Drinking kava beverages is becoming more widespread in the west and people are wondering what they can expect.
There are certain predictable and consistent effects that kava produces in the average person.
That’s what we take a look at here, but first a word of warning…
What’s in your Kava?
Many popular kava beverages are not based upon traditional preparations of the root, and therefore vary in potency and consistency of effect.
You must first understand how it’s been prepared and what exactly is in it, before you understand its physical effects.
Many of the beverages on the market use kava from a variety of sources and are mixed with other natural “tonics” like valerian root and melatonin. The amount of kava in them therefore varies from trace amounts up to quite large concentrations; this will affect the consistency of the effect they will have.
The effects of Traditional Single Source Kava Beverages
If it’s traditionally prepared kava from a single source, like with Taki Mai drinks, then that’s another matter. The physical effects are far more predictable.
In small to moderate amounts of medium-strength kava, it will produce a calming effect on the mind; there may be a mild sense of euphoria, mental clarity, patience and overcoming inhibitions – it may bring out your more “social” side and will promote a sense of wellbeing.
A relaxation of the muscles occurs and the mouth and throat will usually start to feel numb due to the mild anaesthetic effect of the kavalactones.
Depending on potency, these effects will usually start to be felt inside 20 minutes and can last for a couple of hours or longer.
In larger amounts there can be extreme sleepiness, pupil dilation and bloodshot eyes, and a loss of appetite; but most kava drinks you find out there will not have enough kavalactones (the active ingredient) to produce this effect.
After-Effects of Kava
The effects of kava can stay in the system for up to 9 hours but, unlike with alcohol, there is no “hangover” or dehydrating effect on the body.
There is also no history of addiction to kava amongst the Pacific islanders who have been drinking kava for thousands of years.
So, providing you read the labels on your kava beverages and take the time to understand what’s in them and how they’ve been prepared, you can look forward to the unique and safe relaxation effects of your drink…enjoy!