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Mild But Effective
by halmundane
Citation:   halmundane. "Mild But Effective: An Experience with Kava (exp106393)". Jun 21, 2016.

4 Tbsp oral Kava (ground / crushed)


I am a fan of medicinal plants/natural remedies and have experimented with everything from Cannabis to Kava to Mushrooms to Wild Lettuce - you name it. This report will focus on my years-long occasional use of Kava, which I will start out by saying can be effective and even interesting if I prepare it properly.

First of all, I have to say the only way I have found Kava to work for me is to blend it thoroughly with a fat-containing liquid. Water will not do unless I have the tincture, which definitely works, but for me nothing can compare to going through the process I will describe shortly. Tinctures are gone pretty fast and can get pricey. Let me state for the record that Kava has a taste I do not like, and therefore it is a rare occasion that I go through the trouble in making it.
Kava has a taste I do not like, and therefore it is a rare occasion that I go through the trouble in making it.
I have read about the manner in which Pacific Islanders make Kava and my method has been somewhat adapted from that.

I have ground kava root powder in a big jar, ordered from Hawaii. When I first bought it I used to mix it with water, only to discover that all I felt was the foul taste in my mouth. It was through some research and trial and error that I learned the best way to consume this plant. It still tastes very bitter regardless and is never easy to get down. I blend about three or four tablespoons with milk, throwing in some honey and a touch of vanilla to offset the horrors of this flavor. Anyone who says Kava tastes good has different taste buds than I do. I think it tastes absolutely horrible.

So I blend this up for a few minutes. I've found it best to let it sit overnight, or even for a few days, in the fridge. It is really only best served very cold, but will still shock you with its bitterness most likely. I have discovered, after bouts of puking, that the only way I can get Kava + Milk down is by straining out what ends up looking like dirt, which is really just the clumps of damp kava. I know for a fact that Kava is only useful when paired with a fat-containing liquid like Milk or Coconut Milk. When I am ready to drink this stuff, I strain it two or three times using two different large bowls. Then I pour it into a cup and sip it through a straw. I can't really drink it any other way.

The first effect I notice, besides general disgust, is the numbing quality of kava. This can definitely lead to some stomach discomfort, but it doesn't last long. I pop a few sticks of gum after somewhat leisurely sipping this beverage. The anti-anxiety effects of kava begin to take place almost immediately after I'm finished with the drink. It's kind of like having a few beers, but without the heaviness or dulling sensation of that. I would not compare it in any way to smoking cannabis or any other plant I have used before. It has its own experience. I would not recommend kava to anyone who 'just wants to get effed up.'

The plant takes the edge off to be sure. It has some time-prolonging effects too, but I have to mention that I don't quite feel euphoria from it, but just a general sense of peace and relaxation. When paired with cannabis, kava's effects are much more pronounced and makes any comedown practically seamless. For the purposes of this report though, I will just say that kava by itself is not, for me anyway, a placebo effect. I refuse to get into pharmaceuticals, but I do occasionally have bouts of depression/anxiety and kava helps, not just when I'm feeling its effects, but for a few days after consuming it, I feel generally more positive
for a few days after consuming it, I feel generally more positive
. The peak effect of the plant just sort of sneaks up on me slowly over the course of the next couple hours. There is no noticeable comedown.

This is my experience with kava. I've puked from it before, but not anymore - straining it through some very fine mesh is key for me. I would never consume the dirt lumps of this stuff again. Talk about the worst feeling ever! After a few minutes following consumption, that numbing effect goes away, the bad taste disappears, the stomach discomfort dissipating with a few deep breaths. Things have a certain glow - not like some kind of psychedelic journey or anything, but music sounds more crisp and there's just a general sense of well-being.

Kava can be a rewarding experience. I have definitely found that it has to sit a little while to achieve max effect. It's an interesting plant. I will probably always have some of it around. It's fairly cheap and there's no hangover I've ever noticed. It can be quite wonderful. Works pretty effectively for pot withdrawals, too. I would like someday to be somewhere that is serving traditionally prepared Kava so that I can further explore the way people have been doing it for centuries.

Exp Year: 2015ExpID: 106393
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: 29 
Published: Jun 21, 2016Views: 2,809
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Kava (30) : Preparation / Recipes (30), Depression (15), Therapeutic Intent or Outcome (49), Retrospective / Summary (11), Unknown Context (20)

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