and building slowly – knowing your body is good advice. This is a good sensible forum that covers even ‘taboo’subjects with integrity. Well done all!

  85. I was thinking about getting some of the kava paste and I’m trying to decide on whether to get one the percentage kavlactone pastes or the full spectrum paste (I’m leaning towards the full spectrum, however). I was just wondering what are the different effects, generally, of the full spectrum vs one of the kavalactone percentage pastes? I’m looking for the recreational experience, as opposed to just an anxiety reliever or sleep aid(although I’m not opposed to using it for those reasons).

    It’s funny that I just found out about not heating kava, because the first time I made it, I didn’t know anything about the traditional preparation methods, so I just used what I had learned from Western herbalism. Since it was a hard, woody root, I just boiled it! I reduced it my half, strained it, and drank. I have to say, it worked! Wow, did it work! That was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had! I won’t go into much detail, but it is my benchmark for kava.

  86. Very good question, Taylor, and the answer is definitely what you may have suspected: The longer you leave the Kava powder brewing, the more potent the drink will be. In fact, Kava needs both milk AND water to extract all 25 of its active components. And, if you want to supercharge your Kava drink, we recommend a blender, on low, for at least 5 minutes. After that 5 minutes, we then suggest letting the Kava brew for an additional 15 minutes, stirring once during that 15 minutes.

    Hope that helps!

    Bryan Kava

  87. Liquid Kava Extract, in our experience, takes about the same time as powdered Kava Root made into a drink. And that time is actually shortened when taking an increased dosage (which should never exceed the FDA’s recommended Daily Dosage, of course).

    And yes, potency can vary quite a lot between liquid, powdered root, capsules, and pastes. Generally, pastes are the strongest, followed by powdered root, and then it would be a ties for liquid extracts and pastes, IMHO.

    Bryan Kava

  88. Brian,

    This is another question we get asked a lot, and there really isn’t a simple answer. Your instincts were correct, though: For us the best way to experience the relaxing effects of Kava is to enjoy it as a freshly-made drink from Kava powder (and not the Instant Kava Mix), or from the Full Spectrum Kavalatone Paste.

    And yes, we’ve heard about so many people who have cooked, boiled or microwaved their Kava, with astounding results. Although we don’t have the scientific data, it does seem that the magical “140 degrees” is not proving to be true for countless of our visitors.

    Bryan Kava

  89. I tried Kava for the first time yesterday. I definitely felt the euphoric and social effects, but I couldn’t seem to sleep afterwards. I was up until 1am before I finally slept. Is this normal for beginning use? Will I need to try it a few times before it relaxes me, or are there different kinds of Kava? If so, what is the most mellow, sleep inducing variety? Any advice would be appreciated, thanks.

  90. Every body is different, as are the effects that Kava may have on different bodily systems. It’s not unusual for Kava to have an opposite effect on you; it happens quite a lot, actually. Some find it makes them energized, while others find it relaxing. Whether or not it’s energizing or relaxing is also very dose-dependent. Oddly enough, smaller amounts of Kava seem to have an energizing effect, while larger doses seem to sedate. Either way, that’s the beauty of herbal supplements; you’re free to work with it, to work with the dose size, and find what works best for you.

    Aloha & Mahalo,
    Bryan Kava

  91. Camryn,

    Kava definitely has a large and growing number of studies that show it’s effectiveness to help alleviate anxiety, so you’ve made a great, natural choice to help you with yours. And yes, not all Kava is created equal, and different Kava with different kavalactone lineups will indeed have different effects on the body. Typically, the most effective cultivars for anxiety are the Hawaiian Makaea Root and the Vanuatu Noble Kava Root. Either have been known to have the coveted 4-2-6 kavalactone lineup, which indicates a high concentration of kavain (the #4 in the lineup), the kavalactone responsbile for dopamine release in the brain.

    Mahalo & Aloha,
    Bryan Kava

  92. Eli,

    Actually, we have never heard of anyone getting a burning sensation from Kava before, but I believe it. There have been a few, very rare reports of light sensitivity, but that was a very temporary sensation. I’m approving your comment here to see if anyone else chimes in about this similar effect with the Kava they’ve tried. Kava is definitely a very effective natural combatant for anxiety, as proven in numerous studies in recent years, so good choice in stopping your use of phamaceuticals!

    Aloha & Mahalo,
    Bryan Kava

  93. Honor,

    As is always our mantra; we are not doctors and cannot dispense any advice regarding prescription medication or medical conditions. St. John’s Wort has been shown to be effective in helping ward off anxiety, but as with anything anyone introduces into a bodily system; as many different bodies as there are, there are probably as many different effects. With the St. John’s Wort, perhaps you didn’t get a quality brand, perhaps she didn’t take it for a long enough period of time; St. John’s Wort typically requires at least a week of daily consumption before the effects are felt. Kava, on the other hand, has numerous studies showing its effectiveness to help reduce anxiety. You would, of course, need to check with your health-care provider, but we think that Kava might be a perfect opportunity for your daughter to find something that might have a positive effect on her world.

    Aloha & Mahalo,
    Bryan Kava

  94. Personally find that the lower the dose and the more often the better. I put roughly a fifth of a teaspoon of fresh kava root powder under my tongue one to six times a day. Within a couple minutes my mouth produces saliva which starts to dissolve the llactones. Around five to ten minutes after putting it in my mouth my salivating really starts to increase which in turn is dissolving more lactones. This is when I add a sip of milk. This really seems to get everything out of the root. If my mouth produces too much saviva I simply swallow some. I then swallow the final product. I find you don’t even have to swallow it. You can just spit it out. If you want a body buzz as well as euphoria then I’m sure swallowing will work better. If I decide to swallow nothing and just spit it out after ten or fifteen minutes I still get euphoria.

    Remember how kava has a reverse tolerance. Well buy the time I do it a third time I feel AMAZING!!! And I was the worst drug addict so I know how much people think they need to take of something to really get a desirable effect. Kava is unique. You may find my method tedious or time consuming or weird but it works! Great site guys. We’re bless to have each other! Stay safe and listen to your body! And yes kava can be toxic. Especially if you take medications or abuse drugs that are hard on the liver. Kava itself may not be toxic but it can change the way your liver processes something. It’s common sense. Don’t just defend something because you like it lol! No argument just care about being healthy and want you guys to take care as well. Kava needs to be respected :)))

  95. Today, I bought a 1oz bottle of liquid kava. I put the recommend 30 drops in some water, I never felt the relief of anxiety and stress as I expected. My question I suppose is, is there a certain brand that works best as far as the kava liquid goes or is there a certain way to mix it that works better?

  96. We found that tinctures have been working well for those seeking an immediate effect; a happy boost. But those looking to assist with anxiety; capsules seem to be a more effective choice. We’ve listened to our customers, especially those looking for some relief from stressors of the day, and spent over a year developing ‘Awa Calm. It’s a blend of Kava, but with several key herbs that have been shown to be great choices in the battle against stress in our lives.

  97. 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,

    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?

  98. 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!

    Bryan Kava

  99. I want to create a hot beverage that has the kava root and its qualities in it. Since you say the properties are destroyed in the teaping process how might I create this beverage with out destroying the kava properties or at least limiting it potency? Should I add the extract after I teap? Can I spray it on decaf coffee and brew it? I want to buy it bulk. What is the best way to do this? What is the most potent way to buy it? Liquid?

  100. Joe,

    Great questions! To be super clear; Kavalactones don’t instantly break down the moment they touch hot water. It is a gradual process. Also, you can make tea from water that is not boiling; it just takes longer for the tea to steep. So, one way is to heat a cup of water in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, so it gets hot but doesn’t boil. If you can put your finger in it without feeling like you have to take it out immediately, you’re probably at a good temperature to make some Kava tea.

    The problem with pre-made Kava Tea bags is that there is so little Kava in the teabag, that even if you steeped it for days in warm water, you wouldn’t feel the effects from the Kava because there wasn’t enough Kava to start with.

    And you were thinking correctly; you can indeed add the extract after you steep your tea. Kavalactones dissolve best in fats such as milk, soy milk, coconut milk, and so on. If you take cram with your tea, then you can easily get a strong Kava tea by adding some extract after you’ve steeped your tea.

    The strongest Kava products are typically the LIQUID and the PASTE. We work hard to make these 2 products as concentrated as possible. And, with the TINCTURE, it’s easy to squirt a few dropperfuls (not drops) into your tea after its steeped. We just put the dropperfuls right on our tongue, but placing it into a drink does make it easier to ingest.

    Hope this helps!


  101. My curiosity is if a extract states one ml being a dropper full is 538 mg how much is going over board 1500 , 2000 mg . Just curious . I find larger doses than suggested work myself

  102. Jason,

    The maximum daily dose set by the FDA is 295mg. If you’re getting Kava that claims to have 538mg per dropper, it’s likely not an accurate representation of the amount of Kavalactones in that tincture. There’s only so much a tincture can hold before it’s saturated with Kava, and to get that many milligrams of Kavalactone into a single dropper would mean you would be getting a very thick, gooey liquid, that would be very costly. In relation to the “overboard” dose, all we can legally say is that those in Oceania have enjoyed Kava daily for several thousand years, and typically consume between 1000mg – 2000mg of Kavalactones a day.

    Team Kava

  103. Has anybody tried there Kava mixed with organic butter and coconut oil ala bulletproof coffee? the ultimate fat content and then mixed with Chaga tea.Whoa mama powerful potion.

  104. Hi, I’d love to hear your thoughts on instant kava mixes versus preparing the drink the old fashioned way from the ground root! I recently bought your instant kava mix and have been enjoying it, but I’ve also felt like the effects have been milder than when I’ve had it prepared for me the traditional way. I just have to admit, I’m very lazy and I much prefer a product that doesn’t involve as much preparation as the real powder…. would a kavalactone paste be something else for me to try perhaps if I’m looking for ease of consumption but also good effects?? Thanks!

  105. PS. Also, does the efficiency of the instant kava mix increase if you let it sit (like traditional kava preparation) for a while before drinking? Or are the kavalactones pretty much instantaneously released when you mix it with a liquid? Thanks so much!

  106. Lilla,

    Personally I don’t think that there is anything better than using kava root to prepare an authentic kava drink! For me, the preparation is part of the experience and its exciting to try different kavas from all over the world. With that being said, I don’t mind making a quick cup of instant kava if I am in a hurry. Instant kava usually tastes better for first time kava drinkers (traditional kava drinks have an earthy, slightly bitter taste which can take some getting used to) and it is a great way for get your feet wet with kava.

    Instant kavas has roughly the same kavalactone content as our kava root powder (9-12%). However when preparing kava the traditional way there are a few factors that can influence how much of that kavalactone ends up in your drink. Adding soy lecithin, or mixing your kava root with a fat base liquid like coconut milk will release kavalactones into your drink more efficiently. Also you should try to squeeze every last drop of liquid out while straining your drink.

    For pure ease of use, you cannot beat our paste. Is also the most potent product that we carry.

    Team Kava

  107. I have a slight stutter and I have tried everything. I read online that Kava Kava causes relaxation, and my health food person I take L-theanine along with the Kava Kava. I started today and feel extremely relaxed. My question is: Is it ok to take Kava Kava along with L-Theanine and what time of the day is best to take them.

    Thank you.


  108. Kate,

    Glad to hear that you have found relaxation through kava kava! Taking kava along with other dietary supplements is generally fine as long as you stick to the recommended doses. There really is no best time to take kava, and most people using it for therapeutic purposes will consume their kava ‘as needed’ throughout the day. I have also found it to be quite helpful before bedtime to get a good nights’ sleep.

    Team Kava

  109. I absolutely hate the way kava tastes, but I love it and what it does for me. After a stressful day at work I just gulp it down and relax, usually followed by some gum to take the taste away. I have a question though. What is Waka Kava and Noble strains. Is there a difference and is there kava I should stay away from?

  110. Rob,

    Not everyone likes the taste of kava, so you’re not alone. You may want to think about trying our kava capsules or instant kava to avoid the taste. Just a thought.

    Noble kavas are simply kavas that are grown to be harvested and consumed. These kavas (unlike wild kava) are selectively bred for desirable properties and can take up to 5 years to reach maturity. Waka kava is kava that contains lateral root. Lateral roots account for just 20% of total kava roots (the other 80% are called underground roots) but have a higher concentration of kavalactones.

    Team Kava

  111. I just now took my first kava powder and hope I mixed it OK. I took a 16 Oz. Glass put 2 heaping tbls. And poured about 3/4 of it with cold water then added the rest with French Vanilla coffee creamer. I stirred briskly for about one minute the let it sit for about 3-5 minutes then stirred I again for about 1 minute a ND drank it powder and all. My mouth went numb. Do you think this method will work and how long before I feel the effects? I also took a small doses of kratom after. Just curious…

  112. Heather,

    If you can feel your mouth going numb, that means the kava is working. It sounds like you have a pretty sound method of preparing kava (and I’m sure it tastes great with the coffee creamer). If you find that your drink is too chalky, you may want to consider blending and straining your drink rather than just stirring it. Usually you will feel the effects 5-10 minutes after consuming your drink.

    Team Kava

  113. I was wondering if I could mix my KAVA powder with a sweetened milk. Also does it make a difference if the liquid is cold or at room temperature?

    Thank You

  114. Vonnica,

    You can absolutely mix your kava with sweetened milk to add some flavor. We recommend coconut or almond milk but dairy milk will work just as well. The temperature that you serve your kava at can also be adjusted to suit your preference. Kava is most often served at room temperature, but it can also be served straight out of the refrigerator or slightly warmed. However you will want to avoid serving your kava hot as doing so could effect the potency of your drink.

    Team Kava

  115. Hi, I’ve read Hawaiian Islanders often gave kava to a fretful or sick child. Would you have any information or knowledge of this.

    Many thanks


  116. Paul,

    Great question! I have heard that giving kava to children is a common practice in the South Pacific and Hawaii. The kavalactones are known to soothe upset children and induce sleep. Kava has traditionally been consumed by children and adolescents although usually in smaller-than-normal doses.

    Team Kava

  117. Thurston,

    We can only sell our kava products to customers who are 18 or older. Kava kava has a low risk for abuse and few side effects, but like any psychoactive herb it can be misused.

    Kava can be consumed by by adolescents under the age of 18 but only with parental consent or a doctors recommendation. For many teenagers it can be an effective alternative to prescription medicines.

    Team kava

  118. I just bought the sampler and am wondering if it would be ok to mix any of these except for the caps of course in a green smoothie drink. I usually use kale, berries, spinach, and greek yogurt. Would any of this lessen the potency? Thanks

  119. Lisa,

    Besides the capsules, you will have received instant kava and kava root powder with your sampler pack. Either of those can be mixed into smoothies and there will be no effect on potency. In fact I’ll bet it will taste delicious!

    Team Kava

  120. I have been suffering from depression, along with manic depression, panic disorder, and high anxiety along with PTSD and want ti find a natrual solution to help relieve ny tension and stress from my issues… I bought the kava tea bags from Wal-Mart and kava liquid extract from my local health food store. I seep two bags in hit water and mix in my three droppers full of the extract. I just started my kava journey, will this help or is there a better way to feel my kava.

  121. Skay,

    Thanks for reaching out to us. First off I would like to let you know that we are not medical professionals so the decision to use kava for medical reasons should be made by you and your doctor. However many of our customers have used kava to successfully manage things like stress and anxiety. Kava acts as a mild muscle relaxant and so it can be a great way to manage symptoms.

    Unfortunately much of the kava being sold in health food stores and large retailers like Walmart is of mediocre quality and has limited kavalactone content. Here at KavaDotCom we actually have a few products that are specifically formulated to maximize anxiety and stress relief. Our ‘Awa Calm capsules are also a quick and easy way to consume kava without having to make drinks, plus they have a strong 30% kavalactone content. You can view the ‘Awa Calm capsules here:

    If you would like to discuss our products further, feel free to email us at [email protected].

    Team Kava

  122. I’ve had truly horrible insomnia for some months – most nights I only fall asleep at 4am or later. Sleeping pills don’t work for me and I’m pretty desperate.
    I tried mixing 4 tbsps of micronized kava with a glass of milk, blended for about 4 minutes. It tasted horrific.
    I added some stevia and that helped a little but I wonder if there are other things you can suggest adding to make it more palatable?
    Thank you!

  123. I mix mine with ice cold, vanilla flax milk. A little almond extract helps. And I hold my nose.

  124. Thanks for this page and article. This may be the first comment in 5 years.

    I added just one tablespoon kava powder to my regular bedtime concoction of powdered ginger, turmeric, ashwaganda, spirulina and valerian root extract in a jar with water and I added hemp oil for the fatty element and some salt and pepper and just shook the hell out of it and gulped it down. This violates kava tradition and appreciation of the root by itself but I still got the mouth numbness and the kava seemed to contribute to feeling that it’s time for bed. I didn’t make it far in my book with effort and I got deep sleep. I will let the next round sit for a few hours or a day and add some damiana extract. Unfortunately all these powders can be expensive but I like blending smaller amounts of herbs with similar characteristics as they relate to whether they’re better for nighttime vs daytime use.

    Also, for drinking powder in liquid, I’ve found that the combined goopyness of ground chia (along with ground flax and hemp seed) when soaked overnight helps bind the powder solids so they go down smoother with more homogeneity and it cuts intense flavors in general.

    Rest in peace.

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