Pacific Islanders have been drinking kava for thousands of years as a way to relax and center themselves. A couple years ago a friend who had just returned from Vanuatu turned me onto it; I loved how it helped me turn off and kick back at the end of the day.
But where to begin? With so many resources and information on kava out there getting started can be overwhelming. So below I've compiled a short list of 10 things to consider before you buy kava so you know where to get it, how to take it and how it best fits into your lifestyle.
1. Why Are You Interested in Buying Kava?
This is where everyone should start before they buy kava. The why. Do you feel stressed out and anxious throughout the day? Looking for a way to cut out all the internal chatter when your work is done? Need a little help falling asleep at night? Knowing why you're using it will really help you determine when to take kava, what form you take it in and at what dosage.
I like kava because it helps me turn off the internal dialogue throughout the day. I buy instant kava mix because it’s convenient and fits right into my work day; I usually drink a cup around lunch and again after I get off. I also carry with me a fast-acting kava spray bottle throughout the day in case things go awry.
2. How Will Kava Fit Into Your Daily Routine?
Knowing this before you buy kava will not only help you determine what form of kava to purchase, it will help you spread out your dosage throughout the day. Throwing it in your breakfast smoothie as you run out the door in the morning? Opt for some instant kava. Using it several times throughout the work day? Get a form that's fast-acting with precise dosing like a kava extract or another type of concentrate. Relaxing at the end of a long day and just want to get to sleep? Try a scoop of kava paste.
3. In What Form Will You Buy Kava?
Kava is readily available and easy to buy if you know where to look. You can buy instant kava, kavalactone paste, kava spray, kava tincture, kava capsules and you can even try making your own traditional kava brew. Do your research on what type will best fit your lifestyle and what the dosages for each form look like.
4. Where Is Your Kava Sourced From?
When you buy kava it's important to ensure your kava is of a noble variety. In the kava world there is noble and tudei kava; noble kava produces the calming effects that we expect from kava while tudei kava induces feelings of nausea, headaches and other undesirable effects.
5. Buy Kava From A Reputable Distributor
Purchase from a reputable company. Tudei kava is cheaper to grow and therefore has a higher profit margin. Because of this, there are some unscrupulous kava distributors that sell tudei kava and market it as noble kava, knowingly or otherwise.
How can you find a reputable kava distributor? Look at the company's reviews online. Call to speak with someone from the company. Check the prices. If the prices are suspiciously lower than other distributors, they might not be be operating ethically.
6. Can You Perform Work Duties If You Take Kava?
A few years back, The National Center For Biotechnology Information published a study that shows a 180 mg dose of kavalactones (the compounds in kava that are responsible for its calming effects) did not impair driving ability. With that said, if you work a job operating heavy machinery or a job that requires intense focus with potentially severe consequences on a regular basis, we do not recommend you take kava during working hours.
7. Abstain From Alcohol While Using Kava
Let's be clear about this; there is no definitive scientific evidence that kava primarily causes liver damage. That myth has been thoroughly debunked. And if you're drinking alcohol there's a good chance you're not coddling your liver. But there is some evidence that our bodies use similar enzymes to break down both alcohol and kava therefore it is recommended to not consume them at the same time.
8. Is Kava Legal in Your Country?
Kava used to be sold freely in many countries worldwide. After facing scrutiny for claims of kava causing liver damage, a handful of countries banned the sale of kava in the early 2000's. Since then, newer studies have debunked previous evidence as faulty, and many kava restrictions have lessened or have been removed altogether.
Currently, Kava is legal for consumption and sale in most countries. In countries like the UK and Canada, kava is not permitted to be sold in retail stores for commercial distribution, but can be purchased online legally. Kava is now legal in Australia and can be easily bought online.
9. Heed The Daily Recommended Dose Of Kava
Some of us like to think we're Hunter S. Thompson when it comes to ingesting substances and supplements, and that's great, but we're not. The Kava Committee recommends no more than 300mg/day of kava, so make sure you take that into consideration for your daily kava usage.
10. Before You Buy Kava, Do Your Research
Kava is an incredible natural solution for stress management, relaxation, and as a stepping-stone to healthier living. If used correctly it can help you drastically improve both your personal and professional life, and using it correctly is the key. So before you buy kava, do your research and consider the above 10 points so that you have the best kava experience possible.