Kavalactones Dosage

hawaiian-gods-202x300First, what you probably found this page for is this:

Our Kavalactone Paste is formulated so that 1/8th of a teaspoon is a single dose. That single dose delivers 145mg of Kavalactone, which is 1/2 of the recommended daily dose of 290mg by the FDA.  1/8th of a teaspoon is also what we call a “pea-sized” amount. If you eyeball an amount the size of a pea, you will be close to 1/8th of a teaspoon.  If you’re not exactly spot on with the serving size, don’t fret too much. Part of the joy of natural herbal products like Kava is that there’s a wide range of what a “good” amount of Kava is.

Hopefully that has answered your question! Now, we got onto more information about Kavalactone Paste…

The Nitty Gritty

If you’re new to kava but want to try it out for its pleasant calming and anxiolytic effects, you may be wondering if there is a recommended kavalactones dosage you should start with. The truth is that kavalactones can act on the body in different ways at different doses, which is part of what makes kava such a versatile calming herb: one suitable both for evening recreation, a daytime anxiety aid, and a nighttime sleep aid. In this article I’ve outlined a basic kavalactones dosage range, as well as the effects you can expect to generate at different doses of kavalactones, to help you make an informed decision about your kava consumption.

It may help to acknowledge that we’re talking about a whole class of psychoactive compounds, the kavalactones. There are about 18 distinct types of kavalactone in a typical bowl or tincture of kava, including different kawains and flavokawains. Kavalactones are responsible for kava root’s calming, anxiolytic, and in some cases euphoric effects. A full spectrum extract or tincture of kava will also include secondary compounds found in the roots such as the anti-oxidant glutathione, which researchers have suggested may have a protective effect on the liver when it is consumed in a traditional kava brew. If you want the convenience of taking a pill or tincture but with all the authentic effects of a traditional kava brew, we recommend you invest in a full-spectrum kava extract that preserves the full chemical profile of the root.

The kavalactones dosage in a traditionally prepared cold infusion of kava root can vary drastically, from 150 mg in a four-ounce serving to as much as 500 mg. Furthermore, indigenous peoples in the South Pacific Islands and Hawaii are accustomed to drinking multiple bowls of kava per day; it’s not uncommon for people to consume a kavalactones dosage of up to 2500 mg daily for years at a time. Although there have been no recorded ill effects in indigenous groups that frequently consume these high amounts of kava, the Kava Committee’s recommended kavalactones dosage stands at a maximum of 300 mg per day. The Committee has also recommended that people limit habitual non-medically supervised usage of kava to three months.

Though we believe the historical evidence of kava’s safe use makes these recommended limits somewhat arbitrary, it is important to note that kava may interact harmfully if combined with alcohol and certain prescription drugs that affect the central nervous system, such as anti-depressants and sleep medications. You should always consult a physician before using kava, either medicinally or recreationally, if you take these or similar CNS medications.

A moderate kava dosage can have notable effects in alleviating generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, and insomnia. Commercial kava extracts and pills sold for these purposes usually contain a standardized dosage of kavalactones. Generally speaking, a dosage of between 70-210 mg of kavalactone has been proven clinically effective in treating anxiety. Because the kavalactones dosage is moderate, it can reduce anxiety while leaving you alert and lucid, making it suitable for daytime use. Similar doses of between 150 and 200 mg of kavalactones, taken 30 minutes to an hour before bed, can help encourage quicker sleep onset and better quality of sleep for people suffering from insomnia.

There are also a number of ways to sample kava’s more potent recreational effects. One of our favorite delivery methods has to be the concentrated kavalactone paste offered by some vendors, with a verified kavalactone content of anywhere from 30-84% kavalactone by weight. You can eat a dollop of straight kavalactone paste, mix it into milk or juice, or add it to another kava preparation to heighten the brew’s effects. And because kavalactone paste is so concentrated, you only need to consume a pea-sized amount to feel notable relaxation, enhanced sociability, euphoria and more of kava’s satisfying effects.

As discussed, the method of preparation has a real effect on the dosage of kavalactones in your average serving. If you’re preparing kava for yourself at home, some things to keep in mind are temperature, emulsion ingredients, and of course your own personal tolerance to kavalactones, which varies by individual. It’s important to use only the root in your kava preparations, which is liver-safe and the only part of the plant used in indigenous preparations. Kava root also contains the highest concentrations of kavalactones, especially in the small lateral roots which grow along the surface of the soil. When making a kava brew or tea, it’s important not to heat your water beyond 140 degrees Fahrenheit because the root’s active kavalactones have been shown to break down at temperatures higher than this. Finally, while the traditional kava brew is typically a suspension of root matter in cold water, if you’re working with a pure kavalactone extract or full-spectrum paste, you may want to mix it with a fatty liquid such as milk or coconut milk as some of kava’s active ingredients are only fat-soluble rather than water-soluble.

Beyond these guidelines, your own personal tolerance and body chemistry will affect the kava dosage you need to take for a pleasurable effect, just as different people have differing tolerances for alcohol. The best way to find your ideal kavalactones dosage is to start with a small amount and increase the dosage over time as you become familiar with the effects it generates for you. People who are naïve to kavalactones may not feel anything their first few times (a phenomenon called reverse tolerance), but for those who have patience in working with this plant, kava can be a marvelously gentle herb to relax with at the end of the day or turn to whenever you need a dose of calm.

25 Responses

  1. The Kava Kava 84% Kavalactone Paste is usually ready to use?
    Must be filtered or go directly diluted in water?
    with 5grammi how many cups you can do?

  2. Osvaldo,

    We only offer 55% Kavalactone Paste; the highest that is recommended by the FDA. So, I can only speak to that Kavalactone Paste, and yes, it’s ready to use. Typically, 2 pea-sized amounts equal a single dose. You can blend it in water, simply eat it directly out of the jar, or mix it with your favorite smoothie. Whatever way you choose, Kava is a safe and effective dietary supplement that only requires imagination and experimentation to enjoy fully!

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

  3. Greetings,

    I just ordered some powdered root and paste and I was looking for information regarding the best way to imbibe Kava regarding stomach contents. Put simply, will Kava have any effect if there is food in the stomach and is it preferable, or not, to take it on an empty stomach?

    I was concerned about possible stomach upset.

    Any thoughts or links to pertinent information would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!

  4. i bought some kava powder herb from halth food store and im seeking relief for anxiety and panic attacks. i have been putting it in hot green tea. is this temperature too hot? not sure how much to use as dosage. any help would b nice …i put a tblspn in tea and feel a little calm but but still having slight anxiety

  5. The magic number for the destruction of Kavalactones is 140 degreed Fahrenheit. So, if you boil your water for tea, you’re most-likely steeping it at 180 degrees or so. That destroys the active components of Kava Kava. We recommend getting an inexpensive thermometer and ensuring you don’t get your hot water above 140 degrees or heating your water for tea in a microwave instead.

    Strangely enough, though, we have many reports of people cooking with Kava in things like brownies and cookies (although Kava is not approved for use as a food ingredient, so we don’t post these stories), and having the results be quite powerful.

    Hope this helps!

    Bryan Kava

  6. As we often say; every person is uniquely different. The best way to find out what works best for you is to experiment. I prefer an empty stomach when taking my Kava supplements (in the form of a freshly extracted drink) to maximize the pleasant effects. But, I know a few people who must consume their Kava with a meal because they do get a little queasy when taking their Kava.

    Have fun, enjoy, listen to your body and the plant, and let it guide you to the best way to enjoy this ancient drink.

    Bryan Kava

  7. Attila,

    Ingredients such as soy lecithin are useful because they accelerate the release of kavalactones in a kava drink. Since kavalactones are responsible for the calming effects that kava is known for, lecithins of all kinds can increase the potency of kava drinks. We do offer soy lecithin for sale, and if you would like to learn a little bit more we have a whole article that you can read here:

    Kava.com Team

  8. I drink Yogi Kava Stress Relief which are in tea bags. I usually use 3 teabags and then refrigerate my teacup leaving the tea bags for next day. I then add one tea bag. After a few days, I dump these and start over. I have anxiety, am a small middle aged person. Does this dosage sound OK?

  9. Mas,
    Sounds like you have developed a unique system for making kava tea! Using 3 teabags will produce a stronger-than-average kava drink but nothing that will overwhelm. The Yogi tea contains a mild dose of kavalactone compared to the brew that you would get by using our powdered kava root, so more than one teabag may actually be a good idea. High temperatures can also reduce the potency of your kava tea, so its a good idea to avoid heating your water to more than 140 degrees.
    Team Kava

  10. Hey guys, new to the kava thing, looking for alternate methods to pain management with all the Kratom crackdown. I just received the paste and tried the 1/8th Tsp dose as recommended. My problem is the nausea. At first I ingested straight from the teaspoon, then I tried the “hot” tea this morning (<140), with the latter method resulting in my vomiting back up. I am an ER RN , so it takes quite a bit to get me to vomit on anything, but for some reason, the smell of the paste seems to be having that effect. Any tips greatly appreciated

  11. Scott,

    Sorry to hear about the nausea that you experienced from the paste. First off i would recommend against trying to use the paste to make tea. Due to the cookie-dough consistency of the paste, it does not mix well with the water and you can end up with small chunks of paste floating in your drink.

    I think the best thing for you may be to consider a different product, like capsules. Capsules can offer the same stress-fighting benefits as the paste without the taste (or smell). Our ‘Awa Calm capsules are a great option for people who want to manage anxiety or simply relax after a long day.

    Team Kava

  12. I read an article on the positive and negative of using kava. The positive use of kava seems to be what I am looking for although I am very concerned about the negative which was mainly liver damage. Severe liver damage in some cases but it did not state dosage or length of use. Can you shed some light on how kava can cause liver damage? I feel that I am missing some facts!

  13. Y Somers,

    Kava is now widely accepted to be an exceedingly safe herbal supplement. 15-20 years ago there was a lot talk about a possible link between kava and liver damage, those concerns have been thoroughly debunked. This was thanks in large part to an extensive study conducted by the World Health Organization which found no links between kava use and liver issues. Yu can read about it here: https://kava.com/kava-side-effects/

    It is now understood that impure or adulterated kava was being widely sold during the 1990s and early 2000s, and this was responsible for negative health effects. It didn’t have anything to do with kava dosage or frequency of use. The good news is that oversight of the kava industry has been tightened significantly. All licensed kava distributors, including us, are required follow manufacturing guidelines that prevent inferior kava from ending up in the hands of customers.

    If you have any further questions you may contact us at [email protected].

    Team Kava

  14. Hello,
    I just purchased 4 oz of KAVA 70% KAVALACTONES EXTRACT (YELLOW PIPER METHYSTICUM). I am trying to taper off of opiates and the Kava is one of my methods to taper. How much should I take? I have “00” capsules to put the powder in. I am a 37 5’1 tall and 115 pound woman.
    Your help would be GREATLY appreciated!
    Thanks in advance,

  15. MP,

    Did you purchase your kava product from our company? If so there will be instructions and dosing recommendations on the label. I would recommend starting with the recommended dose and then either increasing or decreasing the dosage until you find a level that feels comfortable to you.

    Filling capsules is perfectly fine, and keep in mind that you can purchase pre-filled capsules (in several varieties!) directly from us.

    Team Kava

  16. For the someone who has never even heard of kava as an anxiolytic (or even seen kava anywhere except for the yogi tea one)…. and who has not the time to hardly even type this message (exaggerating lol), let alone engage in any elaborate or thorough research on the proper type of kava to take – would anyone be willing to help this novice out? Dreadfully long story short – my predominant symptoms that are hugely impeding almost every area of my life right now are intense, very intense, constant round the clock anxiety, angry mood swings and severe irritability. Depression too but I’m just used to that and am more desperate to attack the anxiety symptoms. So I don’t have time (yet) to prepare the rudimentary stuff…and would definitely need something on the go. Either capsule, tea (if it can be microwaved?), tincture maybe? Not sure about any of this stuff really. Truly a newbie. But I need something potent and something that would preferably kick in fast and not take days to build up. However if that’s not how kava works, I’m still sticking with it because of its almost universally positive reviews in regards to anxiety. I’ve tried dipping into some research today on my day off, and I’m just …so confused. I’ll be honest I’m horrific at math and reading all the different warnings about this dosage needing this percent and milligrams vs percent and micro-something vs make sure it’s not pure root etc etc. Headache. So, starting with capsules, assuming they can calm anxiety at least within a day….what would be the absolute most optimal brand? If you have a link that’d be great. If not, what numbers/phrasing should I look for on the box of capsules and what numbers/phrasing should I look to avoid? Also teas or any other on the go type stuff. I know I sound like an idiot (I am, with this stuff)….but I’m desperate. 7 years of innumerable psychiatric medications and therapies which have rendered me worse, not better, and which I am thankfully almost completely done with (tapering off my last four)….I need relief. So badly. Cannot bear this aggressive anxiety and irritability. Please help with some recommendations, anyone. Thank you so much!

  17. Lauren,

    Thanks for reaching out to us. If you are looking for a strong anti-anxiety kava product that is quick and easy, I’d recommend either our ‘Awa Calm Capsules https://kava.com/shop/awa-calm-capsules/ or our Full Spectrum Paste https://kava.com/shop/full-spectrum-kavalactone-paste-55/

    Both of these products contain kavalactone extract, are quite potent, and do not require preparation. For dosing you will want to start with 2-3 capsules or 1/8th teaspoon of paste.

    If you want to learn more you can check out this article on kava basics: https://kava.com/where-do-i-begin/

    You can also check out the Kava.com online library for hundreds of blog articles on all things kava.

    Team Kava

  18. Does Kava have a similar taste to black coffee? I keep reading that it tastes bitter and may be too strong for some people to handle, this brought straight black coffee to mind. I’m very new to all of this (just discovered it this morning) and if I can’t stand bitter things. So in conclusion what does kava taste like?

  19. Hi,
    Thank you for your question and interest in Kava. Yes, the taste of kava is pretty bitter but we would not compare it with coffee, as the taste is pretty different. It is not the same bitterness. Good news is that you can put kava in your favorite drink: smoothie, milk, or juice and enjoy your kava without the “strange” taste of it.
    Team Kava

  20. Hey there, I’m looking for some advice on the best method to take the 55% Kava Paste. What would provide the most efficient absorption? Under the tongue, under the top or bottom lip, or just swallowing it?


  21. Hi Austin,
    We usually recommend to dissolve the paste under the tongue, however, as you are supposed to let it dissolve for around 20 minutes, placing it under the bottom lip may be more comfortable.

    Team Kava

  22. I’m not exactly sure what you are asking, but the maximum daily dose of Kavalactones, as suggested by the FDA is 290mg total. Our packaging on each of our products gives you the exact Kavalactone content in each of our Kava products, making it easy for you to calculate out what is best for you each day.

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