More and more people in the West today have experienced the benefits of kava kava, either as a supplement or in its traditional form as a relaxing*, communal brew. A kava kava supplement can offer many benefits for slowing down in our fast-paced world, but discovering the type of kava supplement that’s right for you can be an intimidating task. This article hopes to make your journey a little bit easier by providing a guide to the various kinds of kava kava supplements available.
In the South Pacific, kava has both a social and a therapeutic dimension: kava can be used as a social beverage, ceremonial or ritual drink, and a traditional medicinal herb. When preparing the kava drink, indigenous islanders use only the kava root, macerated in water to release the active kavalactones and other constituents. While the calming and relaxing effects* of kava are recognized as beneficial in the South Pacific, kava is not specifically thought of as a health supplement.
In the West, people take kava as a supplement that supports the management of daily stress* and helps regulate healthy mood changes*. When researching kava kava supplements, you should search for manufacturers that use only the kava root in their products, never the stems or leaves. Avoid kava extracts made with ethanol or other chemical solvents. Instead, select extracts made using aqueous (water-based) or cold CO2 extraction. A water-based kava extract will be closer to the traditional kava brew. Supercritical cold CO2 extraction also produces a clean, residue-free kava extract. Finally, make sure that any kava extract you purchase contains a standardized amount of kavalactones in milligrams. This amount will vary depending on how you want to use it: for instance, an extract containing at least 70 milligrams of kavalactones is considered effective for the management of daily stress*; an extract containing 210 milligrams may be more effective for managing occasional sleeplessness*.
At Kava Dot Com, we carry a wide variety of kava supplements, each with their own benefits. Read on to discover the type of kava kava supplement that fits your lifestyle, time, and preferences!
Instant Kava Drinks: These are powdered instant drinks made with a micronized kava kava extract designed to dissolve instantly in water. The great thing about an instant kava drink is that it’s much quicker to make than a traditional kava brew and comes in lots of yummy flavors, perfect for the kava newbie. Look for an instant kava drink that contains a powdered extract of the kava root. So-called “instant” drinks made with plain root will not dissolve in water—meaning that not only will they not have an effect, they’ll leave an unpleasant chalky layer in the bottom of your cup.
Kava Tea: Possibly the closest in form to a classic kava brew, you can also get kava root in tea bags. Brew up a quick and comforting cup of kava tea at any time of the day! Our Yogi Kava Tea is flavored with rich carob pod, sarsaparilla and warming cinnamon so that you enjoy the taste as much as the relaxing effects*. Kava tea can be as quick and effective as instant kava, but must be made with water below 140 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid degrading the kavalactones. While not the best option if you’re in a hurry or have limited time, kava tea is a convenient in-home choice for a kava supplement.
Our kava teas: Yogi Kava Tea
Kava Liquid Extracts: Liquid kava extracts are sometimes sold by themselves, but more often injected into a gelcap or added to plain kava root in a supplement capsule. Usually made by cold CO2 extraction, liquid kava extracts are effective and quick to use, but may be messy unless consumed inside a gelcap.
Our kava liquid extracts:Kona Kava Farm Kavalovetone Capsules.
Kava Tinctures: A very basic form of kava supplement, tinctures are made by macerating dried or fresh kava root in grain alcohol or non-alcoholic grapefruit extract. Kava tinctures are extremely easy to use: simply place a few drops in water or hold them under the tongue until the liquid is absorbed. They also work quickly, so that effects may be felt about 5 minutes after consumption, or 1 minute after oral absorption. However, if you plan to use kava as a daily supplement, a tincture may be less cost-effective than kava capsules or an instant drink mix because it is offered in a smaller format (5 to 10 ml bottles).
Kava Capsules: Probably the easiest to use of all kava supplements, kava capsules are gelatin caps filled with powdered kava root that has been infused with a powdered kava extract. As mentioned above, you can also get liquid kava extracts in capsule form. Because they are portable and require no preparation, kava capsules are the most versatile kava kava supplement—perfect for use while traveling, at the office, or any time you want a little relaxation in your life. However, when looking for kava capsules, remember that there are a lot of ineffective products on the market that have given kava supplements a bad name: to make sure you have a satisfying experience, only buy kava capsules that contain a stated, standardized of kavalactones as an extract. Any kava capsules made with plain dried root will not have the desired therapeutic effect.
Our kava capsules: Eclectic Institute Kava “Nakamal” Capsules, Kona Kava Farm Kava Root-Only Capsules, Kona Kava Farm 30% Kavalactone Capsules, Kona Kava Farm Kavalovetone Capsules, Starwest Kava Root Capsules.
Kava Pastes: A modern form of kava supplement made using supercritical cold CO2 extraction, kava pastes are a thick, viscous form of kava kava extract that contains a concentrated dose of kavalactones. Kava pastes can be mixed into water, similar to a kava tincture or drink mix, or ingested without any mixing; because it is concentrated, as little as 145 milligrams will generate the same effects as one serving of traditional brewed kava, making kava paste a very economical and effective kava kava supplement. Our kava pastes are available in two forms: 55% Full Spectrum Kava Paste, which contains the full range of kavalactones found in the root, and 55% Kavalactone Paste, which contains a mix of two primary kavalactones, kavain and yangonin. Stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator, kava paste will last about six months. Wow!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to cure, treat, diagnose, or prevent any disease.