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Kava by Rex FAQ's

Our Kava by Rex FAQ's list is designed to help clarify some common recurring questions about kava in general.
Some of the information presented on this page is merely of our humble opinion and is a culmination of our years
of experience with kava. As it would be difficult to write about every single question or to even go too in-depth
here, please look at this information we present as a compliment to what other literature about kava you may find
on the internet. This page is currently under construction and will be constantly updated in the future.

If you have a question not covered by the scope of this list, or have suggestions of questions to add to this list,
feel free to contact us via e-mail or by using the submission form on our new Contact Page.


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Please also view our product disclaimer at the very bottom of this page.


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Q: What is kava?

A: "Piper methysticum", literally meaning "intoxicating pepper", is a plant belonging to the pepper family that is
commonly known as kava, kava kava, 'awa, yaqona, yangona, sakau, etc. depending on where you're from. The
word "kava" is the english name for the plant, the powder made from the root, and the drink made from the powder.
Native to the South Pacific, kava was and still is a great healing, social and spiritual beverage used throughout much
of the Pacific Basin from Papua, New Guinea to Hawaii. Various forms of kava are now readily available throughout
the modern world and consumed as an herbal dietary supplement/enhancement, in social or ritualistic settings and even
prescribed as pharmaceuticals.

The active ingredients in kava are called "kavalactones". There are six major kavalactones, each of which are
required to produce the kava effect. Kava is found to be non-habit forming and there is no tolerance buildup (the
more you ingest, the more you need sort of thing). In the thousands of years of use by the Polynesians, there have
never been any reports of lethal overdose or physical addiction/dependance as a result of the traditional use of kava.

It is highly unfortunate that the non-toxic nature of kava has undergone much scrutiny in the late'90's and early 2000's.
Literature on the supposedly adverse properites of kava, i.e. liver damage, from that time period is still stated on the
internet as facts but is based on misinformation and considered very outdated.

Here are just a few great articles:

The Honolulu Advertiser: January 13, 2002: Hawai'i kava growers hit by health concerns

The Honolulu Advertiser: November 8, 2003: Use kava-kava only if it's prepared correctly

CTAHR University of Hawaii: May 2003: Can new research findings restore a tarnished reputation?

Pacific Islands Report:: June 28, 2007: WHO Report Signals Kava Is Safe

ScienceDaily.com: May 14, 2009: Medicinal Plant Kava Safe And Effective In Reducing Anxiety, Study Suggests

Hana Hou magazine: October 2012: Kava As A Cancer-Fighting Agent?


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Q: How is kava made?

A: The central rootstalk and lateral roots of the piper methysticum or kava plant are harvested after they reach a
minimum age of 3-5 years. The roots are then washed well, dried in the sun and pulverised into a fine powder using a
kava pounder or hammermill.

In modern times, the kava drink is made by placing the pulverised root into a "bag" made of cheesecloth or nylon
stockings and then squeezed repeatedly while submerged in water. Go to our tradtional kava making page

Because kavalactones are fat-soluble, what results is a water-extracted starch suspension which is a chocolate milk
colored, muddy or earthy tasting beverage that tends to settle, and must be stirred before each sip.


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Q: What are the active ingredients in kava?

A: The active ingredients in kava are compounds called "kavalactones". There are six major kavalactones, and it is
due to a combination and differing proportion of them that the strength and diversity of kava's psychoactive/physical
effects will vary. Some effects are commonly described as states of tranquility, happy unconcern, sociability, well-being
and contentment.

Click here to see a description of the six major kavalactones and their effects.

Piper methysticum has many different genotypes (rootstalk). Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Hawaii, etc. all have their
favorite acclimatized varieties. Each type has different amounts of active ingredients in varying proportions. Like all
plants, Piper methysticum will exhibit varying traits (strengths and effects) depending on where the plant was grown
and what growing conditions it has been through. Most kava produces a "body numbing" or muscle relaxant type of
effect, and others are special in that they have more of a "cerebral" effect or heady feeling due to a predominant
amount of kavain.


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Q: How should I feel after drinking kava?

A: Everyone is different, although most experienced kava drinkers would probably agree that overly-simplified, kava
has several stages to how one "feels" after traditional consumption:

1. After just a little you may notice heightened senses, clarity of thought and even experience a slight increase in energy.

2. After a little more is ingested - an increase in focus of thoughts, social, talkative, happy, calm and release of stress.

3. Finally after quite a bit more kava consumed, still retaining the others above, very relaxed but still fully aware.

Although kava is not a true adaptogen, the effects can be quite similar. Adaptogenic herbs help the body to seek
overall system balance. Instead of always pushing the body up (stimulant) or down (sedative), adaptogens move the
body toward the middle, where proper balance is achieved.

If you are new to kava and tried some but did not feel anything from it, don't be discouraged! There is something
that can be called a "reverse tolerance" with kava in which some need to kind of "build it up in their body" before any
noticable effects are achieved. Everyone is different and it may take up to several sessions before one feels it. The good
thing is that once you do, you're on your way! The more times you have kava, the less you need to feel the same effect -
thus the name "reverse tolerance".


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Q: What are some Physiological and Psychological Benefits of kava?

A: Researchers have found that kava may be effective against insomnia, urinary problems, pain, spasms, epileptic
seizures, anxiety, depression, stress and may help as a muscle relaxant, diuretic and anti-inflammatory agent.

The kava drink seems to create a sense of sociability and a feeling of being relaxed toward oneself and others. It may
also help with memory, concentration, and mental clarity.

Possible relief of anxiety and depression associated with withdrawal symptoms due to over abuse of drugs, smoking
and alcohol has also been seen.

It may also be helpful to those trying to lose a few pounds due to it's appetite suppressive and diuretic nature.

Please view our product disclaimer at the very bottom of this page.


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Q: How strong do you make your kava and how much do you drink for a few hours worth of effect?

A: These proportions are presented here as a good starting point to get you going in the right direction. It's easy to add water
and dilute your mix, so don't worry about making it too strong. After making the kava drink a few times you will learn what
works best for your own taste and benefit requirements with each individual strain.


Kava Powder to Water Proportions for 1 Gallon (16cups)
Kava Type Amount Water
Isa/Tudei 1 cup* 1 gallon
Fiji Waka 1 cup* 1 gallon
Tongan Pride/Lightning 1 - 1 1/2 cup* 1 gallon
Vanuatu3 Kava 1 - 1 1/2 cup* 1 gallon
*one cup = approx. 1/4 lb. = 114g.

I would say that maybe three to four cups at the above strength is appropriate for a few hours of effect. Again, you may
enjoy more or less according to your own preference.
All kava is different so it's more accurate to weigh the dry powder
instead of just topping off a measuring cup.


If you want to make a little at once, a good proportion is:
2Tbls. (Two Tablespoons) of kava powder to 8oz. of water for strong results, or 16oz. of water for regular results.

How much to drink is entirely up to you because there is no overdose with kava. Regardless, you probably don't want to
be driving right after, just to be on the safe side. If your kava is too strong, or you feel like you drank too much, go out in
the fresh air and drink plenty of fresh water to dilute it in your system.


Follow our traditional kava making instructions because when the extraction process is done properly, it
will have a positive impact on the end product. The effects of kava generally last 6-8 hours although the Isa/Tudei,
being a specialty kava, may last twice as long at appropriate dosage. Drinking fresh water is good to do during or
after your kava session.

In case you haven't already, please view our product disclaimer at the very bottom of this page.


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Q: How do I order kava from Kava by Rex and how much will shipping cost?

A: At the Kava by Rex catalog page, you will find our current products listed and available for purchase via our secure
Paypal shopping cart. Complete payment instructions will be provided for you by Paypal during the checkout process.

Kava by Rex has great shipping prices and will ship to anywhere in the United States and most International countries,
generally wherever Paypal is accepted.

Our shipping prices will be calculated for you by adding items to the shopping cart and entering your zip code or country of
destination. All orders are shipped via USPS Priority Mail flat-rate service or you may choose USPS Express service before
checking out. We choose not to mark up our shipping costs from what the post office charges and actually do not charge extra
for packing or handling. Our complete shipping options and prices can be found at our catalog page as well.

*Save on shipping cost by doubling up!
Two pounds fit in one Express or Priority Mail (standard) flat-rate envelope and will cost the same as one pound to ship. Many
take advantage of this to save on shipping cost.

International customers, particularly but not limited to, those in Germany, Switzerland and Australia please be aware of
your country's possible import restrictions as Kava by Rex does not offer any refunds for any confiscated or "lost"
parcels.


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Q: I am in Honolulu or on the island of Oahu, do I still have to order through your website?

A: Absolutely not! If you happen to be in Honolulu or on the island of Oahu, you may send us an e-mail to request a
kava pick-up arrangement. That way you can save on shipping and at the same time ask any questions you may have
about kava in person. We have no store front but are located in the heart of Honolulu, just 15 minutes from Waikiki!


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Q: I heard from a friend that you have fresh, green, frozen kava root. How do I order some?

A: Yes we do! It is pure, fresh, pulverised Hawaiian kava root frozen into approx. one pound bricks, not an extract
and not dried root. Very tasty, it's the freshest form of kava root you can get outside of Hawaii or any kava producing
nation!

This is considereed a specialty product becuase it's not always in stock, can only be shipped to the continental
United States and is not available for order through the Kava by Rex website. If you are interested in the freshest
kava around, send us an e-mail and we can fill you in on more particulars.


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Q: In your recipe to make kava, you dont use lecithin. Do you think it's not really necessary?

A: Our instructions for making the kava drink are meant to be a generalized example of how to make it in a pure,
modern-traditonal way. Over the years we've had much success in making kava that particular way and people with
decades of kava experience have often said that we make the best kava. Even though, there is nothing set in stone and
there are many ways to make (and enjoy) great kava.

Traditionally, kava was only made through chewing and spitting (mastication) or with fresh water/coconut water
(not coconut milk) and no additives. Kava is great by itself and very effective that way.

Many years before we had our current website, Kava by Rex was possibly one of the first on the internet to mention the
not very well known novelty of adding granulated/liquid lecithin or even some type of neutral tasting oil (flax, canola, etc.)
to the kava drink to possibly increase assimilation into the bloodstream.

It was originally just a suggestion for -but not limited to- those who wanted to extract the kava by using a blender,
which may not necessarily be as efficient as squeezing it in water. Using lecithin with kava has now caught on and
it seems like many are doing it or at least have tried it. Back in the day (30-40 years ago), using lecithin with kava
wasn't well known and done basically only in small kava circles.

Nowdays using additives with the kava drink has become somewhat popular and even "the" thing to do in some cases.
While we are definitely not against using lecithin or oil with the kava drink, in our humble opinion, it should actually be only
secondary. If you have not tried true, pure kava we suggest you give it a try.


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Q: I read somewhere that numbness is a sign of a good strong kava, is this true?
or What makes a good kava good?

A: What you have heard is a common thing for people to say. There is truth to this although unfortunately it can be
misleading. Being only part of the story it may be kind of a misconception, if you will.

Many are confused by this because it implies that all good kava will be numbing and any kava that does not produce
numbness is not strong or "good". It all depends on what makes a "good" kava "good" and what one considers "good"
kava.

Let me explain:

Kava in general will have two main apparent sensations: 1. a cerebral or 2. muscle relaxing/pain relief feeling. Most
cannot really tell these two apart because they tend to blend together. Until one is really familiar with what the effects feel
like, the only true way to tell them apart is the effect duration. Kavain will come on immediately and last for only an hour
and DHM will start in an hour and last for 6-8 or more hours.

Kavain is responsible for the cerebral (tongue numbing) and DHM produces the much longer lasting muscle relaxant
"body" feeling. It's always a toss-up as to which type of "effect" anyone will like better and many people consider our
Isa/Tudei specialty kava good and "extremely strong" kava even though it has much more DHM than Kavain. Our Fiji
Waka has more DHM than Kavain too and is also a very strong kava.

Some like the relaxing kava varieties more and some will prefer the more cerebral varieties such as our Vanuatu3 limited
edition or Tongan Pride and will consider them a different kind of "strong". It's common to make the mistake of judging
kava by the strength of only one effect while ignoring the other(s) - physical, psychological and even physiological. The
physiological effects of kava go on kind of "behind the scenes" and are not immediately apparent after consumption.

So the statement, "A good, strong kava" alone should refer to the amount of "total" kavalactone content rather than if a
variety has more of one effect over the other. If someone says that a certain kava is a good, strong kava they should
definitely mention why they feel that way just to be clear.

Click here to see a description of the six major kavalactones and their effects.


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Q: What is the best way to store my kava and how long will it stay fresh?

A: Kava powder should be kept in dry storage conditions. This means cool, dark, dry and in an airtight container.
Similar to where you would keep your tubers, root vegetables and grain. It will last for a fairly long time this way.

Some say that you should keep your kava powder in the freezer or refrigerator. I don't really agree with this, but if so,
one definitely needs to take extra care to avoid freezer-burn and not to store it next to strong smelling items because
kava takes on other smells and flavors extremely easily.

Once the kava drink is made, it can be stored in your refrigerator for two weeks or more. After which it will "sour"
instead of spoil due to its high starch content. The more sterile your hands and kava making equipment are, the longer
your kava drink will last in the fridge.


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Q: Do any of your kava growers use the methyl bromide anti fungal or any other chemicals?

A: No! All of our kava is from trusted sources that scorn the use of methyl bromide, DDT and any chemical pesticides
or chemical fertilizers. These sources also consume the kava so they strictly adhere to optimal and ethical agricultural and
processing practices.


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Q: Is the kava you have just the dried root, or does it also contain the leaves/stems of the kava plant?

A: Kava by Rex offers pure, premium kava root only. The bark/stem peelings and leaves of the kava plant are never
used because they contain certain toxic compounds that may adversely affect the liver. (see articles here)

All of our kava is from very trusted sources/friends that scorn the use of pesticides and any chemicals. These sources
also consume the kava so they strictly adhere to optimal agricultural and processing practices.

If you find any larger pieces of kava, rest assured that it is still all pure root. These larger pieces of root contain the
same amount of kavalactones as the finer powder!


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Q: Will the maturity of the root determine the strength of the kava?

A: Even though the natural production of kava's active ingredients or "kavalactones" will usually peak within the kava
plant at about 18 months of growth, it is common practice to let kava plants grow at least 3-5 years before harvest
because a larger root size is more economically viable. All of the kava we supply is from plants that are at least 5 years
old.


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Q: What is the difference between Lewena and Waka? (heart root and lateral root)

A: Every kava plant has a heart root or stump (lewena) which grows straight down into the earth from the center of
the plant and lateral roots (waka) that are smaller in diameter and radiate outward from the center stump. Lewena
and Waka are words in the Fiji language and it is only there that these parts of the kava root system are traditionally
distinguished from one another and sometimes processed and consumed seperately. In Vanuatu, Tonga, Hawaii and
elsewhere they are usually processed and enjoyed together.

1. The kava heart root tends to be lighter in color, have less overall kavalactone content than the lateral root (although
maybe more Kavain), and will usually be sweeter or milder in flavor.

2. The lateral roots which are usually darker in color, have a higher overall concentration of kavalactones (although
maybe more DHM), tends to be more bitter or stronger tasting in comparison to the heart root of the same plant.

The heart and lateral roots of the same kava plant are very good to process and mix together because the kavalactone
profile of each compliment one another very well. Mixing the two together can create a more complete and complex
effect, while potentially improving flavor and potency as well.


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Q: I have some whole, dried kava root and using grinders don't seem to work. What do I do with it?

A: Whole dried kava root will be very difficult if not impossible to grind up into a fine powder in the home. Actually the
correct term is "pound or pulverise" instead of "grind". The root is so tough that it can destroy most grinders, cuisinarts,
blenders, etc. If you have no choice in the matter and have to deal with the whole, dried root there is good news: It
doesn't need to be super fine in order to make the kava drink.

What you need to do is to break the kava down or pound it much as possible before you use any kind of grinder. It
will be easier to pulverise only a little at a time in manageable batches. You do not need to use a grinder in order to
make the kava drink. What you do is pound the kava root while adding a little water at a time until you break the fibers
down enough to strain the mixture and squeeze under more water.

If you want to grind dried root to save for later and have a moderate amount of root, a professional coffee grinder like
the kind you find at the supermarket to grind fresh coffee beans will work for pre-pulverised or chopped (must be
dried), tiny pieces. These machines are not designed for processing fibrous root matter so they won't be too efficient
and may keep getting jammed or even break down.

If you're processing only enough to make a batch to drink now or don't mind storing your root in the freezer for later
use, you should soak them in tepid water to soften first before attempting to pound them. You may be able to use a
large wooden mortar and pestle with the heaviest base possible, a large rough stone mortar and pestle, or a mallet style
meat tenderizer (may not be heavy enough), new hammer or even better, a small sledge type of hammer on the
heaviest wooden cutting board you can find. Don't forget to soak the roots first, take your time and watch those
fingers! You can then add water a little at a time while pounding to help with the breakdown of tissues.

If you find your whole kava root is still too tough to work with, you can try freezing them after soaking in the water (the
ice crystals will help even further to break down the tissues) and let them thaw out right before pounding. Your kava
should be then used to make the kava drink right away or re-frozen in portion sized, airtight containers/ziplock bags for
ease of use later.

Here are some links to nice heavy, stone mortar and pestles that look like they may be able to handle breaking down
small amounts of whole kava root:

www.gourmetsleuth.com: Molcajete y Tejolote

www.chefscatalog.com: Molcajete - Authentic Mexican Mortar and Pestle

www.importfood.com: Mortar and Pestle, Solid Thai Granite

A large wooden mortar and pestle with a very heavy base would be closer to a traditional type of pounder for small
amounts of kava root pounding. If you go this route, you may want to replace the pestle with a heavier one that has a
good grip because you will find that you will have to do more of a pounding action rather then a grinding one:

www.ebay.com: Large Wood Mortar and Pestle

www.amazon.com: Helen's Asian Kitchen 4-Inch Mortar and Pestle Set, Caramelized Bamboo

For commercial purposes, something called a hammermill is used. These run upward of several thousand dollars to
purchase. If you have a huge amount of dried root to process, you may want to check around your industrial district as
it may be possible to find a food, spice or even pharmaceutical company that is willing to rent you the use of one of
these machines.


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Q: What is your best social kava?

A: One of the most intriguing aspects of kava is the wonderful social enhancing property that it has. Kava has been
traditionally utilized in many Pacific island nations as a social buffer and to help with decision making and conflict
resolution for thousands of years.

All kava has this social aspect although you may want to try either our Tongan Pride kava or our new Vanuatu3 kava
which both have a higher proportion of kavain (K) to the other kavalactones. Please follow our traditonal kava
making instructions
as this will ensure you have a nice, optimal extraction which will enable you to get the most out
of your kava.


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Q: I tried kava and didn't feel anything. Is it possible that I have a natural tolerance to it?

A: Some report not "feeling anything" when they are brand new to kava regardless of what type they try. All hope is
not lost though.

It's important to note that despite any type of kava being considered very strong, it still can be a surprisingly subtle
thing for anyone, but even more so to brand new kava drinkers. Some may have elevated expectations or even the
need to compare the experience/effects with familiar or even stronger things like alcohol, but for others it may be more
because of this:

There have been more and more reports of a kind of "backwards tolerance" with kava. Meaning that when you first
start drinking it, you don't feel anything much until you've had it on several or more occasions. This is a very strange
and interesting thing. Unlike other substances that have tolerance issues -"the more you ingest, the more you need" kind
of thing, kava is quite the opposite. It almost seems as if the more times you drink it, the less kava you require to reach
the desired effects.

This is not a well reported or documented issue that most should be aware of. I feel it's too bad that some may give up
and not try kava again because of it.

See the chart above for suggested kava to water proportion amounts for each of our strains.
You may want to try at least two to three 8 oz. bowls of kava drink at this strength and see how you feel. We generally
drink about 3-4 14oz. bowls or more of this mixture over the course of an evening and we're cool for the night. There is
no overdose with kava so don't worry about drinking too much although you may not want to be driving right after, just
to be on the safe side. Drinking fresh water is good to do during and/or after your kava session.


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Q: Is there any way I can increase the effects of kava?

A: Since the traditional kava drink is basically a starch suspension in water, the obvious thing would be to increase the
proportion of kava powder to water. There is no real need to go more than 2 cups per gallon of water although it is of
course all a matter of preference.

A neat trick that more people are beginning to take notice of is to mix some granulated or liquid lecithin and/or canola
oil into the kava drink mix. The idea is that these will facilitate a more efficient assimilation of the fat soluble
kavalactones into your body. Recently I have also seen some recommending mixing the kava powder or the kava
drink with milk.

Having kava on an empty stomach may also provide a stronger experience, so consider if you want anything to eat
before or after drinking your kava. It may be better to wait at least an hour or two either way. Drinking fresh water
along side of kava is also a good idea.

Ideal surroundings will also enhance the kava experience. We had a great kava bar here in Honolulu that was a very
dark space with candles and very quiet. I had a significantly better kava experience in this prime setting than I did with
the very same kava somewhere else. What is interesting too is that as soon as I left the place to go outside, I felt the
kava even more!

This is not unlike an authentic nakamal in Vanuatu where one can sit and drink kava in a very quiet setting (no talking
allowed) and even sit or lay on benches where you can look up at the stars. Being in nature or even just outdoors in a
quiet area at night seems to compliment the energy or vibe of kava very well and is something that everyone should
experience at least once.

Take notice of how you're making your kava too. I find that using a nylon stocking is best for doing the extraction. The
stretchyness lets just the right amount of particles through. These fine particles are the best part so be sure to stir
before each sip so you don't have any sludge left over on the bottom of your cup. If there is stuff left which is hard to
avoid sometimes, just add a little more fresh water or kava drink to your cup and gulp the whole thing down.

We generally use 1 cup of kava powder to 1 gallon of tepid water and squeeze it really vigorously and thoroghly under
the water for at least 5min. and no less.

See the chart above for suggested kava to water proportion amounts for each of our strains.

Sometimes kava made by two different people will be quite different in strength. Don't worry though,
after you've made several batches, you tend to acquire a nice feel for it and will be making kava like a pro in no time.

Traditionally kava is enjoyed as a social beverage that is usually consumed in large quantities over many hours so a
cumulative strength is more desireable. It seems that kava made too strong or one that lasts too long (over 6-8 hrs.),
tends to be seen as counter-productive to the social and traditional uses of the Polynesian peoples.

I personally know hardcore Samoan and Tongan kava drinkers that regularly consume huge quantities of kava in one
sitting. They always prefer kava that is more of a moderate strength because they "no want to go sleep too soon". I
personally prefer strong kava that has a kick as do most of my close friends.


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Q: Is kava legal in the United States?

A: Yes. Kava is not classified as a drug in the United States. It is an “unscheduled” substance meaning that it is legal to
sell, possess, or ingest. Hopefully it will remain that way as it is an integral part of many Polynesian cultures including
Hawaii, which is the 50th state.


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Q: Can dried kava still have bacteria/microbial activity from the soil it's grown in?

A: It's possible but not very likely. If a certain type of dried kava has any major bacteria/microbial activity, it would
most likely be the result of cross-contamination through improper handling during the processing period. Kava root is
typically washed very well after harvest before being dried in the direct sunlight, in which the UV rays will kill most
remaining bacteria. A low moisture content also kills pathogens. Right from the ground kava root starts out at around
80 percent water and after drying, the natural bacteria will die at around 12 percent moisture. A typical dried kava
powder usually has around 8 or less percent moisture content.

Modern processors that genuinely care about their product and have a lot of experience with kava haven't had any
major problems with excess bacterial/microbial activity. The same goes for the Polynesians that use more traditional
processing methods and have been working with and enjoying kava for thousands of years.

The possibility of microbial activity is always higher with fresh, green kava root because it's straight out of the ground
and not dried. Regardless, the occurance of any problems even with fresh kava root are still very rare.


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Q: Is it true that kava can mess with your stomach?

A: All kava has the potential to cause some stomach discomfort. This can be in the form of slight nausea, gas or even a
slight heartburn. Sometimes this can be caused by what or how much you eat prior to or after kava ingestion, but is
usually due to a side effect of one of the active ingredients, dihydromethysticin (DHM).

Click here to see a description of the six major kavalactones and their effects.

If you do experience some discomfort don't worry, there's nothing wrong with your kava!

I find that for most people, drinking water in between bowls of kava helps to buffer the stomach thing. Antacid tablets
or even activated charcoal capsules also work very well.

DHM is a very important constituent of kava which lends great muscle relaxant and analgesic qualities, among other
things. Most Fiji kava tends to have a relatively high ratio of DHM to the other kavalactones, but an extreme example
would be the Isa/Tudei specialty kava, which is why it's considered a super strong kava that's not for everyone.

The natives drink kava on an empty stomach several hours before or after eating which may help to minimize any
stomach discomfort. During a long kava session, it may be nice to pick at some light finger foods and also have fresh
water to drink at hand.


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Q: Does kava have any side effects?

A: The traditional use of kava does have a couple of side effects although not serious ones such as addiction, chronic
illness, or possible overdose. Read on.

The kavalactones Dihydromethysticin (DHM) and Dihydrokavain (DHK) both have a side effect of possible
nausea. I say "possible" because it is not always experienced. Some people believe that the stomach becoming numb
from the kavalactone kavain (K) may cause one to misinterpret the numbness as nausea. I don't know if this is true
but it does kind of make sense.

Click here for more information about the six major kavalactones and their effects.

Also: Daily heavy use of kava for a period of three months or more has occasionally been reported to cause a
completely reversable condition which is characteristic of an acquired ichthyosis. Described as a scaly, dry, yellowish
skin rash and an eye irritation, this condition disappears after the discontinuation or reduction of kava consumption.
Not much is known about this rash although it may be linked to quality of diet or a vitamin deficiency.

Growing up in Hawaii, I remember sometimes seeing old Hawaiian men with scaly, dry skin and red, bloodshot eyes. I
later learned that these men were serious kava drinkers that had quite a high consumption amount every single day for
many years. I now personally know Samoans, Tongans, Hawaiians and Fijians here that are very heavy kava drinkers
but only do their mixing about 3-4 times a week and have no such adverse conditions.

Regardless, kava "ichthyosis" is completely reversible and limiting your daily or weekly kava intake by not going
overboard may be the key to avoiding it in the first place. A daily multi-vitamin, well balanced diet and lots of fresh
water are great even if one is not consuming kava on a regular basis, but may especially be a good idea if you are.


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Q: I found a site that said long term use of kava can cause liver damage. Is this true?

A: Unfortunately a lot of the kava mis-information from the late 1990's and early 2000's is still available on the internet.
Polynesians have been ingesting pure kava root for thousands of years -very long term- with no recorded/spoken
occurrences of any liver problems in healthy individuals associated with kava consumption. (see articles here)

The bark peelings and leaves of the kava plant are potentially hazardous to the health so it's important to stay away
from those, and to get to know and trust your kava supplier. That especially includes pharmaceutical kava sources as
well.

You can always trust that Kava by Rex provides only the finest quality, pure kava root powder!


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Q: Should I drink more water or even take some vitamins while drinking kava?

A: While increased water consumption is always good for you, it is very beneficial before, during and after your kava
session. It can’t hurt to take a daily multi-vitamin or at least B-complex and Vitamin C to replace any water soluble
vitamins shed due to the wonderful diuretic properties of kava. Of course there is no replacing a well balanced diet.


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Q: How much is too much kava?

A: Kava is contraindicated for people who are pregnant, have liver disease, or who suffer from Parkinson's disease.
It may also interfere with MAO inhibiting drugs so one must consult a physician before drinking kava while on any
prescription medications.

Kava has a low toxicity so there is no worry of overdose through traditional ingestion. However, there has been a
recent uprising of websites that are talking about extractions through the use of chemical solvents such as acetone,
rubbing alcohol, etc. That's when one could run into some problems and should be careful of not ingesting too much
kava by mistake or by not ingesting any inadequately purified extraction. I'm not against non-traditional methods of
kava administration of this type, although I do not condone nor recommend it. Please be responsible by not going
overboard with it people. Kava was not meant to blow your head off!

When drinking the traditional kava drink, it's possible to have quite a bit in one sitting and your body will tell
you when you're near your limit. This doesn't equate to consuming a whole pound of kava powder or more by oneself.
If you use 1 to 1 1/2 cups of kava powder per gallon of water and follow my traditional kava making instructions,
chances are you will not need to finish that gallon of kava drink by yourself.

Keep in mind, it is still strongly advised not to mix kava with any prescription or illegal medication, drive or operate
heavy machinery, or even drink alcohol while under the influence of kava just to be safe :)


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Q: What foods can you suggest pairs with Kava?

A: Food can be a great addition to any kava session although you may want to consider having smaller finger-type
foods and nothing too heavy. Drink your kava an hour or two before or after any large meal. In the mean time,
earthiness pairs with earthiness, but also sharp or strong flavors that help mask the sometimes bitter taste of kava are
great.

Anything from pieces of fresh fruit or meat such as dried fish or even salami and cheese, caviar and toast points or
salmon carpaccio will go well with kava. Fresh fruit juices and/or plenty of water is a must.

In the islands, we love to pair kava with traditional foods such as pineapple, bananas, breadfruit, poi, sweet potato,
dried fish, sashimi, poki, etc.


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Q: Is it worth trying to flavor up the kava and water mixture?

A: Absolutely! I have had success with many types of juices although only experimentation will tell you what works for
you. Making kava with canned coconut water instead of regular water is nice for the kava beginner because it will be
slightly sweet on the palate. The slightly bitter and sometimes even acrid flavor of kava tends to blend well with other
earthy tasting things like coffee or chocolate for instance. Basically anything that's complementary or provides a flavor
mask.

You can find all sorts of creative ideas such as kava lattes, kava coladas, kava milkshakes, kava smoothies, kava
candy, the list goes on and on. There's a lot of room to be creative with it - to wherever your imagination takes you.
Just have fun with it!


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*Product Disclaimer:
The literature provided here has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult a health professional before taking any of these products if you are pregnant, nursing a baby or taking any prescription medications. Kava may interfere with MAOI's and medication for Parkinsonism. This product should not be taken with any alcoholic beverages. Excessive consumption may impair one's ability to drive or operate heavy equipment. Kava is not recommended for persons under the age of 18.

Kava by Rex, our parent company Earth Venue Hawaii, LLC and our suppliers assume absolutely no responsibility for any adverse reactions resulting from the use of these products and you as the buyer agree to hold the companies and entities mentioned above free from any liability, whatsoever. Kava by Rex does not accept returns on any of our products. All sales are final.

Your purchase from Kava by Rex implies that you have read and accepted these terms and conditions. If you do not understand completely or completely agree with any of the statements in this Product Disclaimer, you should not purchase any of our kava products.

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International customers, particularly but not limited to those in Germany, Switzerland and Australia please be aware of your country's possible import restrictions as Kava by Rex does not offer any refunds for any confiscated or "lost" parcels.

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Kava by Rex never shares, sells, rents, or exchanges e-mail addresses or personal information to any third party or advertising companies, ever. Period.
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