You may have heard that Kava Kava is one of the most effective remedies for anxiety. However, a reported case of liver damage in 2002 leads to precautionary advice issued by the FDA to ensure the herbal root is taken in the right manner.
Before you start taking kava supplement for anxiety, read on to understand how kava calms you down amidst a chaotic mind and most importantly, the right way to take kava supplements.
What Is Kava Kava
Kava Kava or sometimes read as kava is a herbal remedy derived from the roots of Piper methysticum, a plant found in the South Pacific that produces an intoxicating effect when consumed. It has been used by the indigenous community for social purposes and medicinal remedies as well.
Making Kava beverage involves grounding the root of the plant to powder before mixing it with water. While the drink isn’t visually appealing due to its mud-like appearance, the people on the Pacific islands has been enjoying Kava for more than 3,000 years.
How Kava Helps Anxiety Scientifically
The Kava extract contains kavalactones, the primary compound that interacts with the neural pathways. One clinical study has shown positive results of how Kava has effectively reduced anxiety in participants. Kava increases the production of GABA, a neurotransmitter naturally produced in our brain and crucial for regulating our emotion.
Serotonin and dopamine, both hormones that promote positive emotion are also increased by the compounds of Kava. The effectiveness of Kava has been measured against prescription medications and the fact that Kava does not cause addiction made it a preferred remedy over the latter.
Other Health Benefits Of Kava Kava
There are many good reasons for taking Kava extracts apart from combating anxiety and savoring the complex earthy taste of the concoction. The medicinal properties of Kava have been tested by time and it has proven to be effective for some of our health concerns.
- It helps insomnia – Kava’s ability to increase the GABA neurotransmitter helps individual suffering from insomnia to sleep. A study that involves 24 participants showed that kava reduces symptoms of insomnia significantly.
- Kava reduces depression – Depression is a crippling mental disorder that can be alleviated by taking Kava supplements. Taken in the right dosage, Kava has been proven to reduce depression in individuals who also suffered anxiety, as demonstrated by a clinical study.
- Prevents Alzheimer – Kava’s neuroprotective properties are believed to protect the brain from damages suffered by Alzheimer patients.
- Kava May Stop Cancer – While this is rather a bold claim, studies have shown encouraging result in how kava consumption pay prevent or inhibit various forms of cancer. It effectively cuts off the blood supply to tumor cells in cancer patients, as indicated in a particular study.
Best Way To Take Kava For Anxiety
There are no standards that regulate a safe dosage for Kava supplements. It is generally accepted that the maximum daily serving should not exceed 250 mg of active kavalactones. If you’re in doubt, always consult your doctor before starting Kava as a supplement.
Side Effects And Precautions For Kava Kava
Kava is a potent herbal that may cause major and minor side effects. It is always recommended to start on a lesser dosage and never exceed the maximum 250mg daily limit.
Some of the minor side effects that are caused by Kava are headaches, dizziness, fatigue, diarrhea, skin problems, and depression. When taken in an unsafe large dosage, Kava is associated with causing liver damage, although this claim is yet to be conclusively verified.
If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, avoid taking Kava Kava.
Kava extract is also known to cause negative reactions when mixed with substances. Avoid taking Kava when you’re under medication especially for Parkinson’s disease. If you’re unsure of the right dosage or if you should take Kava at all, speak to your doctor for the best advice.
Is Kava Legal?
It’s beyond a doubt that Kava is a great remedy for anxiety and other disorders. But since Kava has been linked to liver damage in 2002, it has been banned in some countries, despite eventual studies being unable to establish a link.
Kava is legal in the US as a dietary supplement but not for medicinal purposes. The same applies to the UK and Canada, although the latter has a rather complex regulation around Kava. In Australia, selling Kava is totally prohibited.
Note that the regulations surrounding Kava may change from time to time. Ensure that Kava is legal in your country before purchasing the supplements.
How To Choose The Right Kava Supplements
Kava is a nutritional supplement that affects the wellness of your brain. It helps to take these factors into consideration to choose the right Kava supplement for yourself.
- Form – Kava is usually available in capsules, liquid extract, and powder. Liquid extract allows easier absorption while capsules are great in masking the taste. You may want to opt for the powder form that can be mixed with juices or smoothies.
- Kavalactones – This is the active compound that will help relieve your anxiety. Ensure that you’re getting Kava supplements that have the right dosage.
- Manufacturer – Choose manufacturers that are trusted by their customers and practiced a high standard in harvesting and manufacturing. Certification of Non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free and GMP are all bonus points.
Where To Buy Kava Kava
There is a great number of Kava Kava supplier online and offline that you could choose from. But if you like to compare different brands of Kava easily, Amazon is a great place to start. You’ll also be able to read the reviews left by other buyers.
The Best Kava Kava Supplements For Anxiety 2018
I’ve taken the effort to carefully select the best Kava supplements of all form for you. They are shortlisted based on the criteria that I’ve mentioned as I believe in only the highest quality of pure Kava extract.
1. Kavana Supplements Kava Kava Root Extract
- Type: Capsules
- Serving: 400mg Kava (30% Kavalactones)
- Quantity: 60 Capsules
Kavana Supplements is a specialized brand that supplies kava-related products. It ensures that each batch of kava supplements are safe for consumers by using only carefully harvested ingredients and a strictly FDA compliant facility.
Kava is known as a natural stress and anxiety reliever and this bottle of kava capsules offer more than that. Besides kava, the capsules also contain 5-HTP, L-theanine, Valerian Root, & Magnesium Chelate. They are all known compound to induce relaxation of your mind.
Only natural ingredients made their way into the production of the kava capsules. There are no stimulants like eleuthero which may be found in lesser kava products or harmful additives used in the manufacturing process.
Each of the capsules contains 400 mg of Kava with 30% of kavalactones. Taking a single capsule daily will help to de-stress and keep anxiety off the bay. You’ll also find it easier to fall asleep during bedtime as your mind quiets down.
- 100% natural Kava
- Fast acting for anxiety
- Helps promote relaxing sleep
- Not effective for some individuals.
2.VH Nutrition Kava Kava Capsules
- Type: Capsules
- Serving: 700mg Kava (30% Kavalactones)
- Quantity: 60 Capsules
VH Nutrition was established in 2012, with the sole mission to formulate natural supplements that address the various health issues faced by the community. It relies heavily on scientific research and the purest ingredients to produce supplements that are both effective and safe.
This is a highly potent Kava capsule that you should take with care. It is made with an ultra-potent form of Kava extract that is 4 times stronger than most competing brands. While the percentage of Kavalactones are not stated on the label, the 700 mg of Kava used will naturally contain a high dosage of the active compound.
If you’ve been suffering from anxiety, this could be a great supplement to restore your mental endurance and keep things under control. While it is suggested by the manufacturer that you take two capsules on a daily basis, it is wiser to start with a single capsule before increasing the dosage.
- Highly potent kava extract.
- Reduce anxiety
- Help insomnia
- Not effective for certain individuals
3. Wild Harvested Kava Root by Pure Mountain Botanicals
- Type: Capsules
- Serving: 400mg Kava
- Quantity: 90 Capsules
Appalled by the harmful pesticides and chemicals that made their way to health supplements, Pure Mountain Botanicals was established in 2013. It hopes to offer a safer and healthier option for consumers by making nutritional supplements with organically sourced ingredients and encourage sustainability.
These capsules are made from naturally extracted roots of Kava and help you to relax when taken orally. If you’re uncomfortable with the taste of kava, the capsule form is the best method for incorporating kava supplement into your diet. Your anxiety will as the properties of kava kicks in.
Each of the capsules contains 400 mg of Kava, with no artificial fillers being used in the manufacturing process. The capsules are also guaranteed to be vegetarian-friendly, kosher and gluten-free. The percentage of kavalactones was not specified as the amount but it is believed to be highly potent as the kava was harvested from the Islands of Vanuatu in the South Pacifics.
- Strong kava from Vanuatu
- Curb anxiety effectively.
- Non-Gluten, Kosher, and vegetarian capsules.
- No discernable effect for some.
4. Natrol Kava Kava Capsules
- Type: Capsules
- Serving: 200mg Kava (30% Kavalactones)
- Quantity: 30 Capsules
Natrol has more than 35 years of experience as a leading nutritional supplement brand. It helps empower the health of its customer by operating on its core principles that ensure quality innovated products at an affordable cost.
The 200mg of Kava offered by Natrol offers a mild dosage of the South Pacific native root to help calm your anxious mind. It contains 30% of Kavalactones, or 60 mg of the active compound per capsule and is well below the maximum limit of 250 mg per day.
You’ll find that the capsules are easy to swallow and is relatively tasteless compared to the liquid form. But it is equally effective as the kava extract increases the GABA in your brain to make you feel calmer. Natrol ensures that the purity of the capsules is not compromised by any harmful additives.
- Easy to swallow capsules.
- Help reduce anxiety and restlessness.
- Improve the quality of sleep.
- Ineffective for some customers.
5. Nature’s Answer Kava 6 Alcohol-Free Extract
- Type: Liquid Extract
- Serving: 100mg Kava per 1 ml (50% Kavalactones)
- Quantity: 1 oz
Nature’s Answer is one of the largest nutritional supplement manufacturers in the United States. Established in 1972, it continues to serve the wellness of families for decades with high quality and pure supplements. With one of the most extensive facilities, each of its products are guaranteed for excellence.
Specially formulated by Natrol, the Kava 6 contains six essential kavalactones that are responsible for promoting your mental health and relaxation. It is recommended that you consume 1 ml of the liquid extract daily, which amounts to 50 mg of kavalactones.
You can expect a sweet earthy taste that lingers in your tastebud and a temporary numbing sensation that indicates the purity of the kava extract. There is no alcohol being used in the extract. In liquid form, you’ll find that the kava extract acts quickly for your anxiety or panic attacks.
- Highly potent kava extract
- No alcohol used.
- Helps anxiety and panic attacks.
- Not the cheapest option
6. Kava Kava Alcohol-Free Liquid Extract by Hawaii Pharm
- Type: Liquid Extract
- Serving: 330 mg Kava per 1 ml
- Quantity: 4 oz
Hawaii Pharm is a nutritional supplement brand that specializes in herbal liquid extracts. It employs unique methods of extraction that preserve the purity of the herb. The company sources the herbs from organic farms or from the wild and now offers one of the widest range of both alcohol and alcohol-free extract.
This is a highly potent kava extract that has a 1:3 ratio of kava roots and the solvent. It’s a great option for individuals who prefer alcohol-free extract and high absorbent rate of kava compounds. The company uses conventional methods to preserve the potency of the root.
To help you get off from daily stress, it is recommended that you take 20-30 drops of the kava liquid daily with plain water or your favorite juices. Compared to capsules, the liquid form of kava extracts is more effective as they are absorbed into the bloodstream more easily.
- Conventional extraction methods preserve the potency of the kava.
- Alcohol-free solvent.
- Helps you to relax quickly.
- Not effective for some buyers.
7. Bulksupplements Pure Kava Kava Extract Powder
- Type: Powder
- Serving: 1000 mg Kava
- Quantity: 100 g
BulkSupplements meant business when it comes to the quality and safety of its nutritional products. It operates from an FDA certified GMP facility and puts its products to strict testing to ensure they are free from contaminants. It now enjoys the trusts of both hundreds of thousands of consumers and manufacturers.
The powder form of Kava powder is shipped in a zippable foil pouch. It’s a great supplement to combat stress and anxiety. You can take half a teaspoon twice a day to enjoy the calming properties of the kava root. It wouldn’t be surprising if you stop struggling with sleep after taking the kava powder.
The powder is subjected to a strict testing procedure to ensure that they are free from any harmful substances. You can be assured that you’re receiving only pure and potent extract, as what you can expect from a nutritional brand like BulkSupplements.
- Packed in a zippable foil pouch.
- Helps to calm nerve
- A cheaper option
- A rather mild dosage of kava.
8. Wakacon Kava Fijian Waka Powder
- Type: Powder
- Serving: 1 tablespoon (Kavalactones 8.2g/100g)
- Quantity: 1 lb
Wakacon produces pure kava powder that is extracted from the lateral and crown root of the plant. They are the most potent part of the plant and contains a high concentration of kavalactones. The powder has been tested by a third party to ensure they are as effective as claimed by Wakacon.
If you fancy making yourself a cup of kava tea, this Kava powder by Wakacon is the perfect ingredient. Just put a tablespoon of the fine powder into a strainer and immerse the strainer into a bowl of warm water. It is important that the water should not be boiling hot as it will destroy the beneficial properties of the kava.
After squeezing the kava infused water from the strainer, you can start enjoying a cup of calmness that comes with the kava root. Besides the earthy taste and the numbing on the tongue, you’ll feel your mind gets clearer as it shakes stresses and anxious thoughts away.
- Fine powders that are easy for straining.
- Third party tested for purity.
- Highly potent kava for mental clarity.
- Some people do not feel the effect.
9. Stress Relief Kava Tea by Yogi Tea (6 pack)
- Type: Tea Bags
- Serving: 78 mg Kava (1 Tea bag )
- Quantity: 96 tea bags (16 tea bags per pack)
Yogi Tea is a well-known brand amongst Ayurvedic practitioners around the world. With decades of experience in producing high quality and aromatic herbal blend, Yogi Tea commits to excellence in manufacturing and promoting a sustainable environment.
Taking a sip of relaxing tea does wonder for your mind. A single tea bag of Kava tea contains more than the root extract alone. It is perfectly blended with Cinnamon, Indian Sarsaparilla Root, and Carob Pod to deliver a sweet peppery taste for relaxation.
Every single ingredient is organically harvested and contain is caffeine free. Made according to traditional Ayurveda practice, the kava tea will help calm your anxious mind and ensure you get the much-needed sleep on a stressful day. To enjoy the tea, steep the tea bag in boiled water for 7 minutes.
- Enhanced with Cinnamon, Indian Sarsaparilla Root, and Carob Pod.
- Help to soothe the mind.
- Economically priced.
- Some individuals do not like the taste.
10. Kava Kava Extract Powder by Samsara Herbs
- Type: Powder
- Serving: 250 mg Kava in 1/2 scoop (30% kavalactones)
- Quantity: 2 oz.
Samsara Herbs aims to bring transformation to people’s lifestyle by sourcing the finest herbal ingredients from all over the world and turn them into highly potent supplements. It offers a huge range of herbal products online and enjoyed a growing reputation.
The kava extract powder produced by Samsara Herbs allow easy intake of the calming kavalactones. A half scoop of the kava powder will be a reasonable dosage if you’ve never taken the herbal extract before. Just mix with plain water, juices or smoothies.
The kava is harvested organically and ground to fine powder to increase the absorption rate. You’ll feel your mind gaining clarity as the kava compound increases the feel-good hormones in your brain. Sourced from Fiji, they are non-GMO certified and tested for purity.
- Highly concentrated Kava powder.
- Finely grounded powder for optimized absorption.
- Great for ending sleepless nights and anxiety.
- No significant effect for some individuals.
What If You Don’t Feel Any Positive Effect After Taking Kava?
It’s possible that you barely feel any positive changes after taking your first serving of kava supplement. Instead of returning the product for a refund, you may want to keep taking the extract for a few more times.
This is because your body may be resistance to the effect of Kava and it’s a normal phenomenon that happens to many. As you maintain the intake of kava extract for a few days, you will start feeling the transformation that brings clarity to your mind.
Once kava starts affecting your mind positively, it will take a lesser amount of kava to relax your mind in the future.
I hope you’ve found the best kava supplement to help ease your anxiety or end your sleeping issues. Share your thoughts and experience with kava in the comment below.
- Best Lemon Balm Supplements For Stress And Anxiety
- Best Magnesium Supplements For Sleep And Anxiety
- Best GABA Supplements For Sleep And Anxiety
- Best Melatonin Supplements For Sleep
- Best Ashwagandha For Anxiety, Stress And Sleep