Kava Kava (Piper methysticum) - Page 4 - Social Anxiety Forum

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post #61 of 136 (permalink) Old 04-15-2012, 04:00 PM
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Kava Paste and Kava root powder


I want to first point out that I have suffered from depression and terrible anxiety for as long as I can remember. I was barely allowed to enter the military because of it. I suffered from a major depressive episode while in the Marines but was able to come out of it on my own and catch up to everyone else, actually I ended up out-doing them all . What I want to share here is that I've tried literally EVERYTHING that they prescribe for anxiety. The only thing that ever worked for me was klonopin. The euphoria I felt from klonopin eventually faded but it still worked on my anxiety. I went through a roller coaster of doctors, mostly through the V.A., some would prescribe it to me and some would not. I just discovered KAVA, which is nothing short of amazing. My new doctor prescribes me klonopin but since I have the full spectrum paste, I just use that and if my anxiety is extremely bad or I'm having a panic attack, I will take the klonopin on top of it. I can only hope and pray that this method of dealing with my problem continues to work for me because it has damaged friendships, family ties, and even lost me job positions. I can now wake up in the morning and since I am naturally wired up and definitely don't need coffee or anything with caffeine in it period, a protein shake with powdered root mixed in with it works great for me. It literally has been extremely helpful for me in my day to day life. I can communicate with other people better, and just in general feel comfortable with myself. I know this may not be for everyone but I highly recommend it if you've never tried it. I recommend the Full Spectrum Paste over anything else... also the powdered root and buy a muslin bag. I am now using a mixture of the kava full spectrum paste, valerian root extract supplements, and st. john's wort. I just ordered the kavalovetone pills.. that's different than the kavalactone pills but I still want to check it out. I just finished a bottle of the kavalactone paste, I liked it but so far I definitely like the full spectrum paste better. I can't wait to try the new order once it comes in! My goal is to find some sort of happy medium where I know what works, how much I need and no longer have to worry about this. It's been a nightmare but the end of this nightmare appears to be coming to an end.. thank God! p.s. believe it or not but taking a decent and balanced amount of amino acids, whether you workout or not, does wonders for your body. I also take a multi-vitamin, drink unsweetened green tea, and take omega-3 fish oil supplements. I know all that's expensive but it's so very much worth it when you are suffering. It helps a number of mental illnesses like:
Depression
Bipolar Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Fibromyalgia
Alzheimers...because it increases blood flow to the brain, and can prevent it from happening
The list goes on. In no way am I claiming any of this as a cure but these supplements are powerful and very beneficial to us and heal our bodies much more than we give them credit for.l
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post #62 of 136 (permalink) Old 04-15-2012, 05:38 PM
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Kava Kava is similar to GHB. It has Kava Lactones in it. It from what I understand works on the GHB receptor.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepytime View Post
Experiment 1:

Well I tried some of the kona kava root powder tonight. I used 2 tablespoons, put in a the blender for a couple of minutes, then strained it through a muslin bag.

It had no noticable effect on me at all. Either this brand of kava isn't very potent, I didn't use enough root powder, or I experienced the 'reverse tolerance' I've been reading about.

Next time I'll try 3-4 tablespoons and post the result.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Update: Experiment 2:

Ok...So I gave my kona kava root powder another go...this time I took 3 tablespoons but I'm sitting here with no noticable effects once again. According to a lot of forums this brand of kava is extremely weak and doesn't give you anything like a real kava experience at all, I'm beginning to believe that too

Next time I'll go for 5 tablespoons and actually use it before a social event, not sitting at home waiting for some kind of buzz ....I'll update again once I do that.
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post #63 of 136 (permalink) Old 04-15-2012, 09:06 PM
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Guys, the reverse tolerance thing is massive. I wouldn't give up hope until you've taken several (properly prepared) doses of a quality root powder.

1) Make sure it's from a decent source. Check out reviews from http://kavasseur.blogspot.com/ and http://kavalounge.yuku.com/directory I recommend BulaKavaHouse or KavaByRex because they have the most reasonable prices for high quality root powders.

2) Drink it on an empty stomach. This is VERY important. About 4 hours since your last meal is ok.

3) Let the root soak in lukewarm liquid for 30-60 minutes. Milk is better than water since the kavalactones are not water-soluble. I use soy milk since I'm a vegan, also you can use water and add a tablespoon of soy lecithen.

4) After soaking, blend the mixture for a couple of minutes.

5) Pour the root and liquid into strainer bag and strain it into a bowl. At this point I submerge the strainer containing the root fibres in the bowl and massage and squeeze it for a further 10 minutes to extract as many kavalactones as possible.
i have an urge for kava again gonna buy kava from those 2 sites u mention, the prices do seem decent
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post #64 of 136 (permalink) Old 04-16-2012, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by daniel11206 View Post
i have an urge for kava again gonna buy kava from those 2 sites u mention, the prices do seem decent
The BKH melo melo is pretty good but I think I could use something a little bit more potent to combat anxiety. I'm going to try their Fu'u next. It's getting great reviews on that kava forum.

http://kavalounge.yuku.com/topic/504...a#.T4wJYatrMkk

http://kavalounge.yuku.com/reply/237...iew#reply-2375

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post #65 of 136 (permalink) Old 08-11-2012, 01:44 PM
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Perhaps you should elaborate. That's a pretty simple response. Have you found something that refutes the recent respected studies that show evidence that kava (water extracted root at least) is not toxic to the liver?

Here is the study that I refer to:

http://www.springerlink.com/content/.../fulltext.html

the study does not address alcohol or acetone extraction methods, or the use of non traditional parts of the plant ... which I would be suspicious of.

Its a shame that people might not use a miraculous root like kava based on dis-proven information about liver damage. Large populations use it on the islands without liver damage, mind you, there kava is water extracted. Not much evidence either way, that I can find so far on alcohol / acetone extractions but that is another issue.
Drew is correct. I am familiar with the Springer study but that was one short study, and it is frankly dangerous to tout kava as a miraculous panacea. There are plenty of counter studies to the Queensland study as well as meta-analyses, which focus not on the methods of preparation or extraction, but on the actual ingredients.

Quote:
Leading a team of researchers from the University of Sydney, Professor Ramzan spent one year investigating the cellular effects of kava on the liver. Kava has been used in ceremonies and for recreational and social purposes in the South Pacific since ancient times, much like alcohol, tea or coffee is in other societies today.


In the 1980s other medicinal uses for kava began to emerge and it was marketed in herbal form as a natural way to treat conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, tension and restlessness, particularly in Europe and North America.More recently, evidence began to emerge about the adverse affect kava could have on the liver.


To test these theories, the University of Sydney study focused on the major kavalactone (the ingredient in kava believed to affect the liver) -- kavain -- and investigated the effects it had on the ultrastructure (or biological structure) of the liver.


This required the use of electron microscopes (which enable the examination of the interior of cells) provided by the Australian Key Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis at the University of Sydney under the direction of its Deputy Director, Professor Filip Braet.
The study found that following kavain treatment the liver tissue displayed an overall change in structure, including the narrowing of blood vessels, the constriction of blood vessel passages and the retraction of the cellular lining.


Interestingly, kavain also adversely affected certain cells which function in the destruction of foreign antigens (such as bacteria and viruses), which make up part of the body's immune system.


In other words, the kavain treatment disturbed the basic structure of the liver, consequently seriously impacting the normal functioning of the liver.
The results of the University of Sydney's study clearly support earlier literature observations on kava's adverse affects on the functioning of the liver in general.


However, additional investigations into the effects of other major kavalactones on the liver, as well as studies on whether the effects of kava are reversible, are urgently needed.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0222111446.htm

As an occasional user of Kava myself, I really wish that the fears about liver damage were without foundation, but that is unfortunately not the case.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0713102019.htm

The mystery of kava toxicity is unsolved and basically we who take it, even the odd time, may well be playing Russian roulette, which is why the Medicines Control Agency in the UK adopts the position that there is no safe dose of kava, as there is no way of knowing how your body will react.
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post #66 of 136 (permalink) Old 08-11-2012, 01:58 PM
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kona kava sucks dude yeah try another. Kava only lasts for a while though.
kona kava is little more than a scam. Unfortunately, they have managed to maintain a high profile web presence.
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post #67 of 136 (permalink) Old 08-11-2012, 02:11 PM
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post #68 of 136 (permalink) Old 08-11-2012, 02:37 PM
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liver toxicity unknown


Quote:
Originally Posted by Afterburner View Post
Drew is correct. I am familiar with the Springer study but that was one short study, and it is frankly dangerous to tout kava as a miraculous panacea. There are plenty of counter studies to the Queensland study as well as meta-analyses, which focus not on the methods of preparation or extraction, but on the actual ingredients.



http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0222111446.htm

As an occasional user of Kava myself, I really wish that the fears about liver damage were without foundation, but that is unfortunately not the case.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0713102019.htm

The mystery of kava toxicity is unsolved and basically we who take it, even the odd time, may well be playing Russian roulette, which is why the Medicines Control Agency in the UK adopts the position that there is no safe dose of kava, as there is no way of knowing how your body will react.
I am not a biochemist and I do not know if the method that was used to test for changes in liver cells was reasonable or not. I would guess that high levels of many things would cause changes to the liver. Probably because Kava is not patent-able , there has been insufficient studies done on it. I am guessing that since I haven't heard of notable negative statistics in the large indigenous populations that use it... perhaps its not so bad. Too bad there isn't more conclusive studies.
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post #69 of 136 (permalink) Old 08-11-2012, 03:34 PM
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I went to a Kava bar last time I was in Hawaii. Seemed pretty harmless. Numbed me up and mellowed me out a bit. Felt like I had a headache afterward. I'd give it another try.

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post #70 of 136 (permalink) Old 08-12-2012, 04:24 AM
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Originally Posted by optimistic realist View Post
I am not a biochemist and I do not know if the method that was used to test for changes in liver cells was reasonable or not. I would guess that high levels of many things would cause changes to the liver. Probably because Kava is not patent-able , there has been insufficient studies done on it. I am guessing that since I haven't heard of notable negative statistics in the large indigenous populations that use it... perhaps its not so bad. Too bad there isn't more conclusive studies.
The Springer study was certainly good news at the time. In fact, I went and bought the exact product they used in the study after reading about it. They are tablets produced by a high-level company called Mediherb, and are intended for distribution by licensed practitioners only, so I had a little trouble getting hold of them.

Unfortunately, they did not work for me, even at a high dosage. It appears that using the root is the only reliable way of using Kava.

It is true that Kava does not appear to cause harm to the indigenous populations that use it, but that is one of the as yet unsolved mysteries. Genetics could play a part, in much the same way that there exists strong evidence that Indians have a greater degree of insulin resistance and a stronger genetic predisposition to diabetes.

I hope that they do get to the bottom of it because kava is the only non-pharmaceutical product that actually works, in my opinion, with the possible exception of phenibut.
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post #71 of 136 (permalink) Old 08-12-2012, 04:26 AM
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Was it any good?
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post #72 of 136 (permalink) Old 08-12-2012, 04:41 AM
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Today I took my first kava drink, made with half teaspoon of organic kava roots -not in powder- along with 5 sweeteners. My one and only goal is to feel safe to walk on the street alone. Felt the numbness, but I had to call a friend to bring me to the office, since after 2 hours nothing happened. I will try 1 teaspoon the evening. Hope this works!
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post #73 of 136 (permalink) Old 08-12-2012, 06:41 AM
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I've tried that yogi tea but got nothing from it. You really need to be using a good brand root powder to get enough of a kavalactone hit to take the edge off the the kind of anxiety that all of us are suffering from.

Bulakavahouse, paradise kava, kavabyrex, and [email protected] all sell good quality root powders. The Fuu from Bulakavahouse, and the Vanuatu3 from kavabyrex are meant to be particularly good for anxiety.

Some instant kavas are ok, but still not nearly as potent as a good root powder. Paradise Kava's extracts are meant to be decent. Ozia's kava candies are quite good too, but I need to take 2 or 3 of them to feel the edge going off my anxiety. Even then the effects last only 30 mins or so, but it's nice to have a pack in your pocket for when you really need them. They're pretty expensive unless you buy them in bulk though.

http://kavakavacandy.com/shop/

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post #74 of 136 (permalink) Old 08-12-2012, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by nemertes View Post
Today I took my first kava drink, made with half teaspoon of organic kava roots -not in powder- along with 5 sweeteners. My one and only goal is to feel safe to walk on the street alone. Felt the numbness, but I had to call a friend to bring me to the office, since after 2 hours nothing happened. I will try 1 teaspoon the evening. Hope this works!
There is a reverse tolerance effect with Kava which means that you might have to drink it several times before you begin to feel it properly. I drank proper root powder twice a week for a month before I felt anything from it. Some people feel the effects right away, some people take weeks, some maybe never feel anything at all...kava is a strange substance
Which brand of kava are you using?

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post #75 of 136 (permalink) Old 08-12-2012, 08:21 AM
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I've tried the pills, the paste, the tablets, but none of these worked. I did notice that with the tablets that I felt great waking up... But they did nothing for my anxiety.

Concocting the product from the root is a huge hassle, let's be honest.

I've found the powdered instant Kava enormously convenient in the past, even if it is a little pricier.

I bought from RealKava but there are plenty of other good, reputable companies.

The Kava connoisseur blog is indispensable in this respect, except for the fact that he initially gave a positive review, probably on account of a placebo effect, to the rubbish supplied from Kona Kava. He realised his mistake when he re-ordered from them and wasted a lot of money.
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post #76 of 136 (permalink) Old 08-12-2012, 10:50 AM
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The Kava connoisseur blog is indispensable in this respect, except for the fact that he initially gave a positive review, probably on account of a placebo effect, to the rubbish supplied from Kona Kava. He realised his mistake when he re-ordered from them and wasted a lot of money.
Yea. His reviews are generally solid, but the kona kava one was a bit of a mystery alright.

His forum is excellent too, there are some good threads in there from people who suffer with anxiety and which kavas they find best to combat it.

http://kavalounge.yuku.com/directory

The root powder is a hassle to prepare, I usually make a big batch that will last a few days, and watch TV to kill the boredom while I knead it.

How does the instant at RealKava compare to the root powders you have tried? BKH have an instant that got some really good reviews but it's a little more expensive, it's something I want to try though.

http://kavalounge.yuku.com/topic/541...1#.UCfdQ51lSpI

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post #77 of 136 (permalink) Old 08-12-2012, 11:20 AM
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There is a reverse tolerance effect with Kava which means that you might have to drink it several times before you begin to feel it properly. I drank proper root powder twice a week for a month before I felt anything from it. Some people feel the effects right away, some people take weeks, some maybe never feel anything at all...kava is a strange substance
Which brand of kava are you using?
Thanks for the info. As I read after i think that i didn't prepared it right. It should become brown before you drink it and mine became just yellow. So I believe I should left this more on the water and add one teaspoon not half. I bought kava from here http://sunshineherbals.net/ . It's organic dried root.
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post #78 of 136 (permalink) Old 08-14-2012, 03:40 AM
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The root powder is a hassle to prepare, I usually make a big batch that will last a few days, and watch TV to kill the boredom while I knead it.

How does the instant at RealKava compare to the root powders you have tried? BKH have an instant that got some really good reviews but it's a little more expensive, it's something I want to try though.
The instant Kava from RealKava has generally worked excellently for me before, just as good as the root powder. But I think you need a higher dosage than what they recommend. Though that could be just me. I seem to need higher dosages of everything.

Im using it at the moment to take a break from Clonazepam, which Ive found an extremely effective medication, one which helped me get my life back on track, however its not something you can take continually if you want to get the full anxiolytic benefit. Though I believe tolerance to Clonazepam develops much more slowly than with the other benzos, it will work to a degree for months. IMHO, for this and other reasons, it is by far and away the best of the benzos.
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post #79 of 136 (permalink) Old 08-14-2012, 03:56 AM
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Was it any good?
It tastes pretty good, strong flavor, but I'm not taking it for social anxiety. Usually I drink it in the evening when it's too late to drink coffee but I still have to study a bit. Calms me down and helps me to focus but the effects are slight.
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post #80 of 136 (permalink) Old 08-14-2012, 04:21 AM
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I took my first kava drink yesterday. Deep yellow, not brown, with a teaspoon of kava roots and sweetener.

I must say I was a little bit scared cause I didn't knew if it has any side effects with epilepsy. I had a meeting with few people and never felt bad or disoriented. Sometimes when I'm with others and I must stay quiet I get anxious, thinking that something bad will happen to me etc. So yesterday no bad thoughts and we talked for two hours.

The bonus was that afterwards a google search showed that kava is good for epilepsy too!
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