Kava Tea - Benefits, Side Effects and Dosage
Kava kava has been slowly taking over the shelves of convenience stores as a potent herbal supplement that can help users manage their sleep issues, anxiety, and stress. With that stated, there are plenty of people around the globe that prefer avoiding gulping down supplement pills, powders, or tablets. If you are one of them and still want to benefit from the amazing capabilities of Kava Kava then you should try Kava Tea. Kava Kava is often regarded as alternative medicine. It finds tremendous popularity in traditional ceremonies of Fiji’s indigenous people. It is known for its medicinal properties. This is why it has been the subject of interest among the scientific communities around the globe. Traditionally Kava Tea is made in the same way one brews a cup of tea using tea leaves. Tea made from the roots of the kava plant although have some benefits, it also comes with some potential side effects as well.
Kava root tea is known for its euphoric effects that leave the user calm and composed. One should have all information about the herb for the best results. This post is all about that only. Read on to know more!
What is kava tea?
Kava tea is made from the roots of the plant Piper methysticum. This plant is native to the islands of the Pacific Ocean. It is the national drink of Fiji. It is made traditionally in Fiji by crushing the dried out roots of the kava plant, mixing the same in water, straining it, and drinking the mixture after a while. (Reference: What is Kava Kava, WebMD, Retrieved on 7 July 2020)
What are the benefits of Kava tea?
Kava root tea has many benefits. Some of them are explained in the following sections:
- It is a great solution to cope with the ill effects of anxiety and stress. (Reference: Kava kava: Benefits and safety concerns, Medical News Today, Retrieved on 8 July 2020)
- Yogi Kava Tea or simply kava tea helps people who are prone to anxiety attacks; manage the ill effects of the disorder.
- It is also a great solution for people who want to unwind after a hard day at work, ease their stressed mind, and chill. Tea made from the roots of the kava plant is often labelled as ‘kava stress relief tea’ in most kava tea bars. Back in 2011, a controlled study was conducted where it was proved that tea made from the Kava plant helped participants in the study to cope better with their anxiety and stress-related symptoms.
- It is also known for its sleep-promoting effects!
- Other lesser-known kava tea benefits are its ability to allow the user to go into the REM sleep stage and improve the overall quality of sleep. REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement. It is that stage of deep sleep where a person’s conscious mind shuts down completely. REM allows a person’s brain to reduce its workload and ensure toxins/waste matters from the brain are completely removed.
- Kava tea is known for its anxiolytic effects – which is just a clever way of saying that it can calm the mind of a person to such a level that the person will soon feel compelled to take a nap! This is the reason why, in many parts of the world, Kava tea is often used as an alternative solution to people who have sleep disorders.
What are the side effects of kava tea?
Kava tea comes with its fair share of side effects especially when one makes a habit out of it. They are as follows -
- Blinding headaches.
- Frequent or continuous bouts of dizziness.
- Fatigue – even when the person is fully rested or hasn’t participated in any strenuous activity.
- Mild to severe bouts of diarrhoea.
- Skin problems which could manifest as dry, yellow, or scaly skin – signs of liver damage. It is reported mostly by people who took kava tea in fairly large quantities regularly!
All of these side effects come to a halt when a person with said symptoms stops ingesting the tea altogether. Furthermore, it is best to stop taking the tea after three months. Why? Well, after that, the chance of the user getting addicted to the tea is pretty high. (Reference: What Is Kava Kava, WebMD, Retrieved on 8 July 2020)
How do you make kava tea?
Traditionally, kava tea is prepared the same was as one brew a cup of tea from tea leaves! Dried kava roots are either ground into powder form or cut into small pieces. The powder or the pieces are then placed in a straining bag and placed in hot water. (Reference: Trying Kava for the First Time? Here’s What to Expect, Kalm With Kava, Retrieved on 8 July 2020)
Ingredients to gather –
- High-quality dried kava roots
- A strainer bag – you can also use a clean white t-shirt if you don’t have a strainer bad at your disposal.
- Warm water – avoid placing the roots into boiling water.
- A small to a medium-sized bowl. You will be using this bowl to prepare your kava tea.
Method to prepare kava root tea
- Step 1 – Take around two tablespoonfuls of kava root pieces or powder. In case you want to prepare two to three servings then you would need to double the amount of kava root pieces/powder. Place the kava root pieces or powder in the strainer bag/t-shirt and place the same in the bowl
- Step 2 – Fill up a separate bowl with around 12 ounces of water. Make sure the water is at a temperature of not more or less than 120 degrees. Pour the water into the strainer bag/t-shirt containing the kava root pieces or powder. Leave it as it is for about ten minutes – this is similar to the way one brews tea, isn’t it!?
- Step 3 – Slowly twist the strainer bag or the t-shirt from the top and make your way to the bottom. This will remove the air from the same. Be sure to knead the contents inside the strainer bag so that every drop of the liquid is extracted from the same. Dip the strainer bag again in the extracted liquid and repeat the process until the extracted liquid starts looking like chocolate milk! You would need to do this for a good 5 minutes if you want a potent cup of kava tea!
- Step 4 – Refrigerate the kava liquid or you can simply throw an ice cube or two. Do not mix sugar, milk, or anything with the Kava Tea. If you do so, its efficacy will come down drastically!
What is the suggested dosage for kava tea?
It is better if one ingests Kava tea as little as possible, especially when they are drinking it regularly! As per some researchers, it is best to limit the daily dose to less than 250 milligrams per day. Furthermore, one should not take the tea for more than three months at a stretch. (Reference: What is Kava Kava, WebMD, Retrieved on 7 July 2020)
How does kava make you feel?
As soon as a user takes a sip of the tea, the user would feel as if their tongue and lips are getting numb. There is nothing to worry about as this is a natural and most commonly reported mild side effect. This will last for only a minute or two. It is a generic sign that the tea you are drinking is made from good quality kava plant roots. After this, the user will generally feel euphoric and witness his/her mind shifting into a higher uplifted state. (Reference: Trying Kava for the First Time? Here’s What to Expect, Kalm With Kava, Retrieved on 8 July 2020)
How long do the effects of kava last?
Well, it depends. If the user is having yogi kava tea for the first time then their body and mind will react differently when compared to a person who is having his/her fourth cup. Furthermore, the quantity of the drink will also dictate the outcome. In the end, the uplifting effects of the tea will be felt for about three hours at max but the relaxed feel will last for even more! In the end, the user will be so relaxed that he/she will be compelled to take a nap for an hour or two. (Reference: Trying Kava for the First Time? Here’s What to Expect, Kalm With Kava, Retrieved on 8 July 2020)
Is kava tea safe to drink?
Kava root tea is a herbal remedy that is often adopted by people who want to take the herbal approach when they want to tackle issues like lack of sleep, stress, or anxiety. But according to several independent studies, it is found that when a person drinks kava tea excessively, then the same could get diagnosed with liver damage in the near future. (Reference: Trying Kava for the First Time? Here’s What to Expect, Kalm With Kava, Retrieved on 8 July 2020) This is the reason why, although Kava Kava is a legalized herbal supplement here in the states, the FDA cautions Americans against drinking the tea – as people often tend to develop a habit out of it. There are more than a hundred varieties of the Kava plant. Loosely all of these varieties are categorized into two sections –
- The Noble Kava and
- The Tudei Kava.
It is best to avoid Tudei Kava since the tea made from the roots of this particular class of the Kava plant, when consumed continuously could lead to side effects like –
- Nausea and
Users should choose lab-tested Noble kava roots or root extract powders as their Kava Tea ingredient since Noble Kava does not have potential side effects. Kava tea reacts with alcohol and a plethora of popular prescription drugs like –
- Benzodiazepines and
- Anti-depressants – which is why it is always a good idea to consult with a doctor before one chooses to start drinking this herbal remedy!
Furthermore, pregnant women should avoid drinking kava tea since little to no research has been conducted here in the States or any part of the world, related to this matter. Hence, one cannot be sure whether the herbal tea will have any negative effect(s) on a mother and her unborn child. (Reference: What is Kava Kava, WebMD, Retrieved on 7 July 2020)
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is it legal to buy Kava kava here in the US? Absolutely! Kava kava is legalized in The United States since it is classified as a herbal supplement. (Reference: Trying Kava for the First Time? Here’s What to Expect, Kalm With Kava, Retrieved on 8 July 2020)
- What does Kava Kava do to your body? Kava kava is packed with kavalactones which interact with the user’s brain. It targets the amygdala – the region that is responsible for a person’s emotions. In simple words - Kava tea leaves the user with a relaxed mind and body. (Reference: Trying Kava for the First Time? Here’s What to Expect, Kalm With Kava, Retrieved on 8 July 2020)
- Is kava tea addictive? Yes, and the reason is simple – Individuals who drink Kava Tea regularly often develop a tolerance towards this potent yet beneficial herb. This is the reason why one should not exceed the daily dose of 250 milligrams per day. (Reference: Kava Addiction and Abuse, The Recovery Village, Retrieved on 7 July 2020)
- Can the elderly have Kava tea? Sure the elderly can have Kava Tea given they are not making a habit out of it. With use, the efficacy of Kava kava decreases this means that one would need to increase their dosage per serving to gain the desired results. It is best to avoid this scenario altogether when the user is elderly. (Reference: Kava, Hartford Healthcare Senior Services, Retrieved on 7 July 2020)
It is evident by now that Kava Tea has lots to offer and to make the most out of it, one can refer to the information shared in the above sections with their eyes closed! Every one of us here at teacurry.com is passionate about tea, tea products, the rich history of this beverage, and its benefits. We spend hours on end to bring to you blogs that are full of properly vetted information from renowned and reliable sources on the internet. Still, it is natural for our readers to have queries and opinions as it is the most human thing. This is why we welcome them! Feel free to share your queries and opinions in the comments section below. We will get back to you shortly!