When you buy kava online, you want to know that the site you’re dealing with is a reputable seller that will deliver a real product that is safe, effective and high quality. Whether this is the first time you’re looking into buying kava online, or you’re an experienced kava drinker looking for a new supplier, we have some tips to help you find a dependable online source for your kava needs.
A respectable online kava vendor will have plentiful information about their product in an obvious location on the website. A reliable website will tell you where it sources its kava, which strains are used to make its kava products, and the methods the company uses to prepare its kava. You may want to deal only with websites that specialize in kava, as these are most likely to have done the appropriate research into their kava products and to have taken the time to make sure their kava delivers dependable results. Whether you source your kava from a specialty site or one that sells a range of herbal products, here are the things to pay attention to:
Kava strains: there are many different varieties of kava that have been grown and safely consumed in the South Pacific and Hawaii for centuries. When you’re looking to buy kava kava online, check to see if the site you’re on specifies which strain(s) of kava they offer. “Noble” strains of kava— those that haven’t been hybridized— such as the Fu’u, Borogu, Mahakea and Boroguru strains are more predictable in their potency. Also, the effect of their kavalactones on the human body has been well-documented. Avoid less well-studied hybrid strains such as Tue Dai kava. While potent, some research has suggested Tue Dai may create unsafe combinations of lactones in the body when taken orally. A scrupulous kava vendor site should specifically list all the strains they sell.
Kava origin: when researching the quality of a vendor’s kava, more information is better. Check to see if the vendor lists which kava growing operations they buy from. Ideally, you want to find a site that buys the raw green kava material from kava farms; not only will the finished product be fresher, but the vendor will be able to verify that they are selling a noble, non-hybridized strain to customers. Companies that buy kava that has already been dried and powdered have no way of telling if their kava comes from one noble variant or a mix of different variants which may be less potent. Another great option is to buy kava root online directly from a farm – that way, you’ll know exactly what sort of kava you’re getting and exactly where it’s coming from.
A reputable company should also provide information about what part of the kava plant they use and how it is prepared. Traditionally, only the nontoxic roots of the kava plant are harvested for human consumption. Kava leaves and stems are toxic to the liver and should never be used in a preparation, although they may be harvested for mulch. Many farmers only harvest the plant’s lateral surface roots, and may wait four years or more for the kava plant to mature and gain in potency. The plant’s active constituents may be drawn out using alcohol, acetone, or water, but most reputable vendors exclusively use water extraction to preserve the integrity of kava’s active compounds. To ensure you’re buying kava prepared in ways that maximize its effectiveness and safety, look for terms such as “water-extracted”, “sun-dried”, “harvested from four year-old lateral roots”, and so on.
Payment system and shipping: Only deal with online kava sites that offer recognized third party payment systems such as major credit cards like Visa and MasterCard. Avoid sites that only offer wire transfer payment options to minimize your chances of getting ripped off. (This is good advice when dealing with any online vendor.) Guaranteed fast delivery or same-day delivery services are also a plus, as they will ensure that you get a fresher product sooner.
Company information: sometimes it’s the little things that will tell you the most about an online business. When you visit an online kava vendor for the first time, look to see if the kava vendor lists their company’s contact information in an obvious location on the site. Look for any general information about the company, including how long they’ve been in business and which kava farmers they partner with. Positive customer testimonials are another element that will attest to an online vendor’s quality. The more satisfied customers an online kava vendor has, the more likely it is that you’ll receive a potent high-quality product from them.