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1 ounce of 60% Kava Kava (Piper methysticum) extract. This golden nectar is popular for social gatherings and reduction of anxiety. This CO2 extracted Kava Kava extract is incredibly potent and caution should be warranted if taking internally. Kava is FDA approved.
Native to the islands of the South Pacific, Hawaii, Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia, Kava Kava or Piper methysticum has been a prominent part of indigenous culture since before written history. Kava is a perennial shrub with smooth leaves shaped like hearts and a member of the pepper family. Traditionally, the roots are used and a group of compounds known as kavalactones are extracted into room temperature aqueous solution to make a beverage.
The effects can be described as mildly euphoric, with increased sociability and desire for conversation, preserved or enhanced mental clarity, and relaxation at lower doses while becoming sedating at higher doses. A hangover effect, visual disturbances, and insightfully vivid dreams have been reported with higher doses. If using Kava for recreational purposes, moderation of dosing and respect for the sacrament, as well as thorough enjoyment of good company is recommended.
This CO2 extract is potent and contains considerably higher amounts of kavalactones (60%) than traditional brews thus only small amounts are needed. Try a small dab (size of Q tip head) using a toothpick directly into the mouth for social gatherings or altered state of consciousness. May take in the evening or at bedtime to aid in sleep. A few dabs may be placed in a teapot of hot water if friends are partaking – some of the alkaloid content may be affected with hot water.
Kava extracts have been shown to cause liver damage in case reports although appears preventable with proper liver antioxidant capacity in the form of glutathione.
Foods known to support glutathione production include sulfur-rich foods such as garlic, onions and the cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, collards, cabbage, cauliflower, watercress etc.)
Exercise facilitates glutathione production as well as decreases stress – an added and complementary benefit if using kava for stress or anxiety reduction. Glutathione supplements are also available, although holistic lifestyle changes are encouraged as first-line options.
Avoid with alcohol use (prolonged prior to or concomitantly), acetaminophen (Tylenol), or other hepatotoxic drugs which can deplete glutathione and increase risk of liver injury. Avoid with pre-existing liver conditions. Current illness, elderly age, and low physical activity are associated with glutathione deficiency, thus exercise caution of kava extract if this applies to you.