Citation: Ronan. "Tuning the Mind: An Experience with Kava & Valerian (exp67281)". Erowid.org. May 17, 2012. erowid.org/exp/67281
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I've been drinking Kava Kava and Valerian for a few months, never together though. Recently I decided to combine them and it turned out well but I hadn't time to be alone and really dig the jive it was trying to send. So I decided to actually keep notes and time it. So here goes my trial.
It's a Friday night, November 23rd 2007, almost 11:30, I'm the only one awake, listening to some music that is soft and instrumental. I ate about two and a half hours ago. Not a heavy meal, just some cheese and sweets with tea. I'm looking to relax and just enjoy the music, maybe sit back in the dark and think about things. I'm not sad, nor am I extremely happy, I'm content right now. (This is all pre-trial, but here it goes:)
11:30 PM (+0:00:00) – I Consume 4 pills (1600 mg total) of Valerian, and now I'm starting to sip my Kava Kava. While I'm slowly sipping I as might as explain how I prepared it, etc. I took a plain white t-shirt (never worn, make sure! Otherwise you might be drinking Kava with traces of old sweat in it.), cut out something around 7 inch x 7 inch square, and I'm using powdered Kava root from my local herbal pharmacy. I took a regular teaspoon, not one that's used for cooking (sorry, they're all the same anyway) and put 3 heaping, meaning VERY LARGE, spoons into the middle, I wrapped it up so its like a pouch, and then I tied it off with a hair band and a rubber-band. I put it into a tall drinking glass filled with water, I played around with it at first and let the Kava soak for a bit. Then I left it alone, then over the course of 30-45 min I played around with it until it reached a dark brown, kind of like coffee with a little bit of milk in it. It turned out well! It's pretty strong, first sip gave me some numbness on my tongue. It didn't take me long to start liking the taste of Kava, so for those who just started, give it a few more times and you'll like it. I sometimes enjoy Kava with a cigarette because they mix perfectly together.
11:42 PM (+0:12:10) – Almost done with the cup. Mouth and throat are pretty numb, stomach and everything feels fine. I'm not sure how long it takes Valerian to kick in, but I'm pretty sure not that much long to go!
12:00 AM (+0:30:00) – The front of my body is starting to feel a slight euphoria, my eyelids seem a tad heavy (which is unusual as I've been going to bed at 3 or 4 am the past few days, so I don't get tired around this time). It seems like my mind is going places, or starting to at least. Its got it's foot in the door, lets say.
12:13 AM (+0:43:17) – It feels really good to close my eyes and rest my head. My body is definitely heavy. I'm extremely calm, relaxed, enjoying the new Radiohead album. Sometimes I have a weird thought/feeling. When I look at my hands, it feels like they're not mine. Kava/Valerian both can give weird thoughts, so maybe its this combo. I'm debating making a second cup of Kava, as it feels so good to just sit here, close my eyes and listen to the music. The music sounds really clear and is almost like listening to music while smoking Marijuana, it increases my sense of sound to a degree. As well as sight, but that requires a second cup.
I think I am going to make a second cup! But, its going to be the same as that's in the pouch, as it can be reused. Of course it doesn't make a cup as strong, but at this point I don't need a STRONG cup, a medium one will do. So in short, at this time my body feels good. It's a good euphoria that's not overwhelming at all, nor is it subtle. It's there. My body also feels heavy and it feels great to stretch and lay back. My mind is clear and in one of those “What is this..why is it? Wow..that's so amazing. There's so much beauty – etc.” moods.
Note: Kava's effects take around 15-20-25 (usually 20) minutes to be noticed, and the strong effects (audio perception alteration, drunk body/clear mind) last 2-3 hours, but the relaxtion, anti-anxiety, talkitiveness etc. lasts for a while. Official sources list 8 hours, I'd say 5 – 6 with one cup, but 8 can be possible with two good cups.
12:50 AM (1:20:20) – Kava is ready, I'm going to take 800mg more of Valerian, bringing me up to 2,400 mg. My logic is, if I'm upping my Kava dose I should up my Valerian dose so that the Kava doesn't overpower the Valerian. I'm starting to sip my Kava at this time as well. It's not as strong as the first cup, but its definitely not weak at all. It's a nice cup. At this point my body is still good, even though its cold as hell in here. (Sorry, “cold as hell”, it's cold as..Russia.)
My mind is obviously somewhere else as I started typing “My mind” and totally blanked and started talking to my friend “I” about music. In short its pretty much in a day-dream state, yet if I need to focus I can. I was reading about some things that require attention and I can recall all the details, etc. So its like my mind is clear, and with the absence of anything to focus on it focuses on itself. Which is pretty cool. I'm sitting here with a slight smile. Relaxed, enjoying music and talking to people. Kava is known to make people have this need for talking. I can admit it makes me have a need for typing as well.
1:37 AM (2:07:11) – I couldn't help it, I had a cigarette. I looked into a mirror and my face, it looked like I was really relaxed and content. My stomach hurt for a few seconds, but that might be from the Valerian, as Kava has never made my stomach hurt. It was only for a few seconds as well, so I'm not sure if its from Valerian or whatever. I'm getting sleepy. My body feels good, my mind is like it was.
As I was outside smoking, watching the moon I was thinking about cool things. Like peace of mind, how ridiculous that someone can say ONE thing causes peace of mind. Or how polarising humans are by nature, we're either Republican or Democrat, Capitalist or Socialist, Good, Bad, Smart, Dumb, Sane, Insane, etc. I decided that anyone's goal should be to defeat these things and find middle ground in everything. That, I believe, is a factor contributing to peace of mind.
And writing this experience so far seems so personal, it feels like I have a connection to you, the reader. I have this great love in my heart and I want to share it, its just an overwhelming feeling of joy. I don't know if its particularly from these plants that Earth has given us, but its there. I feel very intimate with this writing, which probably is another factor contributing to the length. Anyway, I'm going to play guitar and see what its like.
2:10 AM (2:40:17) – Body is the same, mind is the same. Which is good. My guitar playing was a little more experimental and a tad dissonant, it was nice. Not much else I can say at this point, things are as they were.
2:30 AM (3:01:03) – The euphoria in my body isn't as prominent as it was before, its died down a tiny bit but I can still feel it. My mind is still active, but I'm sleepy. So it's a weird combination. I think I'm going to go to bed right now, and I'll be back in the morning. As Kava and Valerian both give you really weird vivid dreams, together they should show something really interesting. Goodnight, dear reader.
3:11 PM – I woke up at 1:18, kind of groggy and with an annoying pain in my right shoulder, I must have slept on it or something. I had some really weird dreams, one of them was about school and how it was closing down and everybody's parents came at night and I ended up talking to my friend whose dad turned out to be OJ Simpson. And then I had this very exciting dream. It featured the most attractive girls I knew, almost 6 or 7 of them. And we all ended up in this room, and I won't go into details, but it was one of the most enjoyable dreams which was ridiculously realistic. Don't worry either, it ended dry anyway.
However, I'm kind of tired and my body feels a bit tired. I'm going to say this is from the excess Valerian. When I drink Kava and sleep, I wake up refreshed and alert. Valerian has always made me wake up groggy and kind of tired. I slept a while though. If I was to repeat, I would probably consider a much lower dose of Valerian, perhaps only 800mg total with two cups of Kava.
Overall: It was an enjoyable experience, and rereading what I wrote last night is funny in a sense, and I'm still very relaxed and completely pacific towards things I'm usually annoyed by. (Ridiculous comments and suggestions from certain family members, lets just say.) As for anyone else, I'd suggest a lower dose of Valerian as we are all different. Also, Kava is strange; my first time drinking Kava wasn't that exciting, it just tasted bad, made my mouth numb and just chilled me out. The more I drink it, the 'stronger' it seems. I notice more effects every time, I view this as being more in tune with my mind and being able to pick out the subtle things. Here is a quote I live by:
“It is what it is, and naming it too concretely might just diminish the effect -- those who come after might be so focused on trying to experience 'the right effect' that they miss the experience they're having.” - Art Sackett
Alas, goodbye dear reader. This has been an intimate experience for me to write, I hope you enjoyed as much as I have.
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