Noble Kava VS Tudei Kava
There are over 105 different varieties of kava but they can all be divided into 2 easy categories, Noble and Tudei. In Vanuatu, the purported birthplace of kava, islanders only consume pure Noble kava on a regular basis. They have gone so far as to ban the export of Tudei kava varieties due to the unpleasant side effects that can be associated with them (Nausea and Lethargy). These two varieties are worlds apart and it is recommended to consume only Noble Kava Root. The problem lies in the fact that since Tudei kava is undesirable and pretty much unsellable in Vanuatu, they still export it widely to uninterested or unknowing US kava suppliers. The vast majority of kava available in the US is mixed with Tudei Kava at some extent and it is important when purchasing kava to buy from a knowledgeable and well tested vendor.
Heavy VS Heady Kava
Kavalactones (the individual compounds of each kava variety) determine the overall effect you will get from your kava powder. Each of the main 6 kavalactones are assigned a number (1-6) to make-up what is known as the chemotype to help display this information. Kavain(#4) is responsible for the elevated mood. DHK and DHM(#2 and #5) are responsible for sedating effects. Yangonin(#3) is purported to be responsible for stimulating effects. So Kavas low in #5 and High in #3 are known as heady kavas, better for daytime use as they still impart relaxation but little drowsiness. Kavas high in #2 and #5 are known as Heavy Kavas, better for evening use because they impart more drowsiness and muscle relaxation.
Medium Grind Kava VS Instant VS Micronized VS Extracts
Medium Grind Kava is how kava is traditionally prepared, it needs to be strained with a cloth strainer and kneaded in warm/hot water for about 5 minutes. The overall consensus is traditionally prepared kava is where you’ll get the most bang for your buck. Extracts (drinks, pastes, tinctures), Instant, and Micronized Kava products were developed for ease of use. Instant and Micronized are powdered forms of kava that are more concentrated and only need to be stirred into a beverage. Extracts have a variety of uses and are sometimes flavored to help with the “natural” taste of regular kava.
Various Kava Info, Tips, and Tricks
-The effects of Kava are best felt on an empty stomach. It is recommended to consume kava 2-4 hours after your last meal. Typically in Vanuatu, kava is consumed at the end of the work day before going home to dinner.
-Traditionally prepared, Noble kava root has been used for centuries in the South Pacific without any major side effects. Learn more.
-Kava has a “Reverse Tolerance” effect for some people, meaning the effects of kava may not be felt fully with the first couple of times of use. Stick with it through this period though, the benefits eventually become clear.
-Kava can act as an aphrodisiac especially in women.
– Use hot water to prepare your kava root (typically as hot as your tap will get). It will extract more kavalactones. Then chill your beverage with some ice cubes. More Kava Preparation Tips can be found here.