Kava and performance anxiety

Many people have stage fright about speaking in public. They generally get anxious when they need to perform 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. 

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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. 

"After using kava in a social setting for a few months, I became aware of its anti-anxiety properties. Given that I work in academia and I am required to regularly teach as well as give conference talks and seminars in front of large audiences, all of which tends to leave me rather anxious, I started experimenting with taking kava before these activities. The results of this have been remarkable.  Not only do I feel taking kava prior to public speaking allows me to perform better, the routine I have developed has allowed me to be anxiety-free the night before an important lecture, something which impeded my sleep greatly and in turn affected my performance. Therefore, I recommend to any people that suffer from performance-anxiety in their professional lives to consider the usefulness of small intakes of kava as a way of managing this anxiety."


Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals. 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 have any other concerns, we advise that you consult your GP whether you can safely use kava.