Kava is actually a bitter drink that takes some time to get used to. The word “kava” in Tongan for bitter, so the root is usually ground up and mixed with water. The flavor is so strong because the kavalactones are not water-soluble, so it’s important to stir them first before you drink them. Also, make sure you stir it well. If you don’t like the taste, you can try adding a splash of almond milk to the mixture.
Kava comes in capsules, tincture, and powder form, and most people don’t have to worry about tasting it. Most of the time, this ancient beverage will give you a mellow, relaxed feeling that will allow you to take on your day. If you have never tried it before, you might find that the taste is different from what you expected. For example, it will give you a very smoky taste.
What Is Kava?
Kava kava is derived from the Piper methysticum plant, native to the Pacific Ocean islands. To make a drink, people used to make a paste from the plant’s root and mix it with water or coconut milk. This kava drink is used by people from the South Pacific islands to induce altered states of consciousness during cultural and religious ceremonies. The dried roots can also be made into powder or tablets.
Kava is a bitter plant, and the word “kava” means “bitter.” It is a root that is ground and mixed with water. As the plant contains kavalactones, it has a taste similar to that of grapefruit or tangerine. Some people experience a mellow effect, but a tan is the main effect of kava.
There are several ways to disguise the tannic acid found in kava when it comes to drinking kava. In fact, there are a variety of flavored drinks that can cover up the kava taste. If you are worried about the taste, try one of these products. In addition to chocolate milk, flavored kava is an excellent way to hide the taste. You can even add a small amount of vanilla or coconut to your drink.
What Does Kava Taste Like?
Kava isn’t addictive, but it can cause liver damage if consumed in large amounts. Although it is legal in the U.S., it should not be taken by people with liver problems. Aside from that, the root is safe for healthy adults. However, it is essential to remember that kava is not a substitute for medical or recreational drugs and can interfere with other medications.
The flavor of kava can be somewhat masked by different options. In the U.S., kava is commonly sold as a powder. It is made from ground root and has a bitter and spicy flavor. Its color is similar to that of mud or dirt. It’s best to drink it all at once to experience its full effect. It’s recommended to drink one to three glasses of flavored milk daily, but it’s not a necessity.
When you drink kava, you’ll probably experience a buzz afterward. It doesn’t feel as strong as an alcohol high, but it will make you feel more sociable. It will help you relax and improve your mood. It can also increase your energy levels. Just make sure you don’t take too much at one sitting. Kava tastes like chalky, watery clay and is dirty-tasting for most people.
Most people who drink kava don’t have any problem with the taste. The bitter taste is a common reaction to the medicinal plant, and it has a slightly sweet flavor and is commonly mixed with sugar. The kava root is used as a traditional medicine in the Fijian culture.
Does Drinking Kava Causes Liver Damage?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States issued a warning to consumers and health professionals in March 2002 about the risk of liver damage associated with kava use. Kava has been linked to liver toxicity in six case reports, including hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver failure, and death.
Pre-existing liver disease, high kava doses, and heavy alcohol consumption were linked to many of these cases. It’s still unclear whether the liver toxicity was caused by kavalactones, contaminants found in low-quality extracts, or the organic solvents used to make kava extracts and supplements (such as acetone or ethanol).
Even though the WHO considers water-based kava beverages to be “safer,” it admits that moderate to heavy consumption can cause significant increases in liver enzymes. Toxicity appears to be linked to the quality of raw kava root, contamination of the root during storage, and the use of other herbal drugs with kava, according to the WHO.
Following the warning, several countries have imposed restrictions on the sale of kava within their borders. Only Germany, Canada, Poland, and Switzerland have made it illegal to use kava. Kava is classified as a dietary supplement in the United States and can be legally purchased for personal use.
What All Should We Consider Before Having Kava?
- The neurological effects of kava are not well understood. As a result, it should not be used in people who are depressed, bipolar, or have schizophrenia.
- Kava should be avoided by people with Parkinson’s disease because it can exacerbate symptoms.
- Blood clotting may be hampered by kava. People with bleeding disorders should avoid using it. You should stop using kava at least two weeks before surgery to avoid excessive bleeding.
- Kava can make you drowsy and impair your judgment, reflexes, and vision. If you plan to drive or operate heavy machinery, avoid kava.
- People with alcoholism, liver disease, pulmonary hypertension, low blood pressure (hypotension), or kidney disease should avoid kava.
- Kava should never be used in children, pregnant women, or nursing mothers due to a lack of safety research. According to some studies, kava is easily transmitted through breastmilk.
Can Pregnant Women Consume Kava?
The majority of the risks of kava-kava during pregnancy are hypothetical, but a few studies have found several potential risks. According to the National Institutes of Health, kava-kava can cause pregnancy complications by weakening the muscles in the uterus. The University of Michigan Medical Center also warns that kava-kava can prolong the effects of anesthesia, which could be problematic if a mother needs sedation for a cesarean section or other surgery. Furthermore, kava-kava compounds can pass into breast milk and harm a breast-fed baby.
Pregnant women who take kava-kava may experience mild to life-threatening side effects. The most common side effects of kava-kava, according to the UMMC, are fatigue, dizziness, restlessness, upset stomach, and tremors. In several case reports, kava-kava has been linked to liver diseases like cirrhosis and hepatitis. Although uncommon, these complications can be fatal to both the mother and the fetus. If your health care provider advises you to take kava-kava, report any side effects right away.
What Are The Forms Of Kava?
Kava can be consumed as tea, a capsule, a powder, or a liquid. Except for kava tea, these products are made from a concentrated mixture made by extracting kavalactones from the plant’s root with ethanol or acetone.
Tea is the most common way to take kava for anxiety because it is readily available. It’s sold alone or in combination with other herbs that help you relax, and it’s brewed with hot water. Look for kava teas that list the amount of kavalactone and other ingredients.
Avoid teas with the words “proprietary blends” in the ingredient list. You won’t know how much kava you’re getting with these products.
Kava Tincture (liquid) or Kava Tincture (tincture)
This is liquid kava that comes in small bottles with 2–6 ounces (59–177 ml). It can be taken as a dropper or mixed into juice or another drink to mask the whiskey flavor.
Because the kavalactones are concentrated, making kava tincture and kava liquid more potent than other forms, it’s essential to only take a small dose.
Kava Capsules are a type of kava that comes in capsule form.
If you don’t like the taste of kava, you can take it as a capsule.
Look for products that list the kavalactone content, just like kava tea. One capsule, for example, could contain 100 mg of kava root extract standardized to contain 30% kavalactones. This knowledge will aid you in avoiding consuming too many or too few kavalactones.
Kava is best taken with water. The drink has a distinctly bitter taste, but it can be avoided by taking it in capsule form. You can also opt to buy kava tablets and take them in pill form. While a kava tablet is not toxic, you should avoid consuming it if you have a sensitive stomach or are not comfortable drinking it in a tea. You can also get a kava-flavored liqueur if you want to experience the same effects without a mug.
If you are looking to drink kava, you should know what it tastes like. Its strong and grassy flavor will make you feel tense, but you won’t feel anything. If you don’t like the taste, you should stop drinking it. It will make you tired and you may even have a nervous breakdown. If you’re a beginner, don’t be worried. The taste will pass.