Monday, June 18, 2012

Kava: Nature's Chill Pill

Every once in a while, I try something new that absolutely blows me away.  It's not often, but it does happen, and when it does it's a real treat.  I mean who doesn't like to be truly astounded?  My most recent experience with the magic of nature came just last Friday while I was at work.  It's rather fitting that this summer I got a job at a beautiful little health food and supplement store called "Rising Tide Natural Foods" in Kittery, Maine.  Not only is the place stocked with the healthiest, purest versions of any sort of food, drink, or supplementation you could imagine, but the employees there (including myself, if I may be so bold) are the nicest you'll find anywhere.  The owner, Paul, takes great pride in his shop, and is an encyclopedia of every supplement and their effects.  He was the one who let me try this new miracle of nature, and I can guarantee to you he saw in my face how blown away I really was.

So enough beating around the bush.  What exactly is this crazy thing I'm talking about?  It's called Kava, and it's probably one of the best relaxant supplements on the shelf.  It causes any sort of anxiety or tension to vanish almost instantly, and at the same time is able to relax every muscle in your body into a soft and wonderfully "loose" state.  And the best part is, it does all this extremely quickly WITHOUT affecting cognitive ability at all.  You can still think just as clearly.  Crazy, eh?

Let me tell you, I'm not one to be immediately swayed by so called "miracle" supplements such as this. Most natural stuff I look over as being good for you, but not particularly effective.  Many times remarkable results are obtained mostly through placebo effect.  But in this instance, that's not the case, AT ALL.  Let me tell you a little bit of my first experience with Kava.  I came upon the stuff while pricing new items, and Paul came over to see how I was doing.  As he saw the Kava, his face lit up instantly and he immediately started going into the history and chemical makeup of the stuff (of which I'll tell you in a bit), and proceeded to ask if I'd ever tried it.  I said I hadn't.  He began to unscrew the cap of the little bottle, and said bluntly, "Let's do some Kava."  He took out the cap (which doubled as one of those mini liquid droppers), filled it with the liquid (which had a brown, semi opaque type of look), and squirted some into my mouth.  I was completely ready to feel absolutely nothing, but that DIDN'T happen.

At first, my mouth went slightly numb.  I swallowed it, and while Paul continued to talk to me, I could feel my body start to release tension.  It went from top to bottom, an unbelievable "descending" feeling.  My nervousness was gone, and I realized I was slouching.  It's as if all at once I slipped into one of the most relaxed states I'd ever been in.  I didn't understand it, and I didn't care to.  I just knew the stuff worked.

So where does this Kava come from?  Well, it's actually a root extract, and has quite a history with different native tribes and tropical climates.  The plant is actually called Piper Methysticum (meanining "intoxicating pepper"), and comes from Western Pacific locations.  You might also see it called "Kava-Kava," but a Kava expert tells me that this double name was probably formulated by supplement companies to sell more product.   It's been used by several Polynesian tribes for its sedative properties, and is actually a large part of many tribal cultures and rituals.  In the purest Kava, only the roots are used, and are rich in what are called "Kavalactones," the active relaxing agent of the plant.  These Kavalactones are unique in that they're able to relax muscles and minds without effecting cognitive ability.  You'll be comfortable, chill, and free of stress.  It's also been known to increase sociability, and as Paul puts it: "it has all the good effects of alcohol, without any of the bad ones!"  He means of course that it will make you comfortable in social situations, a very useful tool.

Would I recommend Kava?  Yes, I definitely would, both for athletes and average people alike.  For athletes, it's a PERFECT way to unwind tight muscles and pent-up tension, and make sure you get a great night's sleep.  For a hard worker, it can release the stress of work quicker and more safely than any complicated blended stress reliever pill.  It's all natural, safe, cheap, and usually readily available at any local health food store.  I really encourage you to try it.  It's a really fun and fantastic experience, and I truly believe that Kava can improve both your mental and physical state to a huge degree.

I know I'm picking up a bottle next chance I get.

If you want the best Kava, go for pure the pure root, which you can buy at
These guys do great business, are very nice, and know this root inside and out.  If you have any questions, I'm sure they'd be more than willing to help you out.

Stay cool, chill, relaxed, and Kava loving.  Good luck!!!


  1. Hey there. I actually own a kava bar in Portland, Oregon where we serve traditionally prepared kava. The plant's scientific name is piper methysticum, which means intoxicating pepper. It is correctly referred to simply as "kava". Western supplement manufacturers are believed to have added the extra "kava" to it for marketing purposes. Most people familiar with the drink believe that the drink made from the root is safer and more effective than tinctures and pills, but there may be some decent tincture manufacturers out there. We at Bula Kava House sell kava root online for home preparation as well. It would be great if you'd link to us in your blog at We have some really great stuff that would allow your readers to try the traditional thing.

    1. Hey Judd, thanks so much for the informative comment! I really appreciate the info, and I'll definitely put a link in the article right after I post this comment. Really interesting about the supposed "kava-kava" name's origin, it definitely makes sense that supplement manufacturers would modify it to sell more. I might actually purchase some Kava from you guys to use a muscle relaxant before bed. Good luck with your company, and thanks for stopping by!

  2. ALuBall - easy way to make kava

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