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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Drinks and Food A couple questions about Kava
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A couple questions about Kava
Kono
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Joined: Oct 08, 2003
Posts: 1266
From: Orlando
Posted: 2004-01-12 6:03 pm   Permalink

I got my first order of ground kava root from Fiji today and I'm looking forward to trying it. I did a search and read all the old threads.

A couple questions: Is there any morning after effect? Most of what I've read has suggested that there's not, but Gecko mentioned it's good to not have to go to work the next day. Gecko's descrip of him and WeirdUncle's kava bar experience has got me quite stoked.

Alnshely, in an old post, said that they got an order from Kava King and would post a follow up report. I couldn't find one. How was it? Anyone else have Kava King product? I'm sure that S&H from Ormond Beach FL would be much easier on the pocketbook than from Fiji, as long as the product was comparable.

Thanks


 
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Alnshely
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Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 974
From: Oceanside CA
Posted: 2004-01-12 7:38 pm   Permalink

My first experience with kava was root that came from Fiji. It was much stronger than The Kava King Kava. I purchased Kava on Maui in April last year and found it to be mild as well. last October Shelley and I were lucky enough to attend the Kava Festival At the Foster Botanical Garden. Where I purchased yet more Kava. I have yet to sample this latest acquisition. I have not, as yet, experienced any hangover from any Kava. Heed Geckos warning, do not forgo caution.

I found dealing with Kava King to be easy and quick, just very mild. The Kava from Oahu is sold by "Kava by Rex" 1-808-284-1786. I will try it tonight and let you know.
Mahalo,
Al



[ This Message was edited by: Alnshely on 2004-01-12 19:41 ]


 
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cybertiki
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Joined: Jun 28, 2003
Posts: 234
From: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posted: 2004-01-28 7:34 pm   Permalink

Greetings; I've been fiddling around with kava lately (big shock for those who have met me), and thought since a few people here are obviously interested in this amazing South Pacific herb that has been in use for many centuries, that I'd share my own experiences.

DISCLAIMER!!! I'd must start by saying that it really depends on what you want to achieve with the kava. Quite honestly, I began this as a search for an antianxiety substance, because my work is extremely stressful, and I wanted to bring myself down a couple of notches without impairing my ability to think; data security and cryptography are fairly serious businesses and I can't do much on Mai-Tai's! I'd also add that before using ANY psychoactive substance, you should inform yourself and be very clear on the benefits and risks associated with it's use. My experience is presented here as an informational resource for those who are going to experiment anyway - not an encouragement to use a substance about which very little empirical research has been conducted. Finally, remember that the effect of any substance will vary from individual to individual depending upon weight, tolerance, and stomach contents (for ingested substances). In my case you can put me down at 275, with a moderate to high tolerance for even the most potent opiates, and for the list below, everything was done on an empty stomach - deliberately to intensify the effect of the kavalactones.

I started out by reading two books; "Kava, The Miracle Antianxiety Herb" by Ray Sahelian, M.D.; and "Kava, Nature's Answer to Stress, Anxiety, and Insomnia" by Hyla Cass, M.D., and Terrence McNally. Between these two books, and previous experience with psychoactive substances, I figured I had a fair handle on what to expect - huh.

It appears that there are significant differences in the products that you can buy locally and on the internet, although all of the products have worked to some extent. I'm guessing that the differing concentrations of kavalactones and the somewhat foggy labeling for the products (regarding the exact concentration of active substances) are coming into play. I'm certain that the concentrations on raw products from the South Pacific vary with each batch. I'll list the few products I've tried, going from best (meaning that it provided the most effect) to worst. Bear in mind that even the worst product on the list is still superior to St. Johns Wort in terms of anxiety relief ... but then the concentrations that I've been using are fairly high. Also remember - heat destroys the kavalactones, so if you're experimenting, you have to use cool or room temperature liquids in the mix with the kava.

***** A1 Grade powdered Waka ( Kava Root), powder
Source:
http://www.fijikava-kava.com/facts.html, produced in Fiji
Concentration: Not labeled, est. 60-80mg. per tbsp.
Amount Consumed: 10 tbsp. 600-800mg. Kavalactones .
How Consumed: Blend for three minutes with 2 cups coconut water and one banana. See note for other method.
Taste: Godawful - think uni sushi. A genuine barfer, but at least it stays down once you get it down.
Time to first effect: 5 minutes
Time to maximum effect: 13 minutes
Duration of effect: 120+ minutes
Comments: If this were a drink, I'd call it a Kava Hammer. Fast onset, loss of visual focus, some loss of coordination - feels like you're holding onto things and you just drop them. Nose and lips numb. REALLY relaxed, music sounds GREAT, my broken tooth stopped hurting so there is significant analgesic effect. Bottom line is that this was a bit too much for just "relaxation", and tasted too horrible to be recreational. I've since reduced the quantity to three tablespoons in one cup of coconut water or passion fruit juice with a banana, and the effect is quite nice. The flavor is still worse than the Extra Strength Gaia Liquid extract (below), but it's easier to get down at a lower concentration.

Note: This stuff was awful, so I tried to get a pure extract out of the powder. I blended 1/2 cup of the powder with two cups of coconut water, 3 tbsp. olive oil, and 1 tbsp. liquid lecithin (8 minutes). The reason for using oils is because some of the active ingredients are water soluble, and others are soluble only in oil. After blending I extracted the liquid (I got rid of my centrifuge years ago and I knew I'd regret it eventually). The resulting liquid looked like coffee with cream and an oily film. Taste was sweeter and spicy like clove/allspice. Total yield was about 1.5 cups. I drank this straight, and the result was VERY good, though not nearly as strong as the original drink described above. I'm guessing that the resulting drink had something on the order of 400-500 mg. of kavalactones, but this was a lot of work just to make the drink more palatable. Personally, I'd prefer to just choke down the whole thing, pulp and all.

***** Gaia Herbs Kava Kava Root Extra Strength, Liquid Extract
Source: Nutrition Smart (local 'GNC' type store), produced in Vanuatu
Concentration: Standardized - kavalactones 25mg. per dose of 10 drops
Amount Consumed: 7-8 doses (3/4 tsp.) = 200mg. kavalactones .
How Consumed: Dilute extract in one cup coconut water or Passion Fruit Juice, stir vigorously.
Taste: Moderately bad, but it grows on you. Numbs the mouth like a shot of Chloraseptic.
Time to first effect: 10 minutes
Time to maximum effect: 25 minutes
Duration of effect: 90 minutes
Comments: Mellow, but alert, clear vision, enhanced hearing, music sounds sharp, fairly relaxed. Moderate analgesic quality.

**** Eclectic Institute, Fresh Freeze-Dried Kava "Nakamal" Fresh Kava Juice, capsules
Source: Nutrition Smart (local 'GNC' type store), Manufacturer claims to use "Specific Chemotype of Vanuatu Kava"
Concentration: Standardized(?) - Claims kavalactones 76.5mg. per capsule. I'm guessing this number is high or the batch I have is degraded - these are more likely about 40-50mg. per capsule.
Amount Consumed: 4-8 capsules = 200-400mg. Kavalactones .
How Consumed: Open capsules and dissolve in one cup coconut water, or take pills directly.
Taste: Moderately bad with the coconut water, moderate mouth numbing.
Time to first effect: 10 minutes in coconut water 15 minutes in capsule
Time to maximum effect: 30 minutes
Duration of effect: 60 minutes
Comments: Mellow, alert, clear vision, fairly relaxed, not long lasting. Moderate analgesic quality.

*** Pacifico Nature (Cosmecal), Sirop au Kava, Kava Syrup
Source: http://www.cosmecal.com/indexf.htm, New Caledonia
Concentration: Claims kavalactones 7mg. per gram (I believe that's roughly 100mg. per tbsp.)
Amount Consumed: 1 tbsp. = 100mg. kavalactones .
How Consumed: Straight up.
Taste: Sweet - would taste nice in tea - but heat destroys kavalactones, so iced tea would be good.
Time to first effect: 20 minutes
Time to maximum effect: 30 minutes
Duration of effect: -60 minutes
Comments: Clear but minor effect - but this was a very small dosage. For full effect I'm going to try 3 tbsp. next time around and see what happens. This is the least offensive of all the products I've tried so far. The Cosmecal products have a relatively low concentration of kavalactones, so you have to consume a fair amount for maximum effect.

*** Pacifico Nature (Cosmecal), Kava tablets, capsules
Source: http://www.cosmecal.com/indexf.htm, New Caledonia
Concentration: Claims kavalactones 17mg. per capsule
Amount Consumed: 10 capsules = 170mg. kavalactones .
How Consumed: swallowed with water
Taste: None
Time to first effect: 15 minutes
Time to maximum effect: 20 minutes
Duration of effect: 60 minutes
Comments: Again, a minor effect. I'm sure the effect would be good in higher dosage, but the pills only come 50 per bottle. On the upside, and much to Cosmecal's credit, these are an antianxiety supplement, and you don't need to have the "Nakamal" (kava bar) experience every time you use it to experience the benefit of anxiety relief. The Pacifico Nature packaging is very nice, and these are probably some of the most marketable kava products out there. The labels and instructions are primarily in French (naturally) and the English translations could use a bit of work, but otherwise, very nice products.

So. those are the results so far, I have several other products on the way and if anyone is interested, I'll be glad to post my results online, or to PM with anyone who wants to take this off the public forum.

Cheers!

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Basement Kahuna
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Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 3591
From: Jawja Province, Isle of North America
Posted: 2004-01-28 9:57 pm   Permalink

You know I've never tried the stuff (shameful...) I'm gonna get me some o'dat.

 
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#54
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Joined: Jan 21, 2004
Posts: 27
Posted: 2004-01-28 10:17 pm   Permalink

Ever try it up the nose?

 
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Basement Kahuna
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Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 3591
From: Jawja Province, Isle of North America
Posted: 2004-01-28 10:40 pm   Permalink

I guess if you're retarded enough that....still wouldn't work.

 
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Unga Bunga
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Joined: Jun 06, 2003
Posts: 5822
From: CaliTikifornia
Posted: 2004-01-29 12:42 am   Permalink

Here's a cool kava website.

http://www.mauigateway.com/~kava/

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cybertiki
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Joined: Jun 28, 2003
Posts: 234
From: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posted: 2004-01-29 07:36 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2004-01-28 22:17, #54 wrote:
Ever try it up the nose?



Hmmmmm ... one of the books I referenced, makes mention of an "oral spray" but I haven't seen a nasal spray delivery system on the market yet.

Personally, I don't think I'd try snorting the raw or freeze dried powder and I certainly wouldn't recommend it.

My experience with the high concentration raw powder convinces me that kava can be extremely potent, and I'm really not looking for that level of effect. Also, I'd be somewhat hesitant since Kava is in the pepper family (as in black pepper, not capsicum). The powder even tastes a little 'peppery', and I don't rank a dose of pepper up the nose as a pleasurable experience (sneezing jokes aside).

With that said, just out of curiosity, if anyone has tried it I'd be interested to hear their experience.

_________________
Stay on the beach. The natives over there are cannibals.
They eat liars with the same enthusiasm as they eat honest men.

http://www.cybertiki.com

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Kava King
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Joined: Sep 20, 2002
Posts: 217
From: Kensington-on-Avondale
Posted: 2004-01-29 11:11 am   Permalink

First(ly), I am NOT associated with the brand "Kava King", I just enjoy it and chose it for my TC handle. I'm still educating myself to its relative merits/dangers and would never recommend it to anyone without a huge disclaimer.
Personally, I enjoy Kava's calming effects and don't have any more apprehension about using it than I do for so-called "approved" prescription medicines.
Considering Kava? Why not at least read this statement from the FDA & Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, and decide for yourself:

" Liver-related risks associated with the use of kava have prompted regulatory agencies in other countries, including those in Germany, Switzerland, France, Canada, and the United Kingdom, to take action ranging from warning consumers about the potential risks of kava use to removing kava-containing products from the marketplace. Although liver damage appears to be rare, FDA believes consumers should be informed of this potential risk.
Kava-containing products have been associated with liver-related injuries including hepatitis, cirrhosis, and liver failure -- in over 25 reports of adverse events in other countries. Four patients required liver transplants. In the U.S., FDA has received a report of a previously healthy young female who required liver transplantation, as well as several reports of liver-related injuries.
Given these reports, persons who have liver disease or liver problems, or persons who are taking drug products that can affect the liver, should consult a physician before using kava-containing supplements".

No authority I, but some of these warnings seem a little over zealous.


[ This Message was edited by: Kava King on 2004-01-29 11:12 ]


 
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cybertiki
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Joined: Jun 28, 2003
Posts: 234
From: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posted: 2004-01-29 3:08 pm   Permalink

I would agree that this is an over zealous approach to kava - but then there are a lot of really stupid people out there who probably need the warning.

Most OTC medicines, including Tylenol, and Advil can also harm your liver. Alcohol, as we all know, can harm your liver. That doesn't mean you shouldn't use these things, it just means that there is a measure of caution and common sense involved when consuming any substance.

There is really very limited research on Kava available, and warnings such as this one are based largely on anecdotal evidence; the scientific studies that have been conducted (with one possible exception) have been upon groups that are too small to provide any sort of statistical accuracy in terms of identifying side effects or dangers of the substance.

One thing that does seem clear, however, is that as an antianxiety agent in low doses for limited periods of time, Kava can be a superior (and far safer) alternative to the commonly prescribed Benzodiazepines.

Anyone who has questions regarding the safety of any substance they intend to ingest, needs to inform themself thoroughly, and if in doubt, should consult their physician for advice.

_________________
Stay on the beach. The natives over there are cannibals.
They eat liars with the same enthusiasm as they eat honest men.

http://www.cybertiki.com

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cybertiki
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Joined: Jun 28, 2003
Posts: 234
From: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posted: 2004-01-30 2:05 pm   Permalink

Here's an article I found on the incidents of liver damage caused by Kava.

UH scientists may have solved kava mystery

By Kevin Dayton
Monday, April 7, 2003 Honolulu Advertiser Big Island Bureau HILO, Hawai'i
http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2003/Apr/07/ln/ln03a.html



A team of University of Hawai'i scientists may have solved the mystery of why some Europeans who used products containing kava extract suffered severe liver damage, prompting a number of nations to ban sales of the herbal supplement.

The culprit may be a compound found in the stem peelings and leaves of the kava plant known in Hawai'i as 'awa but not in the roots that are used to make the traditional kava drink consumed by Pacific Islanders. Just to be safe, people should avoid tea or anything else made from the leaves or stems of the plant, according to C.S. Tang, professor of molecular biosciences and biosystems engineering at UH-Manoa.

Bans in Singapore, Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom and elsewhere wiped out pharmaceutical sales of kava and virtually destroyed it as an export crop in Hawai'i. While kava supplements are not banned in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration issued an advisory in March 2002 warning of the potential risk of severe liver injury from dietary supplements containing kava. The health alarms left farmers in Hamakua and elsewhere with crops that were hardly worth harvesting.

Experts were unable to explain how a plant used in island cultures for 2,000 years could suddenly be so toxic, causing liver damage that was fatal in some cases. Now researchers led by Tang believe they may have found the key: Peelings from the stem bark of kava plants apparently were used to create the extract for the herbal supplements, and may be to blame for liver failure and liver-related injuries that included hepatitis and cirrhosis.

Traditional kava drinkers discard the peelings, but Tang and his team learned from a trader in Fijian kava that European pharmaceutical companies eagerly bought up the peelings when demand for kava extract soared in Europe in 2000 and 2001. "Peelings are traditionally avoided by the kava drinkers with good reason," Tang said. "If you don't respect the traditional use or people who learn by experience, if you don't respect that, you might get yourself in trouble."

Supplements containing kava are promoted as remedies for sleeplessness and menopausal symptoms.

Drinking kava has not been associated with liver damage.

In Europe, where most of the health problems occurred, kava extract is used in capsule form, and the cases of liver damage apparently involved people who took the capsules, the scientists reported.

In a research paper accepted for publication in the scientific journal Phytochemistry, researchers Klaus Dragull, W.Y. Yoshida and Tang report they found an alkaloid called pipermethystine in tests of stem peelings and kava leaves. Pipermethystine also was present in lower concentrations in the bark of the stump but was not found in the root itself. The root is what is used to make the traditional drink.

Preliminary tests by researcher Pratibha Nerurkar show pipermethystine has a "strong negative effect" on liver cell cultures. If peelings containing the alkaloid were used to make kava capsules and the scientists suspect they were that could explain the liver damage in some of the people who took the capsules.

The peelings were available during the kava boom because kava drinkers in the Pacific didn't want them, and the stem peelings contain high levels of kavalactones, the ingredient in kava that provides its calming effects. The Fijian kava dealer reported the peelings had emerged as a very important trading item because "it's cheap and it's a waste product by the kava drinkers, therefore the pharmaceutical companies, they love it and it became part of the trade," Tang said.

The UH researchers also learned that the analysis method used by some companies to test plant products could not detect the difference between the alkaloids and kavalactones, "and therefore they mistakenly thought there's no problem, that it's similar stuff," Tang said. "I'm fairly optimistic that we are on the right track, because everything seems to be falling into the picture because of the use of peelings," Tang said. "But like any scientist, I would say that nothing is final until our results are accepted by the regulatory agencies."

If the researchers are right, kava could again emerge as a viable export crop. But that could take quite awhile. At its peak in 2001, the state Department of Agriculture estimates there were 65 farms in Hawai'i growing kava, but growers agreed that has dropped off dramatically.

Matthew Archibald, vice president of operations for Agrinom, an agricultural company in Hakalau on the Big Island, said the UH research is an important step in resuscitating the kava industry worldwide, but that it could take years and millions of dollars to rebuild the European market. In August 2001, Agrinom was shipping 50,000 pounds of dried kava a month, grossing $300,000. That operation collapsed two months later when the German government banned sales. "The damage has been done," he said. "For example, we're not going to get into Germany for a very, very long time. There would have to be some major development for us to be able to get back in there. But if someone could open up China, for example, where they're more accepting of herbal medicines in general, that could be a possibility."

Reach Kevin Dayton at kdayton@honoluluadvertiser.com or (808) 935-3916.


_________________
Stay on the beach. The natives over there are cannibals.
They eat liars with the same enthusiasm as they eat honest men.

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SES
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Joined: Sep 14, 2003
Posts: 992
Posted: 2004-01-30 2:45 pm   Permalink

Typical greedy pharmaceutical company behaviour.

 
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freddiefreelance
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Joined: Feb 15, 2003
Posts: 2995
From: San Diego, Ca.
Posted: 2004-05-05 09:12 am   Permalink

I just found an interesting Ethnobotany article on Kava on the LA Arboritum website:

http://www.arboretum.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=getFrontPageFeature&catagory=ethnobotany&FeatureID={6940537B-8C9B-43CD-8147-CE299DF53D1E}&TypeID=1&CFID=1490253&CFTOKEN=17650765

It's a good introduction of Kava & Kava drinking, but probably isn't indepth enough for those who've already investigated Kava elsewhere.
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UtopianDreem
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 02, 2003
Posts: 293
From: LA County, CA
Posted: 2005-06-20 12:59 pm   Permalink

Has anyone tried the kava from Aloha Seed & Herb on Maui? Looks like they sell the powder and also cuttings. The cuttings are only offered for wholesale, though.

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MEAN GENE
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Joined: Jun 09, 2004
Posts: 386
From: San Diego
Posted: 2005-06-20 4:03 pm   Permalink

I was in Fiji in '97 with Rusty Surfboards. Rusty gave me a piece to chew on and it taste like dirt, but it made my mouth numb. We also had a Kava ceremony on Tavarua and I drank 2 Coconut shells full. I think more than anything, it just made me go to sleep fast and hard. 2 was enough for me since it taste like water out of a mud hole. Other people were trying to drink as much as they could to get the full affect.
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