THE BENEFITS OF THE USE OF KAVA KAVA
IN HERBAL PREPARATIONS
DOSAGES AND APPLICATIONS OF KAVA KAVA
Kava is traditionally made at dusk before the evening meal because a full stomach can hinder appreciation of the plant’s normally subtle psychoactive properties. Infused kava is never kept for long. People prepare kava for immediate consumption. There are several traditional methods of kava reparation. Processing basically involves chewing, grating or pounding fresh or dried kava stumps and roots. Then infusing the processed mass in cold water. These methods break up and macerate the rootstock so that the constituents are more readily released into the cold water. They then often strained the decoction through hibiscus bark into coconut shells. Every island has different traditional methods and rituals in preparing kava. Today, mastication of fresh rootstock is practiced only in the southern and central parts of Vanuatu and among several tribal groups in Papua New Guinea.
You may see kava in teas, tinctures (alcohol based), capsules, and soft gel encased standardized extract, as well as bulk powder and cut form of the herb and even sprays. It is difficult if not impossible to find fresh kava here in Utah. Buying alcohol-based tinctures is probably the easiest way to find and use kava. It absorbs easily into the body. It is easily accessible, and the active ingredients are well preserved and soluble. As far as dosages, although it depends on the usage, start out with 30 to 40 drops taken 2 to 5 times a day. For more pronounced inducement of tranquility and euphoria, single doses up to 150 drops can be occasionally taken without any risk of potential abuse, tolerance, addiction, or withdrawal.14 Making a decoction is another effective method of preparing kava. I have found it to be as effective if not more than 1 dropper of alcohol tincture. Oral sprays are appearing more regularly in the herbal field. They are quickly absorbed through the mucous membrane for rapid onset. For this same reason they are shorter acting. The oral spray application is good for an anxious moment. Capsules are given 2 or more at a time and anywhere from once to more frequently depending on the action desired. As far as dosages go, consult an herbalist for education on your personal needs.
I have read much on dosages of standardized extracts, however, since I think that they are unbalanced and imperfect I will not include them in this text. Like herbs, we are part of nature, so these plants are often best for what ails us and are most effective when used as close to their natural form as possible. This means using whole herbs or their extracts rather than isolated “active ingredients.” Okay, I think I drilled that one to the ground.
I often recommend kava in combination with other herbs because herbs have a synergistic way of working best when combined with other herbs. For example with anxiety and depression you could use the Mindtrac formula along with kava. For insomnia add valerian, passionflower, and hops, among others. I made a formula containing mostly Kava and Valerian with excellent results as both for stress and anxiety as well as insomnia. You could combine the Memory Plus formula or ginkgo and kava for particularly old people who are having problems with their memory and concentration. Also combining skullcap and kava for soothing and healing the nervous system. Using an adaptogen like Siberian ginseng, ashwaganda, suma, licorice or reishi mushrooms with kava for overall regulation and balance have a rather exciting potential.