What are the Most Common Kava Effects?

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  • Written By: Vanessa Harvey
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 16 January 2020
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The most common kava effects include a state of euphoria, relaxation of the mind and muscles, calmed nerves, mental clarity, dreamless sleep and a more sociable mood. It is the root of the plant that is used to make various preparations employed in the folk medicine practiced by the native populations of the Pacific Islands. Kava leaves and tops are poisonous.

People interested in experiencing these effects are advised to carefully research the sources from which they can obtain this botanical product to ensure that they receive organically grown pure kava root. If even small amounts of kava leaves or tops are mixed in with the root, unexpected and very unpleasant kava effects might be experienced, because these parts of the plant contain substances that are toxic to the liver. When supplements in any form contain the leaves or tops, liver problems could be added to the list of common kava effects. Liver problems, however, are not common if only the recommended part of the plant is used — the root.


Despite the ability of kava to increase mental clarity, the driving of a vehicle or the operation of machinery while under the influence of kava is considered potentially dangerous. Although kava can help to produce mental clarity, it also can impair one's judgment, which obviously is undesirable while one is operating machinery or driving a vehicle. Many people find it interesting to learn that kava is actually considered by some herbalists and proponents of natural foods and drinks to be an all-natural and healthy alternative to alcoholic beverages. That does not mean, however, that kava effects include producing even a mild state of intoxication.

Most people desire to experience kava effects to help them participate in situations and events that they find stressful. Such events include going to a job interview, giving a speech in front of a crowd, taking a test in school or even going to sleep if nightmares are anticipated. A significant number of people rely on kava effects instead of taking prescription-strength anti-depressant drugs.

Kava effects can truly be called side effects when supplements or tea is ingested in excessively high amounts, especially over long periods of time. Dry skin, difficulty breathing, and slight blood disorders can develop when kava is consumed in excess, even when only the root is used. People who would like to experience the most common kava effects for the relief of stress and anxiety are encouraged to inform themselves about how the botanical is used in folk medicine. This knowledge will help them better understand some of the uncommon effects that might be experienced.


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