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Kava Kava Experiences

By Cody Smith

Published December 16, 2021

“The only time you’ll see me run is if someone is chasing me … with a gun.”

“Will run for tacos.”

“I have tried running, but I kept spilling my wine.”

Mmmhmm. We know some of you hate running. Like, you really hate it. You’d rather do seventy-five loads of laundry before going for a run. 

You are the people who equate running to torture. When you run, your legs feel like two jumbo hams attached to led boots. When you run, you can hear yourself huffing and puffing … and you don’t like it. 

But.

Some of you absolutely love running. You get those awesome endorphins. When you run, it’s like the world fades away and you have space to think and breathe deeply. Running is your ME time. 

You can literally not imagine your life without running in it. Pounding the pavement feels like freedom to you. You look forward to your daily run and can’t wait to log more miles.

These experiences are vastly different. And there are all sorts of experiences that sit in the middle of the two. Some people never get endorphins. Some people have to run three miles before their bodies start to feel decent. 

Running experiences can be different depending on your body shape, your shoes, your nutrition, and/or your training program. If you don’t know the right plan to give you the best experience … Well, you may never know if you can have a good experience. 

There are so many factors that play into our experiences in life. This is true for a number of things. Some people are very sensitive to caffeine, while others barely notice it. Maybe you can drink milk and eat cheese all day with zero adverse effects while somebody would be bloated and done in by stomach cramps.

We’re not going to go into detail about any of those experiences. We’re here to talk about experiences with kava kava, otherwise simply known as kava.

 

Kava Kava Experiences

Kava experiences have been occurring for centuries. The first people to indulge in kava kava are those native to the islands of the South Pacific where the plant is native.

The island people figured out what the roots of the kava plant could do several generations ago and have been using it ever since. They know there are well over one hundred varieties, and they grind up those roots to prepare them for the release of their amazing properties.

Native island cultures have made kava a part of their traditional ceremonies. Grinding kava and drinking it together is part of everyday island life. Of course … their version of grinding often means taking a chunk of the root, chewing it up, and spitting it into a bowl, mixing it with a bit of coconut milk, and drinking it.

That’s right. Chugalug on a drink that was already chewed and spat out by one of your friends. Yummy. 

Show of hands. Who would rather learn about less spit-laden experiences with kava? 

Let’s talk about first-hand kava experiences. We have several to share with you. 

 

Kava Experience #1

How long have I used kava for? I first discovered kava when I worked part-time in a health food store somewhere in the middle of England around the age of 20. I don’t even remember how I heard about it, other than a brief period of studying phytotherapy (a sort of science-based medical herbalism) and diligently reading the herbal information books behind the counter every time I got a spare second."

"I was feeling stressed and anxious at the time (life, I guess). I was young, feeling a bit lost, not feeling like I ‘fitted-in’ anywhere, a bit directionless, and being somewhat sensitive to energies, I was easily rattled and had a bit of an ongoing state of ‘fight-or-flight’. After reading about the benefits of kava, I took some and almost immediately felt ‘ahhhhhhhhhhhh’ – serenity in the storm. The relief and the calm I experienced was incredible. I felt relaxed yet my mind felt sharper and clearer. It seemed to quickly lessen the panicked ‘flight’ response from anxiety triggers, immediately putting me back in the driver seat of my own emotions."

My experience of kava: Imagine the relaxation effect you might get from a drink of wine, yet with none of the drowsiness or other side effects.

“In some places, you get Kava Bars to go and drink at!“

"I went into a kava bar in Maui once – we were served pure kava tea in wooden bowls – very ceremonious and beautiful, not to mention incredibly calming. I’ve gotten my kava in Hawaii ever since. Kava Bars are actually a thing! So if you have one near you, go visit."

“I think kava kept me off medication during the toughest of times."

“Fast forward to my mid-forties. I started suffering from anxiety and panic attacks a few years back once again. Mid-life reality check and all that! Kava helped beyond measure to induce an instant calming effect, like a big, loving hug from Mother Earth herself.  I experienced inconsolable grief during that period. Again kava was like an angel sent from above during those challenging times. To be perfectly honest, kava probably kept me off anxiety medication (thankfully, I’ve never taken medication, but my life felt so ripped apart at one point, that I’ve been pretty damn close). For me, kava would mean the difference between a full-blown anxiety attack that brought up every suppressed trauma conceivable all rolled into one OR being able to inhale and exhale calmly and heal myself more gently from a place of peace. Whilst it’s important to honor our ‘stuff’, it reaches a point where a helping hand is just what we need."

“So I am giving a shout out to kava, because in my experiences it has consistently been absolutely awesome on my journey."

“The effects of kava kick in pretty quickly, within 10 to 20 minutes. You might feel an immediate numbing of the lips (totally normal and just a sign that it’s working). It is a muscle relaxant, yet keeps you alert at the same time.”

Thanks, dude. Clearly, this guy loves his kava. Now let’s see what a few more people have to say about their kava experiences.

Next up, we have a young adult who struggles regularly with anxiety.

 

Kava Experience #2

“A bit of relevant background info about me: I am a 19-year-old college student who suffers from fairly heavy Generalized Anxiety Disorder due to a long series of unfortunate events a few years ago. It plagues me daily, and I’ve tried multitudes of things to try and mitigate it. Benzodiazepine meds such as Xanax are the most effective at this, however, the addiction potential behind them keeps me on a very short leash. I take maybe 1 alprazolam bar every month, split across 4, 1/4 bar doses. Even this works for my anxiety, but I don’t dare take it as often as my prescription permits ...

“Due to a very busy work schedule, I find it difficult to dedicate time to making the drink in the traditional way, so I utilize the method outlined on the Kalm with Kava website. For those of you unfamiliar with it, it calls for a single serving of 2-4 tablespoons of kava powder mixed with 8-12 oz of water, then mixed in a blender for 4 minutes. You then pour the mixture through a cloth strainer to remove the root ‘mulch’ left after you strain it. This entire process takes maybe 6 minutes, which fits my schedule much better."

“Wednesday of last week was the first time I tried it, and I was completely enthralled with how well it worked. Since it was my first dose, I used 2 tablespoons of kava powder and 12 oz of water. It smelled like dirt and pretty much tasted the same. (Side note: due to a rare genetic condition, I used to have to drink a mixture of cornstarch and water, which tasted absolutely awful. Because of this, the taste of Kava didn’t bother me in the slightest)."

“I also really liked the feeling of my tongue going numb slowly over the course of 2 minutes or so. Within about 20 minutes, I felt the long-sought sensation of my anxiety dissipating. I was elated. Within another 30 minutes, I was feeling the effects fully and pretty much just laid on my bed and watched TV while enjoying the feeling."

“For my second experience, I decided to do just over double what I had done before, to see how strong the effects could be. After loading the 4.5 tablespoons of powder and 14oz of water into the blender and mixing for 5 minutes, I tossed back all of it as fast as I could."

“This one hit stronger and faster. Within 10 minutes I felt it starting, and by 30 minutes I was under some pretty heavy effects. It felt very similar to the one and only time I took 3mg of alprazolam. Let’s just say it was a good thing I decided not to drive around after drinking it. As good as it felt, I probably won’t do this often (if at all) because it took a sizable dent out of my Kava package. I fell asleep about 3 hours into this one."

“My most recent experience was tonight. My friend also decided he wanted to try it, so I made two batches, each dose containing 3 tablespoons of Kava powder and 12 oz. of water. This is probably my new nighttime dose, as it was strong enough to make me tired and relaxed, but not strong enough that I felt “barred out” or super inhibited."

“My friend almost threw up as he got to the end of his cup, which surprised me because the taste wasn’t an issue for me. I honestly don’t mind it, although it is really strong. I drank it around 5 hours ago and I still am feeling the anxiolytic effects."

“I am absolutely thrilled to discover that Kava does pretty much exactly what I wanted it to do when I first purchased it. I have immense respect for this substance, it’s legality, it’s cost, and pretty much every aspect of it. My insurance is pretty awful, and even if I could afford them, the doctors in my area are very reserved in regards to medication such as Xanax. Not only is Kava safer, I feel much healthier drinking this as opposed to when I take other medications.”

Alrighty. This guy loves his kava. If he only knew that kava drinks don’t have to taste bad. We sure hope he learns about Ü Relax. We’ve done all the mixing and added some purposeful ingredients to enhance your experience while improving the taste.

Not everybody loves all of their kava experiences …

 

Kava Experience #3

“Yes, it was awful. It was more than Tudei - it was a wild Tudei that was probably dug up in the jungle. It made my eyes bounce from side to side and I felt dizzy, very sick. I've also drank moderate amounts of Isa and not had any negative side effects.

“I've overdone Noble many times. The effects are a lot like a little bit of Tudei. Dizziness, double vision, panic. I don't know what some of the stuff was that I drank. But it felt like poison …”

Okay. So, this person could’ve been helped by some research. Research would have revealed that you need to stick to high-quality noble kava and avoid tudei kava at all costs.  

Let’s see what the next guy has to say about kava.

“My experience with kava is probably at best not like most people ... Super super long story slightly less long; growing up my mother was always interested in alternative healing/medicines and in the mid '90s she would talk to the manager of the most local health food store, actually an older hippy type of guy who was very knowledgeable for the time, especially considering this was the mid to late '90s and a rural area of North Carolina (oh boy.)

“During the times that Hurricane Floyd, Frannie, or Francis came through, not sure which one, my mother had anxiety from Floyd which I believe was the first, and asked the manager of the health food store if he had any suggestions for things like anxiety/stress, and he recommended kava.

“Of course, this being the time/place it was, they only had kava tincture and it was most likely "NOW" brand, with the old school brown glass dropper bottle and orange label.

“She bought some, and I, at the age of 7-8 or so, recall us getting in the car at the health food store and before driving off my mother put a whole dropper full of the kava tincture on her tongue, grimaced at the flavor/taste and a couple of minutes later driving she remarked in the calmest, serene voice " A bomb could go off right now and I'd be fine," in such a chill voice that I'd never heard her use, lol ...

“Then after she learned more about it, if I or my siblings were having anxiety, I recall a few times she would give us a little bit in some juice, so I was accustomed to the flavor/taste/numbing and effects at a young age ...

“Then at a somewhat older age, maybe 12 or so, I became more interested in it … I remember at the age of 14 introducing kava to my best friend when we both split an entire dropper, I believe 1oz, and poured it into our coffee, lol ...

“Around this time, a local health food store, now long gone, was selling kava "nibs" of such small pieces of basal root bark, again unknown origin, but I assume Vanuatu by how spicy it was … I couldn't make a drink with them because they were basically as hard as dried pieces of wood …

“I want to say I never felt side effects or tudei-like effects from ANY of this, not dermo, not itching, not nausea, not anything, and no one else I gave any of it did either, so maybe we were just very lucky or didn't have enough dosage ... but I can certainly say drinking a half-ounce of that tincture is some STRONG stuff and felt like a muscle relaxer with some serious loosey-goosey feelings that I've honestly yet to experience from any real quality noble kava powder.

“I do not recommend any of this, I realize it was probably not in the interest of my/others health to consume, especially such large amounts and at a young age, unknown quality/nobility kava tinctures, but this is my history with kava and I basically wanted to say these are the things that happen when a consumer doesn't have ready access to quality products and information, they can end up doing potentially harmful things unknowingly and we all know that big pharm kinda helped that along in the 90s by pushing kava way too hard when they couldn't keep up with demand/quality ...

“I have felt light-headed/dizzy from too much noble kava but it seems to be the high kavain strains when I drink them closely after consuming coffee/caffeine which I have a low tolerance for so that is obviously some kind of interaction and not just the kava itself.

“I've had verified tudei mixed with aerials several times and found it very weak and only mildly satisfying. I can only assume they must have been consistently low in kavalactones. I've also had a couple of bags of average strength tudei (Koniak & Chiefs Jungle which are probably Isa), but it never made me puke, though it is noticeably heavier right out of the gate and I can feel that pushing it could lead to sickness. Like all kavas I've had, it can give me bloat and/or nausea depending on the dose and the day.

“I have had just about every noble kava I can get my hands on, and I have certainly been sickened on a few occasions by verified noble kavas. Strength, dose & sediment all seem to play a role in this happening, as well as my pre-existing stomach sensitivity. I've also been completely drained & foggy the following day after some noble experiences. This has happened with things as heady as Mo'i or as heavy as 245xxx 'medicinal' Vanuatu kava ...

I've been nauseated by kavas of all sorts, including kavas that were unknowns as I drank them. As mentioned earlier, test results have shown them to fall into many categories from good to bad …

“Micronized or super fine ground noble kava is the leading cause of me getting sick or tudei-like symptoms from noble kava.”

Obviously, this guy has had a long history with drinking kava … and partaking without actually doing the research before trying the various types of kava.

 

Kava Experiences in General

Kava experiences may vary depending on the person taking it and the amount used. Typically, people feel relaxed, calm, and more social. Still, others would tell you that they reach a state of euphoria and find themselves to be less inhibited and more outgoing. Then there are those people who partake in kava regularly as a means to reduce their anxiety symptoms and to slow down a racing mind.

Of all these experiences, euphoria seems to be a more common welcome side effect. 

Some people think that kava is like alcohol, and while they do have similar effects, they are certainly not the same. Kava does make you feel more relaxed, more chill in your mood, and a bit more free of inhibitions.

And yet … kava does not give you hangovers or interrupt your sleep pattern. Kava keeps your mind sharp and moves you into a more restful sleep.

What You Need to Know About Kava Experiences

Yes. Each of these kava experiences are different, but they have one thing in common. None of them took the time to research and learn the best way to partake in kava before they tried it. 

Kava experiences can be improved if you pay close attention and know what you are getting into. 

That sounds tedious to some of you, we know. Not to worry. We have done all of the research for you, performed clinical trials, and created a superb blend of the highest quality noble kava with lemon balm, ashwagandha, chamomile, and L-theanine in our Ü Relax tonic.

Take care and don’t mess around with kava. 

That’s all you need for the best kava experience possible. A four-ounce tincture of Ü Relax will do the job. It’s the perfect well-balanced kava drink.