Citation: Brand. "Psychosomatic Relaxation: An Experience with Kava Kava (exp1955)". Erowid.org. Jun 19, 2000. erowid.org/exp/1955
David Wilkey said:
-> I'm curious about the effectiveness of the dried powder (available
-> at my local natural foods store) versus that of fresh or dried whole
-> root. Do the active alkaloids survive the grinding/drying? Or if they
-> do, is the product a lot less potent? I want to try some of the powder
->(appropriately emulsified) but know nothing of quantity required for a
-> relatively mild effect (at least at first!) or it I'd be completely
-> wasting my time choking down some vile concoction??
Well, the 'Nature's Way' capsules I got contained only 300 mg of kava apiece (+125 mg of arrowroot as filler), so getting a full ounce requires around 90 capsules (almost a whole $10.25 bottle!). I tried it with about 60, opened each capsule individually, mixed it with olive oil to emulsify it (it turned into a booey brown paste), and stirred it into milk with a lot of Hershey's syrup. It tasted like dirt but wasn't as bad as, say, nutmeg.
My mouth went somewhat numb (a good sign), but very little else happened, aside from a (possibly psychosomatic) slight feeling of relaxation. One source said that Kava can have little to no effect the first time or two that you try it, so I suppose that I should try again to be sure. However, I never want to have to open up that many capsules again, so if I do decide it's worth trying, I'm going to find a place that sells the real root or a liquid extract.
It sounds like a nice substitute for alcohol, and seems to be used a lot in the Pacific. One book I found (_Kava, the Pacific Drug_, by Vincent Lebot), shows a picture of Pope John Paul II drinking kava with the Fijian Prime Minister! Hey, if the Pope does it, it must be OK! ;)
Well, after the ordeal of opening up sixty-odd capsules (a good $7 worth of 'Nature's Way' Kava Kava) and having to swallow a bunch of arrowroot filler along with it, all of which produces a mild, unremarkable state of mellowness, I stumbled by accident upon a natural foods store which carried 'pure' kava powder for $2.15 an ounce. Quite a bargain in comparison!
I emulsified the stuff by soaking it in canola oil for a few hours, then (with the thought of making 'tea'), mixed it in water and microwaved it. Bzzzt! Error! The oil did not mix well with the water, for one thing, and behind the somewhat nasty taste of the kava was, well, imagine what a mixture of vegetable oil and water would taste like, drunk together. Ick. It was also thick and pudding-like. It numbed my mouth well enough but I only was able to choke down three or four tablespoons before my gorge threatened serious rising action.
After a while (when my stomach had settled), I dumped about a third of this muddy goo into a mug of milk and mixed it up. This went down a bit better, but I still had to resort to quick chasers of coke (the soda, not the narcotic) to kill the nasty aftertaste. I got down two mugs of this, using up two-thirds of the goo. At this point I was sloshing (it felt sort of like a 'W' overdose...) and vaguely nauseated.
So what happened? Well, for about ten minutes I felt oddly out of synch, with that sort of tunnel vision that happens when you've been up too long. I was sort of relaxed, but a single glass of wine or bong hit would have relaxed me more. Right now (hours later), I'm still feeling queasy.
It is said that people often don't feel the effects of kava on the first few attempts. This was #3, and it's going to be the last. It wasn't as nasty as nutmeg to get down, but it was akin to drinking mud. It is also said that this is a very popular drink in the South Pacific. Well, more power to them, if they can stomach it. Maybe I did something wrong in my preparations.
Anyway, been there, done that. Moving on... I wonder if any garden shops around here sell San Pedro cacti...?
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