The Kava Blog
Welcome to our blog!
We will use this space to post stories and articles about kava culture, science and various kava experiences. Feel free to contact us if you have any suggestions for new posts.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this website is not meant to be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. What we present here is the literature we are familiar with and our own experiences related to the consumption of kava as a traditional beverage. If you do suffer from an illness, take any medications, require treatment or health advice, or have any other health concerns, you should consult your qualified health professional whether you can safely use kava.
By The Kava Society, Nov 2 2015 02:21AM
Today we are looking at how to make each (evening) kava session perfect, based on our own experiences. This guide is meant to be of use to those who want to drink kava at home, by themselves or with their partner/friend. We will soon publish another post dedicated to those who, like us, usually drink kava with a bunch of other people.
By The Kava Society, Jul 29 2015 10:46PM
Many people have stage fright about speaking in public. They generally get anxious when they need to perfom in front of a larger audience. Anxiety in such situations is fairly common and is known as "performance anxiety". Many people struggle to overcome their anxiety and choose to either avoid such situations or they suffer through them with shaking hands. Others try to overcome their fear with long practice before their performance or choose to seek professional help or medications.
Nicholas Ross Smith, a lecturer at the University of Auckland and the Auckland University of Technology and one of the founding members of our Society is no stranger to public speaking (both at the university and in the NZ media) and to performance anxiety. We've asked him to share some of his thoughts on whether kava could be of any use in such situations.
By The Kava Society, Jul 25 2015 05:55AM
Few kava lovers drink it for its taste. Most people find kava to be quite bitter or even unpleasant. There are milder tasting kavas (e.g. some of our Hawaiian varieties or one or two Tongan kavas) and there are REALLY bitter kavas (e.g. the heavier kavas from Vanuatu). But in any case every kava can be a bit unpleasant. This is why many kava users try to find a way to mitigate the unpleasant tasting experience while still being able to enjoy the beautiful kava effects. Some people like mixing micronized or instant kavas with their favourite soft drink. This can be a very good solution for the beginners and those who want to drink only small amounts of kava. Those that want to have a longer kava session, feel that consuming a lot of sweet liquid masking the kava taste in itslef can get a bit unpleasant. These people prefer to use after kava chasers.
In the urban kava bars of Vanuatu one can buy fresh fruit slices, which work great as chasers (and are quite healthy!). Pineapples and grapes seem particularly effective. We also like to eat sweet pineapples in between our kava shells. Another solution is to drink real fruit juice (e.g. the range offered by Homegrown). The apple juice works great. An even better (albeit not for everyone) is the Ginger, Honey and Lemon juice.
Those who want to combine good flavours with kava-potentiating effects, may want to consider using strong herbal tea (our preferences: peppermint, ginger or kawakawa - either separetly or even as a mixture ) in between their shells. It can be quite delicious AND can help to potentiate some of kava's effects (the heat makes it easier for the kavalactones to go through the stomach membrene). What is more, many herbal teas can ease any stomach discomfort you may experience after drinking kava.
We generally do not recommend using sparking beverages as they can prove to be a bit too "heavy" on the stomach. It's best to go for natural (and healthy) products.
A bowl of fresh kava and fresh fruits served in a kava bar in Port Vila
By The Kava Society, May 22 2015 02:39AM
In many articles we try to highlight the issue of the so-called "two-day" (or "tudei") kava, i.e. the type of kava that has never been consumed for recreational purposes and that is known for its extremely bitter taste and potential for unpleasant side-effects (e.g. nausea or "kava hangover"). You can read our article about the difference between noble and two-day kava here: http://kavasociety.nz/kava-purity-and-nobility/4587940789
In sum, some vendors like selling tudei kava (or tudei-spiked noble kava) because tudei can be much cheaper, grows faster and may appear as "stronger" to unexperienced kava users. Truly experienced kava users (including those who love very strong kava) simply hate tudei kavas as their "potency" is usually limited to long-lasting (and rather unpleasant) sedation/feeling of tiredness and nausea. Furthermore, several key kava experts recommend against using such kavas not only because of their short-term effects, but also because they are likely to be less healthy than noble varieties.
Today we are posting a short piece on two-day kava written by a true kava veteran and expert, Chris Allen.
By The Kava Society, Apr 23 2015 04:29AM
So, you have heard about kava, the South Pacific plant and beverage. You have probably heard about its relaxing properties and that many people find it to be a good, non-addictive and non-stuporous alternative to alcohol. You might have heard people saying that kava helps them to take "the edge off" without making them lose mental awareness or control over their bodies and minds. You might have heard about the numerous sportsmen that use kava for their tired muscles or in order to calm their nerves after an important game. Whatever it is that you have heard about kava, it has made you interested enough to look for more information about it and to potentially try it.
Many people visiting our website or asking us about kava on campus are eager to try it, but often do not really know how to do it, or at least how to make the most out of their first kava session. Some of you are lucky and can just join us for one of our weekly sessions. Others have no choice but to consult Dr Google on how to begin their kava journey. The internet is full of articles and videos describing various preparation methods, as well as hundreds of other matters related to kava consumption, kava effects, kava dosage, kava types, kava forms, etc. However, what seems lacking is a short, concise guide to organizing your very first kava session in the most effective and enjoyable way. We've decided to to write this short article in order to fill this gap.