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Kava kava (Piper methysticum) is a tropical plant species from the islands of the pacific ocean — Fiji, Vanuatu, The Solomon Islands, Samoa, and Tonga. 

Traditionally, kava was used for its calming and euphoric effects during ceremonies, family gatherings, funerals, and celebrations.

Today, kava is primarily used to support sleep, anxiety, depression, and muscle tension. 

It’s also a popular alternative option to alcohol. It provides a similar carefree state of mind, but without intoxication. The mind remains perfectly clear while drinking kava.

As it turns out… the combination of calming and mild euphoric effects makes kava perfect for sparking conversation. 

Dr A’s Lo-Fi Kava can be consumed at anytime of the day, but is exceptionally enjoyed when decompressing or when going though hard times or even dealing with work stress.

Found throughout the South Pacific Islands.  Dr A’s Lo-Fi Kava is sourced direct from farmers in Fiji, Vanuatu & Tonga.

Kava has been used traditionally to make social and ceremonial occasions more enjoyable. It is a relaxing, uplifting drink that will get rid of any stress or tension you might be carrying in your body and mind.  Kava encourages a positive mood.

Kava benefits include being able to help you relax and ease fears that may be holding you back from living your best quality of life.  Kava helps because it calms the mind, soothes the stomach, and helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels.  Kava doesn’t cause a high, but it induces a euphoria.

Kava supplements are often taken for long-term treatment for stress and to help you sleep better at night.

Kava is known to help support the body’s response to stress and anxiety.  Using kava can help with an array of health issues.

In certain Pacific Islands, the traditional ceremonial drink known as Yaqona or grog is made from kava roots.

In these islands, Yaqona is consumed for use in social and political ceremonies as a symbol of respect for visitors, elders and high-ranking persons.  The effects produced by consuming Yaqona include a sense of well-being, contentment, calmness and mild aphrodisiac effects.


Piper methysticum (kava or kava kava) is a traditional Polynesian root beverage, that has been enjoyed in the Pacific Islands for centuries. Kava is renowned for enhancing relaxation and promoting well-being without causing drowsiness or intoxication.  Kavalactones are the active ingredients in kava, which contribute to its medicinal activity.   Kavalactones act on the brain’s limbic system, which controls emotions and sensations of pleasure.

Kavalactones have groups of lactone, pyrones and chalcones compounds found in the kava shrub. While there are many kavalactones, it’s thought that of the major 6; kavain, dihydrokavain and methysticin are the most important to mood-elevating and relaxing effects of kava.

Kavalactones can either be water-soluble or fat-soluble. In general, water-soluble kavalactones have milder effects than the fat-soluble counterparts. The effects of Kavalactones include euphoria, relaxation, mental clarity, reduced anxiety and social enhancement.

The effects last between one to two hours after ingestion. After ingesting kavalactones, most users experience a relaxed feeling with mental alertness, which is why it’s often referred to as a “cleansing” drink. It calms your mind without clouding it.


The main active kavalactones responsible for anxiolytic, analgesic, and cognitive effects derive from the rhizomes of the plant.  The most abundant kavalactone in the brain of treated mice was (R)-kavain ((R)-3,4-dihydro-5-isopropyl-2(1H)-pyridinone); the anxiolytic activity of kava may be related to its ability to increase g-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels in the brain.  Some studies have shown that kavain could potentially be useful in alleviating the symptoms of epilepsy and delirium tremens (DTs).  13-WBE (13-week study on rats) was able to show positive effects on liver.

The anxiolytic effects of kava have been demonstrated clinically in more than a dozen placebo-controlled studies with both healthy volunteers and patients suffering from generalized anxiety disorder. Kava extract is as effective as standard anxiolytics, such as buspirone or opipramol, in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder.

In addition to anxiolysis, kava has shown muscle relaxant and mild sedative effects in animals. These findings are consistent with clinical evidence that kava relieves muscle tension and induces a state of “mental clarity” or “alert calmness.” The pharmacological effects of kava may be mediated through specific binding sites on the GABA(A) receptor complex.

Kava was found to be safe when used over a five-year period without significant hepatotoxic effects. However, analyses of more recent cases of liver toxicity linked to kava use suggest that individuals consuming very high doses or taking concentrated extracts may be at risk for adverse events.

More Research

National Laboratory of Medicine Publications