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  • Writer's pictureChloe

Kava FAQ: COVID-19 Style

Hi everyone! We realized there's some questions regarding kava and its uses, safety, and more. A lot of us are looking for ways to help reduce our stress and keep our immune systems strong! One of the most important things you can do for yourself is Pause...and breathe. Below are some frequently asked questions about kava! For more information check out our other blog post about kava:

What’s the best kava for calming during this crazy time?

This is an excellent question with a complicated answer! Kava in general is an amazing natural solution for calming stress and anxiety, but a lot of factors go into choosing the best kava for you personally. These factors include: how your body reacts to kava, what time of day you want to drink it, and what your definition of “calm” is. If you’re looking to drink some kava while you’re going about your day, perhaps working and socializing (from a distance of course!), I would recommend an uplifting and heady kava such as Pouni Ono. This kava is great for daytime use because it should not make you physically tired while still providing mental relaxation and mood enhancement. On the other hand, if you’d like to drink kava in the evening as a way to relax and unwind before bed I would recommend a heavier kava such as Vanuatu Borongoru. In addition to calming your mind, this kava will make your entire body feel relaxed and tired. It’s a great option for those looking for a natural sleep aid. I always recommend you experiment for yourself to find the best type of kava for your individual needs.

Is kava a natural remedy for anxiety?

Yes! Kava has been used for thousands of years in the South Pacific to naturally treat various ailments such as anxiety, stress, insomnia, and depression. One of the biggest reasons people turn to kava instead of prescription medications is to avoid addiction and potential side effects. Unfortunately, there has not been a large amount of research conducted to support its use as a treatment for anxiety. However, several studies suggest it is more effective than a placebo. There are many personal anecdotes supporting the use of kava as a successful solution to anxiety.

What is kava and what are its effects?

Kava Kava (kava for short) is made from the roots of Piper methysticum and is usually referred to as simply “kava” for short. It originates in the South Pacific Islands and has been used in rituals, ceremonies, and social gatherings for thousands of years.

Effects of kava consumption start with a slight numbness in your mouth followed by relaxation of both the mind and body. Kava has a reverse tolerance, so you may need a few servings to feel the full effects. Kava relaxes the muscles, eases stress and anxiety, and may even induce a sense of euphoria. Additionally, kava has been researched for its beneficial effects including potential anti-convulsant effects and a natural sleep aid. It has even been shown to protect neurons from damage and reduce sensations of pain. The best part about kava is it does not impair your judgement or leave you with an unwanted hangover the next day.

What is noble kava?

While there are many different types of kava, they all fall into one of two categories: Noble kava and Tudei kava. The difference is in their composition: Noble kavas contain kavalactones that produce positive and pleasant effects, and they can be consumed safely on a daily basis. Tudei kavas have different concentrations of certain compounds/kavalactones that can potentially lead to unwanted effects such as a higher risk of nausea, “hangover’ the next day, and less desirable psychoactive effects.

Noble kava is known for having a good reputation of safe use, and it is the only type of kava we serve here at Pause…Most kava bars adhere to this guideline, and the majority of kava available for purchase in the United States is strictly Noble kava.

How can I make kava?

We can’t give all our secrets away! But if you must know, check out this video I made for my Youtube Channel explaining how to brew your own kava at home:

Does kava cause liver damage?

Sometimes. As much as I would like to say NO, there are some factors that must be taken into consideration. We’ll start in the early 2000s when several reports of liver damage linked to kava consumption were popping up. After investigating, it appeared that the damage had been caused by consuming parts of the kava kava plant that are simply not safe for consumption. As with anything, you need to ensure you are obtaining your kava from a reputable source. In other industries, it is no secret that companies sometimes cut corners to reduce cost and increase profit. With kava, some sellers might use other parts of the plant such as the stem and leaves which is absolutely NOT safe and can lead to liver toxicity. However, for healthy individuals who are not taking medications affecting the liver, all the evidence supports that kava is safe in appropriate dosages. I would also like to add that mixing kava with alcohol has been linked to liver damage (as consumption of alcohol itself is linked to liver damage) and is NEVER recommended.

Is kava addictive?

No, kava has not been shown to be addictive. There is no risk of overdose (you will make yourself sick before anything else happens) , no physical dependency or withdrawal, and tolerance actually seems to go down, not up due to its reverse tolerance effect.

Does kava have medicinal properties?

Yes! Kava has been used for thousands of years to relieve stress and promote relaxation. Unfortunately there have been very few studies on kava’s medicinal properties. However, some preliminary research suggests kava may: protect neurons from damage, reduce sensations of pain, and even reduce the risk of certain types of cancer as evidenced by clinical trials on mice. The majority of research investigates how kava may reduce anxiety


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