Kava Kava (Piper methysticum) - Social Anxiety Forum

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post #1 of 136 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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Kava Kava (Piper methysticum)


Kava is a plant that is claimed to reduce stress and anxiety. It is a tranquilizer primarily consumed to relax without disrupting mental clarity. Traditionally it has been used throughout Pacific Ocean cultures. Modern Kava is consumed as a beverage from Kava root powder or in pill form.

More Info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kava
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post #2 of 136 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Works Good But Tastes Awful


(Copied over from old review system)

Posted by xboxfreak
Social Anxiety Background
I blush a lot and my heart starts pounding terribly when I get in social places. I have also been diagnosed with Hyperhidrosis (also known as Excessive Sweating). I believe I also have a very mild case of Depression which I have treated in the past with Fish Oil and St. John's Wort. I have been suffering from anxiety and Hyperhidrosis since I was in 8th grade (now I am in college)

Other Treatments
Xanax - you can see my review on it. Xanax works great for things such as going out on a weekend or a speech. Xanaxworks much better for me than Kava and is probably cheaper. But you do not need a prescription for Kava and Kava is less addictive than Xanax.

Celexa - you can see my review on it. Celexa is more long-term help.

Treatment Experience
Kava helps a lot with anxiety and supports a more positive mood. I also suffer from slight depression although St. John's Wort and fish oil have helped that immensely.

Kava varies quite a bit in different brands. Kavalactones are the main things that give you the calming feeling. You need around 70 mg - 200 mg of Kavalactones to feel a reduction in anxiety.

I would highly recommend getting high grade kava root powder from a reliable online store (just search google). This works much better than pills (which are much weaker). You need to get kava root powder that is at least 4-5 years old and uses strictly lateral roots. You mix it with water and it tastes like crap (but if you can stomach it the effects are probably worth it). I need to try some other recipes and see if I can get it to taste better.

Kava root powder does not cause liver damage. The reason Germany and many other European countries banned it was due to several people having it their system along with alcohol and other drugs. The deaths were attributed to Kava unfairly and independent studies looking into this have said it cannot be blamed on Kava. Plus the Kava they were using was said to be Kava extract with parts of Kava besides the root which can cause liver damage.

Kava is very safe and a much better alternative to alcohol and other drugs that can be damaging to the body.

I have been researching Kava a ton since my mom first told me about it. http://www.erowid.org/plants/kava is an excellent site for experiences and more info about Kava. I have learned a ton from other people's experiences on there.

In the past, I have used weak (2% Kavalactone pills so 12.5 mg of Kavalactones) and I took close to 20 and I started to feel effects but not very strong.

I have used kava root powder maybe 10 times or so. They say take closer to 2-3 Tbsp. I have taken this amount and felt a significant relief of anxiety (but doesn't compare to Xanax). I never have finished my bag of Kava root because I can't stomach the taste anymore.

You should definitely be able to feel the effects of Kava. If you think you are feeling a placebo effect or are not sure, you are not taking enough. You will feel the effects if you dose it correctly.

I have heard tolerance does not build up that much. But there is a reverse tolerance for some people. Meaning that you need to drink Kava a few times before you will feel the full effects.

Kava works great for social anxiety and I am so glad I finally tried the root powder. Otherwise you need to take a lot of pills (depending on their amount of Kavalactones) to get effects. And even then I still think powder is the way to go. I highly suggest you give it a try

Check this forum thread for more information about Kava http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/...va-kava-45974/
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post #3 of 136 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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No effect at all


(Copied over from old review system)

Posted by Micliph
Social Anxiety Background
severe social anxiety for about 1,5 year.

Other Treatments
Citalopram SSRI

Treatment Experience
I tried kava kava in almost all forms and almost all kinds of preparation.

84% kavaloctone paste.
pulverised kava root powder.
kava kava pills.
kavaloctone full spectrum paste.
kava tincture.
kava gooey liquid.

and I got no effect from none of the above mentioned products. I am never gonna buy kava again because I think I am immune to the stuff or something.
But I guess it would be worth a try for everyone with anxiety, because the effects from the herb sounds very nice and anxiolytic.
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post #4 of 136 (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 02:25 PM
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Kava is good in the right circumstances


(sorry to not follow your format here...)

I originally tried kava kava (kava) years back when my anxiety wasn't really full blown. I've tried pill and powder forms. I find it very strange that Drew says it doesn't affect him at all. I know some of my friends have said it's subtle without a high dose, but it is definitely noticeable, for me anyways.

I've had amazing successes here and there with kava. The first few were related to playing solos and juries (end of the semester tests/reviews before the music faculty) during my undergrad education--I majored in music. At this time, my anxiety was just starting to emerge into a problem. I took the recommended dose, on the low side, and found it did wonders to "take the edge off" and allow me to automatically relax my breathing and heart rate and not follow any negative trains of thought. It had a tranquil, peaceful emotional effect as well. But subtle.

Now, years later I had starting having occasional but regular panic attacks. I had all but forgotten about kava, but then I landed an interview for a promotion within my company as I was moving down for school to where the headquarters happened to be. The days before the interview I caught myself drifting into the usual negative thinking that fuels anxiety. I tried to just focus on what I had to say. The day before, a friend suggested kava. I went to the whole foods co-op and got some Yogi brand kava tea. I also had some kava pills of two different brands stashed in my medicine cabinet from a while ago. On the day of the interview, I took 2 pills in the morning (about 60 mg kavalactones), drank a kava tea after one hour, took another pill an hour after that, and a half hour later drank another kava tea.

My interview started in the next half hour, and I was VERY relaxed. I have NEVER done so well and been so at ease for an interview. Oh, this was a phone interview. For me, that is for some reason even MORE nerve racking. I rocked the interview, stuck to my talking points, and totally hit it off with the big execs. Best interview I've ever had and an encouraging experience.

Here's my disclaimer: on the follow-up, in-person interview I did after moving down to my new place, I also used kava tea, two doses (two brewed cups using two different teabags). I noticed, just as in my earlier interview, that I was extremely spacey to the degree of feeling somewhat stoned or medicated. The reason it didn't matter in my first interview is that all of my talking points came up just as I expected. The interview questions were limited in scope even more than I thought, so my rehearsing had completely ingrained my responses so that I didn't have to think about it. On the SECOND interview, however, it was more open-ended, which led me to just trail off and not really have much to say a lot of the time. I'm pretty sure I appeared mildly stoned to the interviewer, which probably cost me the job. On the plus side, I didn't care or get nervous about not having anything to say, which usually is an extreme aggravation for me in interviews. I didn't get nervous much at all.

Kava can work wonders in the right situation, but it can also destroy your ability to think on your feet.

One final note, I've noticed a more immediate and profound effect from the yogi kava tea than any other kava supplement. Weird.
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post #5 of 136 (permalink) Old 08-22-2010, 04:09 PM
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Best Herbal Blend for Anxiety


There are a lot of different herbs that help anxiety, kava, chamomile, valerian blah blah blah,

Anyway, the best are blends and this is the best one I've found. Its a little smelly because of the valerian root in it but way less so than straight valerian which is almost unbearable.
Its called Nerve Blend SP-14 by a company called Solaray I think its about $10/bottle. Works better than anything herbal I've used in the past.
I picked my first bottle up at a health food store but I know my mom orders it online.
I initially used it to calm my nerves so I could sleep but I find I can use it during the day as well as long as I'm not really tired when I take it. I take about two at a time. Even my ex-boyfriend who had a drug habit used it to help sleep and calm down so it is fairly effective most of the time. Sometimes when my anxiety is at its worst it doesn't help enough, but more times than not I just need something so I can feel comfortable enough to go out to dinner or walk into the library or go to sleep. It does help.
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post #6 of 136 (permalink) Old 10-03-2010, 10:51 PM
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I think it has made my anxiety worse.. I'd like to think I imagined it but it happened each time I took it, pill form.. although, the tea that I drank recently did not make me feel worse. it could just be a placebo effect though. when I took it in pill form it was a year or two ago and recently I've been feeling especially unwell..
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post #7 of 136 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 10:10 PM
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no luck


I researched which kava kava to use and the concentrations and all that, I wish I remember the brand so you could avoid it. The brand and it's products got good reviews but it did nothing for me at all. And it was quite expensive.
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post #8 of 136 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 11:18 PM
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I've heard the pills aren't that effective. I tried them myself and they didn't do squat. Never tried the tea.
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post #9 of 136 (permalink) Old 01-29-2011, 09:57 AM
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Hi !

I hear most pill forms of kava are crap.

But I hear the high quality extracts and "pastes" are very effective.

The mainstream pills are misleading in their description of contents (from sites I read), for example: only a fraction of the pills contains the claimed "30% kavaloctones".

I am soon obtaining some 84% kavalactones paste (dose size is 1 - 2 pea sized amounts). I will report back with my results. But be cautious when buying kava, not all of it is good. In fact many leading pill producing brands are no good at all.


-MBL

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post #10 of 136 (permalink) Old 02-11-2011, 02:25 PM
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i just got some kava extract and tried it before school today, it helped alot, but only really helped for about an hour or less. i wrote a more detailed log if anyone is interested.
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post #11 of 136 (permalink) Old 02-12-2011, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sohru View Post
i just got some kava extract and tried it before school today, it helped alot, but only really helped for about an hour or less. i wrote a more detailed log if anyone is interested.
Post it?

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post #12 of 136 (permalink) Old 02-12-2011, 06:36 PM
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ive taken this supplement maybe...30 times. 29 out of 30 times i felt absolutely no change in mood or anxiety relief. but i do remember taken it (in pill form) one day in highschool and i felt a really good euphoria. i wasnt taking anything else either, so it must have been the kava. that one experience made me continue to try it. i even bought the liquid extract, from GNC i think it was. i never felt the feeling again from it, and i gave up on it.
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post #13 of 136 (permalink) Old 02-12-2011, 06:44 PM
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7:20- took 40 drops in a little water, pulling up to school, immediately feel more relaxed and have a small buzz. entering school I still got an increased heart rate, and some feelings of anxiety, all in all it diluted the symptoms about 1/2- 3/4 and gave me some confidence

7:30- in class work is considerably easier and concentrating on it is much easier too. i felt for the most part my normal self

7:40- during a group project, i can feel myself starting to come down, anxious feelings are subtly coming back, but it just feels more like something is amiss

8- only feeling about half of the origional effect, not tottaly myself

8:30-feel normal, but slightly more relaxed, and lower heartbeat than normally for 2nd period(30 loud obnoxious other people there) not feeling myself( how i normally feel during school and social situations)

8:45- incredibly anxious and feeling no effects from the kava at this point
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post #14 of 136 (permalink) Old 03-03-2011, 12:33 PM
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Hi

I recently obtained 1/2 oz of concentrated kava "paste".

It says you take 2 "pea sized amounts" but I find I need more like 3 - 4.

It is very subtle and only lasts like 60 - 90 minutes at most.

But it seems more potent when mixed with something else, especially phenibut.

It is OK but I don't think it's really worth the price, although I do like taking it right before expected social events.


-MBL

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post #15 of 136 (permalink) Old 04-03-2011, 09:43 AM
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good stuff but tastes like ***
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post #16 of 136 (permalink) Old 04-26-2011, 10:07 AM
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mmm kava


I ordered some Kava (powder and whole root chunk), and have been very pleased with the quality(Kona Kava-Hawaii). It's not the best tasting beverage in the world, but the key is to use a small amount of water and just gulp it down quick, and then sip something to clear the residual.

Its effects are pretty nice, I actually feel the desire to be social for a short amount of time. Although there in lies the problem. It's effects are very transient, and I have read that it is just as hard on your liver as alcohol. So, in my opinion it is only a minor tool for combating SA, but I love it as a substitute for alcohol.

P.S. Have yet to try the whole root chunks (similar to whole coffee beans was how it was advertised, ie more potent)
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post #17 of 136 (permalink) Old 04-26-2011, 10:18 AM
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I'm wanting to purchase some online but I just wanted to check with you guys first if it's the right stuff...could someone please check?
http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/List...rewritten=true

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It's time to try and live my life to it's fullest and live by the quote "Feel the fear and do it anyway"
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post #18 of 136 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 10:09 AM
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I used Kava a few years ago with a friend. The main effect that it had was to make us really really really relaxed and super super lazy. This is the main reason that I don't take it because we literally could not be bothered even getting up to get some crackers.
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post #19 of 136 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MBL View Post
Hi !

I hear most pill forms of kava are crap.

But I hear the high quality extracts and "pastes" are very effective.

The mainstream pills are misleading in their description of contents (from sites I read), for example: only a fraction of the pills contains the claimed "30% kavaloctones".

I am soon obtaining some 84% kavalactones paste (dose size is 1 - 2 pea sized amounts). I will report back with my results. But be cautious when buying kava, not all of it is good. In fact many leading pill producing brands are no good at all.

True i agree with that, mostly because my boyfriend got some kava extract yesterday and it worked considerably well. Compared to the SSRI junk the doctors prescribed him. It took about forty minutes to take effect but he was calm, sleepy and generally more sedated and he was fortunate not to suffer any side effects

pills sound pretty useless, as he has tried the paste too and says that was effective but liquid concentrate is best

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post #20 of 136 (permalink) Old 05-11-2011, 11:11 AM
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Sounds like Kava pills are close to useless unless you take huge amounts of them. This guy has a good blog with reviews of various different Kava sources.

http://kavasseur.blogspot.com/2010/0...kona-kava.html

I just bought some kava from kona kava. It scores 2nd lowest of all Kava products on his blog But I will write a little review here anyway once I try it out.

I've searched around some Kava forums and a lot of people recommend Tongan Kava for having the best anxiolytic effect.
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