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Home / News / Can Kava Really Help With Stress

Can Kava Really Help With Stress

Diana Grace image

By Diana Grace

Published April 1, 2022

What do you think about using essential oils? 

Some of you were immediately skeptical and muttered “snake oil” to yourself. You conjure up images of a peddler selling stardust and promising miracle cures. Essential oils truly sound like a scam to you.

Others aren’t really sure where you stand on essential oils. Maybe you tried a little peppermint and eucalyptus to clear your sinuses, some lavender oil for relaxation. You aren’t opposed to essential oils, but you do not trust them for too many ailments in your life.

And then there are those of you who have done your research and have become firm believers in the effectiveness of essential oils. You know the story behind Thieves oil that dates back to the plague, so you rub it on regularly. You know all about the healing properties of at least fifteen oils and your friends call you for your sage advice on natural remedies.

Our culture has a tendency to shy away from or make fun of natural remedies. We sometimes run to them as a last-ditch effort to fix a problem. Believe it or not, there are countless people who don’t trust most traditional routes for healing. They heal their bodies without pharmaceuticals. 

Natural remedies have been around since the beginning of humankind. Using what we find in nature to ease aches and pains, soothe upset stomachs, and relax our bodies is not only widely practiced, it is also known to be pretty darn effective.

When you suffer from things like hormonal imbalances or regular anxiety, you want relief. You want to get through your days feeling normal. And you may want to do it as naturally as possible. 

Stress makes whatever you’re dealing with feel much worse. It magnifies your symptoms. The stress has to be dealt with in order to feel better, to sleep, to heal.

If you are one of the millions of people who struggle with stress on a consistent basis, you may be considering an herbal remedy. You may just be looking into the islands of the South Pacific for help. And we bet you have found kava. 

Are you intrigued by the notion that kava might help ease your stress? We bet you are!

Sooo …


Can Kava Really Help With Stress?

That is the question of the day. If your goal in drinking kava is to reduce your stress level, then you really want to know if it’s going to be a waste of time or totally worth it.

For those of you who haven’t done any research on kava, let’s start at the beginning.


This is Kava …

Kava grows natively on the islands of the South Pacific. It comes in over one hundred variations among all the islands. What may look like a field of bushes may actually be a field of kava plants!


Every island has its own variety of kava, which includes Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu, and Hawaii. The local farmers have been growing this magical plant for centuries. And as long as they have been growing it, the locals have been enjoying it in ceremonies and other social gatherings. 


The word “kava” means bitter. Y’all. Kava is like a bitter blessing that you will not soon forget. The taste is completely undeniable and so are the effects. Partaking in a little cup or bowl of kava feels like washing your body in a wave of calm.


Kava can be divided into two basic categories: tudei or noble. Tudei kava has effects that linger for two days and are referred to as a kava hangover. Noble kava has much more reliable safe effects for the user. Just be sure to stick with noble kava. It is definitely the way to go. 


Noble kava can take you to a reliable state of zen. This is why it is considered a possible treatment for stress.

How Does Kava Reduce Stress?

The island natives have been using kava in their families generation after generation to help them relax and interact socially. This is possible because of the presence of kavalactones. The kavalactones work directly with the mood receptors.


According to research, “Extracts of the pepper plant kava (Piper methysticum) are effective in alleviating anxiety in clinical trials ...There is a long-standing interest in the use of kava in the treatment of anxiety. In clinical trials, kava extracts are superior to placebo in reducing anxiety, and are generally well tolerated with negligible to mild side effects.


Kava stimulates dopamine in the brain while also depressing the central nervous system, affecting the GABA receptors. GABA receptors inhibit or reduce nerve impulses. Say hello to calm!


Don’t get confused here. Kava doesn’t work like alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant in every sense. Alcohol slows your reaction time and makes it impossible to be focused and clear-headed. That is not what kava does. 


Kava calms your nervous system. When your brain and body just can’t seem to get a grip and chill out, kava steps in and brings you just the right amount of chill. But it doesn’t slow your brain’s ability to function. It doesn’t slow your reaction time. Kava can actually help you focus. 


Is it starting to make sense why people would turn to kava for reducing their stress? Kava stops your nerve impulses from rapid firing so your body can relax, and at the same time, your creative side is unleashed and your mind has great focus.


The kavalactones make all of this relaxed awesomeness happen. (Yep, “awesomeness” is a real word!) Although there are actually eighteen kavalactones, there are only six main kavalactones responsible for this effect. 

Six Main Kavalactones in Kava:

  • Desmethoxyyangonin = #1
  • Dihydrokavain = #2
  • Yangonin = #3
  • Kavain = #4
  • Dihydromethysticin = #5
  • Methysticin = #6

How Do Kavalactones Work?

The very first effect of the kavalactones happens in your mouth. If you aren’t aware of it before drinking kava for the first time, it might just freak you out a little. Your lips and tongue feel numb, and it hits pretty quickly. You can’t miss it!


Kavain and the other kavalactones cooperate with the limbic system. The limbic system is most associated with our feelings, emotional behavior, and desires. Our fears and anxieties are regulated by the amygdala. 


As stated earlier, kavalactones are known for binding to the receptors in the amygdala. This is more than likely the reason why kava reduces symptoms of stress and helps you reach a state of calm. 


This is important and intriguing because millions upon millions of Americans face anxiety on a regular basis. This anxiety could come in the form of post-traumatic stress, certain phobias, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. 


Unfortunately, many of these people have more than one mental health issue they deal with regularly. Countless numbers of them are struggling with ADHD, eating disorders, or depression. 


People want relief. We want to feel better. We’ve taken meds—we may still be taking meds to handle our stress. And sometimes, we want more natural solutions to help us manage the stress of our crazy, stressful lives. 


The desire to have other options besides prescription medication is growing in our culture. People want things to take as either an alternative or in conjunction with their meds. So, as a people, we are on the hunt for natural remedies. 


That’s why people are flocking to kava bars (where available) and ordering their own kava online.

How Much Kava Should You Use for Anxiety?

Now that is a great question. The short answer? There are different suggestions and schools of thought on kava dosage. There is a good reason for that. 

No two people are exactly alike, so neither are our bodies and the rate we metabolize substances. This means you will need to essentially practice drinking kava until you find the amount that delivers the desired result. 

If you’re making your own kava, start with a minimal amount and pay attention to how you feel.  And as always, make sure you’re only drinking noble kava. We repeat, only drink noble kava. 

You don’t have to drink kava. You can try pills, tinctures, gummies, mints, or chocolates. However, kava is most effective when it’s in the form of a drink. The drink can be made the original way, by chewing up the root and making a drink out of the masticated substance.

But if you’d rather do the more contemporary version, you can get your kava by going online and buying either a bag of powdered kava or snagging a six-pack of pre-made kava.


What is Pre-Made Kava?

Well, we are not referring to kava made fresh by another person in a kava bar or in their home. We are talking about buying kava that is made ahead of time … like a kava blend that was created with the purest intentions to help a stressed culture. 

If you want the best pre-made kava, please check out Ü Relax Calming Tonic

Ü Relax is our original kava blend made with plant-based ingredients proven to relieve stress. Our five main ingredients consist of noble kava, lemon balm, L-theanine, ashwagandha, and chamomile.

Each delicious four-ounce serving has been clinically tested in double-blind placebo-controlled trials, and specifically designed with the perfect dosage for a calming tonic that’s effective, reliable, safe, and convenient. Kava that is yummy, effective, and convenient? Yes, please!


So What?

So, if you are suffering from a stressed lifestyle and want a more natural way to relax and focus, kava is a fantastic option. You can relax and simultaneously be mentally focused. And wouldn’t having better mental focus make you feel less stressed?!

You can try supplements, candies, or teas. They won’t be as effective as drinking your kava from the powdered form. And they won’t be as tasty, convenient, and reliable as drinking four little ounces of Ü Relax Caming Tonic!