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Home / News / What is the Strongest Kava

What is the Strongest Kava

Diana Grace image

By Diana Grace

Published October 1, 2021

When you’re eight, it’s okay to be a little gullible. But it does have its drawbacks.

Especially when it comes to food.

Are you familiar with those chocolate no-bake cookies? You just need a little sugar, cocoa powder, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, milk, and quick-cooking oats. Now, they are no-bake, but they are not no-cook

You do need a stovetop to make them. Stirring together the ingredients on the stove delivers a magical, chocolatey smell through the house. 

Did you know that straight cocoa powder also smells delicious? It does. (Don’t go into your cupboard and pull out that tin of cocoa powder to sniff. That powder will go straight up your nose. It won’t be pleasant.)

So, when cocoa powder is blended with water in a pot, whisked together, and cooked, it looks like chocolate syrup. It smells like chocolate syrup. And when your teenage step-sibling brings you the pot with a huge smile on her face and offers you a taste, naturally you jump at the chance. And then she waits.

For you to gag.

She laughs hysterically as you discover that cocoa powder needs sugar to actually make it sweet rather than being very intensely bitter. Plain cocoa powder has a very bitter, earthy, strong flavor. 

It’s pretty common for plant-derived food to be at their strongest when they are in their purest form. This is true of essential oils, CBD oil, juices, coffee, aloe vera, cacao, and kava. 

Pure Plant-Derived Products Tend to be More Potent

When products found in nature are used in their purest form, that is when they are most effective. They typically tend to be more expensive, as well. You might think that more processing would make things more expensive. But the opposite is true. Processing makes natural products less pure, less effective, and less expensive. 

Their natural properties are stripped away the more they are processed. They are cheaper because they’re processed in a cheaper, faster, more generic way. When plants are processed carefully and precisely it takes longer.

For example, essential oils that have not been treated with chemicals and are distilled with steam will be the purest form of that specific oil. It means that each drop of the oil will be more potent than the same essential oil that was not carefully processed. 

This is especially true of the kava plant, also known as piper methysticum. The manner in which kava is processed makes a huge difference in the way our bodies process kava. 

Kava is Easy to Harvest

It’s true. Kava is pretty easy to harvest. You just pull that plant out of the soil, wash it off (because you don’t eat dirt, do you?), cut the long roots that run parallel to the ground, and cut them up into pieces. Tadahhh! You have kava.

Just grab that root and go to town by chewing the devil out of it! Kidding. This is absolutely not how you go about using your freshly harvested kava root. (Feel free to try this. You deserve the disgusting taste you’ll have in your mouth for being so silly.)

Okay, actually, you just have some pieces of kava root. But that’s good because it is the part of the plant you should be using. So you are definitely on the right track. The root is the only part of the kava plant worth using. 

But you cannot just run out and grab a kava plant at your local big box store. Kava grows best in the islands of the South Pacific. That’s a little far from home for most of us. 

And you can’t grow kava from a seed. There will be nodes on the stalk. The stalk must be cut into pieces and those cuttings will then be planted in the ground. Now you just care for it and wait for it to grow.

And wait. And waaaait. And wait. For about five years! Yep. Kava takes five years to be ready for harvest.

After you’ve waited five years, pulled it from the ground, and chopped up the roots, you’ll need to dry it or freeze it. 

Processing the Kava Root

If you have access to fresh-from-the-ground kava, you are probably on an island. That’s where almost all the kava is found. Natives will take the kava root and chew it, grind it, or pound it to pulverize it.

Their hands serve as the mortar and a piece of coral is the pestle. As it’s ground, the moisture of the fresh kava root is released. Or if the person should choose to pound the kava, they just need a stone and a log to get the job done. It’s then added to a bit of fresh, cool water and drunk immediately.

The same process that is done with a fresh root can also be done with dried kava root. No matter how you grind it, it’s bitter. Boy, is it bitter! 

Putting the kava root straight into your mouth and chewing on it is hands-down the strongest form of kava available. The actual chewing of the kava root has the unmatched capability of grinding it into the tiniest particles.  It is completely unhindered by any processing, so every drop of the kava goes unwasted. 

This is the absolute freshest, most potent form of kava. Completely fresh kava root is a bit stronger than the dried root. 

But here’s where it gets more complicated. There are 103 varieties of kava and various Pacific island cultures. That adds up to countless possibilities in the strength of kava. 

Vanuatu is one of the Pacific Islands, which is considered to be the birthplace of kava. In the Vanuatu culture, when the natives partake in some strong kava they follow it with some hot tea or a hot meal. To get the most out of their kava, they wait for a while to enjoy a meal so that the kava has nothing preventing it from absorbing into the bloodstream.

On the breathtaking island of Fiji, the natives like to share a drink they refer to as grog. Grog, of course, is kava. They dry their kava root in the sun and then grind it into a fine powder. Once they have the powder, they strain it and mix it with cold water.

If you were to visit and wanted to blend in with the natives while drinking your grog, then you’d pour it into a bilo (half of a coconut shell.) The younger men in Fiji drink grog regularly and usually chase it with something sweet or spicy. 

Truth be told, the kava bars on the Pacific Islands pride themselves on serving the strongest kava. They brew their kava to have the most kavalactones per serving. One coconut shell of kava will do the trick. 

But what is it that makes that kava so darn strong?

What Makes Kava Strong?

The answer is one word. Kavalactones. The kavalactone content of kava directly affects its strength. They occur naturally in the kava root and are the wonder compounds that bind themselves to the receptors of the brain responsible for inhibition, feelings of well-being, and muscle relaxation.

The quantity of kavalactones present in a serving of kava determines its strength. This basically means that the higher the kavalactone content, the stronger the kava. So the stronger the kava the more intense its effects will be on your body. 

Conversely, the fewer amount of kavalactones in your kava means weaker kava. A weaker kava results in a much milder effect on your mind and body. 

Which Form of Kava is the Strongest?

There are multiple ways to take your kava, and each one of the forms has a different strength. And we must insist that whichever form you choose, make sure it is made from noble kava. Do not choose the much lesser quality tudei kava.

Now, we’re going to tell you the typical forms of kava and how they stack up against each other.

Kava Tea: Ohhh, kava tea … You have given kava the reputation of a liar. Shame on you. Kava tea is weak and pointless. The high temperature of the water required to make tea actually kills almost all of the kavalactones. If the active ingredient of the tea is dead, then there is no way it works.

Kava Breath Strips or Kava Gum: Let’s just lead with the most important part. These options don’t really work. You can pop these in your mouth and hope for the best, but your expectations will not be met. The effects of kava gum will not be noticeable.

Kava Capsules: Please do some research before relying on kava capsules to give you the typical kava results. They do not work at nearly the same rate as other forms of kava. You will need to take kava pills for a few weeks before it builds up in your system enough to notice results.

Kava Tincture:  What exactly is a kava tincture? It is an extract of kava that is concentrated in a small container. You can find tinctures in different strengths. Some tinctures are so concentrated that you only need two or three drops for the desired effect. Some tinctures or extracts may also have herbs added to them to strengthen the effects of relaxation.

Kava Paste: The kava paste is similar to a tincture. You will mix your kava powder with a bit of water to make your kava paste. Again, this form of kava can be found with different amounts of kavalactones present. All it takes is a blueberry-sized blob for your full daily dose of kava.

Instant Kava Powder: There are so many powders that you just add to water, give it a stir, and enjoy. Kava powder mix is no exception. When you use a powder, it allows you to precisely manage the number of kavalactones in your servings. 

Brewed Kava: As we’ve already told you, the kava bars of the Pacific Islands are where you will find the strongest kava. They have firsthand access to fresh kava. Brewing kava is like brewing tea. It’s strained through a cheesecloth and put into a bowl of hot tap water to steep. (Do not use boiling water as you would for tea, or you’ll lose the full benefits.) Then it’s kneaded inside the water until the liquid becomes a milky brown. Finally, chill your kava and drink. 

But What if You Don’t Live in the Islands of the Pacific?

There is a good chance that you do not have access to a true kava brew because you probably don’t live on an exotic island in the Pacific where you can sip on kava from a coconut.  


You may not even have any kava bars in your area. They are gradually popping up around the US. You definitely cannot find them in every city … but the internet is available!

There are multiple kava products available for purchase online. You can buy several versions of instant powders that you will need to prepare yourself. Or you can buy a prepared kava drink. 

Prepared kava drinks have done the measuring for you. Just be sure you choose a kava drink that has been thoroughly tried and tested. We’ve done the work for you and bottled it into four delicious ounces.

Calming Co. worked with a Ph.D. in molecular cell biology to create the perfect blend of herbs and noble kava that will safely give you the results you need. Relax, focus, and unwind your tense muscles with one four-ounce Calming Tonic, Ü Relax.

In the End …

The strongest kava is a bitter, bitter kava that requires you to have an acquired taste … and for you to relocate to an island in the Pacific. So, you’ll probably need to go another route if you want to begin a good kava routine.

Sure, you can try a high-quality, instant kava powder made exclusively from noble kava. But there are many brands and varieties of kava to choose from, how can you tell which one is the best? Please be careful if you go this route. Do your research to be sure you’re getting a top-quality kava.

Or, you can go with a clinically proven kava developed with you in mind, Ü Relax. You truly can’t go wrong with a bottle of our prepared kava. Why go bitter when you can go with a better blend that delivers amazing and delicious results?!