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Kava-Kava Piper methysticum

 
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  #1  
Old 03-03-2011, 02:44
drakunarth drakunarth is offline
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A great way for newbies to help deal with Kava's taste

Today, SWIM tried their first Kava-Kava Drink. He had never had Kava-Kava before and very much enjoyed it. He mixed:
4 Tablespoons Pure Fiji Kava-Kava Powdered Root
1 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Milk (For taste, not lipids.)
A Few Squirts of Calcium Enriched Chocolate Syrup.
2-3 drops of Vanilla Extract

He blended this for 3 minutes, then blended between subsequent gulps to ensure the emulsion was successful.

He thought the concoction looked disgusting, but took a swig anyways. It was disgusting, and he dreaded taking the next one.

Then, SWIM remembered a technique from his childhood. Whenever he needed to eat a specific food that tasted nasty, he would always plug his nose. Smell has a huge impact on taste, and through plugging his nose (First by squeezing shut, then by stuffing with nose plugs) he was able to decrease the taste of the Kava-Kava quite a bit!

For a more indepth look at why the nose and subsequently, sense of smell, impacts taste, take a look at an some articles. There was a good one on livescience. I can't post links, but look for an article along the lines of 2737-surprising-impact-taste-smell. This previous line should follow the livescience link in your browser.

Anyways, all that back story was for this, as I haven't seen it on the forums as of yet.
To all newbies that can't stand the taste: Plug your nose when drinking! It will lessen the smell, and the taste. It won't taste good, and you will almost certainly still taste it fairly moderately, but it will be much easier to take large gulps than it is without. Be warned however, once you unplug your nose the taste will hit full force! So be prepared to wash down the remains in your mouth, and clear it, with a glass of water.
  #2  
Old 03-03-2011, 03:34
Mindless Mindless is offline
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Re: A great way for newbies to help deal with Kava's taste

My Uncle Baldylock used to order concentrate of kava to help him sleep. This got round the taste problem as he could just swallow a pea sized lump.
Then he came accross a product from the UK, which was a tincture of kava kava with other relaxing herbs. He only managed to order twice before the bastard cops shut his supplier down, it being illegal to sell kava in the UK. Got any ideas on how to formulate such a product? Half a teaspoon as needed at night would melt him away into sleep within 15 minutes.
My Uncle Baldylocks is a chronic insomniac, and is researching a herbal remedy to suit his needs.
Oh yes, Baldylocks has asked me to ask if washed the kava in a filter bag and squeezed it out. The kava can be washed several times before losing potency. If you were drinking the whole lot, dusty pulp included, there's no wonder the taste was unpleasant. Doesn't exactly taste great though anyway.

Last edited by Mindless; 03-03-2011 at 15:41. Reason: typo and spelling
  #3  
Old 03-03-2011, 13:23
drakunarth drakunarth is offline
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Re: A great way for newbies to help deal with Kava's taste

SWIM thinks that making a paste probably would require a way to extract the necessary psychoactives out of the root, and bind them to a lipid base. He has done no research on doing this sort of thing, but he feels it is probably not too difficult, though it may be time consuming. There are the main six kavalactones in Kava, he knows that much. There could possibly be other psychoactives, but those he doesn't know about. Kavalactones being destroyed by heat, maybe suspending kava root in a mason jar with milk and lecithin for a week or a month, with shaking daily, could make a very potent drink. As for the paste however, he is unsure of Kavalactones alcohol-solubility. If it is soluble, the simple solution is to find the best fit alcohol for it, extract the Kavalactones, and then using either low heat, or just through natural evaporation, evaporate as much of the alcohol away as possible, leaving a highly concentrated kavalactone paste.

And yes, SWIM did consume the actual powder left over, but he was unable to think of a good method of straining. His root powder came VERY finely powdered, so much so that opening the bag releases some of the dust into the air. If Uncle Baldylocks has any ideas on ways to fix that, he would be mighty appreciative.
  #4  
Old 03-03-2011, 15:41
Mindless Mindless is offline
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Re: A great way for newbies to help deal with Kava's taste

Uncle Baldylocks hadn't considered making up his own kavalactone paste, he would't like to do a lot of kava anyway, more PRN for insomnia. He might try it, although the paste is easily to order via the internet from the U.S.
Baldylocks reckons milk would probably go off. He needs to explore what solutions kavalactones are soluble in. What is the function of the lecithin?
Re straining, my Uncle Baldylocks purchased a kava straining bag a few years ago from his kava retailer. It cost about 5 of your yankee dollars. Anyway, My Uncle Baldylocks will be grateful for your advice.

Last edited by Mindless; 03-03-2011 at 15:43. Reason: typo
  #5  
Old 03-03-2011, 22:56
rawbeer rawbeer is offline
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Re: A great way for newbies to help deal with Kava's taste

Lecithin is an emulsifier, it helps get the kavalactones into solution. But it isn't necessary, many feel, if you're using a very fatty liquid to get the kava into. Jim always uses chocolate milk, made from whole milk, and it works fine by itself.

Lactones are soluble in alcohol, kava is available as a tincture in it. I wouldn't be surprised if that's how the pastes are often made. I would think it would also be soluble in various oils, of which there are of course many non-toxic varieties to choose from. Anything fatty will do. Coconut milk works well.

Jim has been drinking kava for about 2 years and has come to the conclusion that straining powdered kava is a waste of effort, if you're dealing with powder that is. It still tastes bad strained, and the grittiness never goes away because the lactones themselves are a part of that grit.

Now he just lets the kava sit for a while - maybe 30 minutes, and drinks it down, leaving the sludge at the bottom. He later adds more water or milk to this sludge, stirs, lets sit, drinks again. Then a third time unless he's already wobbling off to bed.

A note on alcohol solubility - alcohol and kava is not a good combo for Jim. He loves them both but feels they don't enhance each other, the booze removes the euphoria of kava...it's hard to describe, he says "they step on each others' toes."
  #6  
Old 03-03-2011, 23:22
Mindless Mindless is offline
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Re: A great way for newbies to help deal with Kava's taste

Granny Baldylocks always said, "the worse the medicine tastes, the more good it's doing you"!
  #7  
Old 04-03-2011, 07:20
drakunarth drakunarth is offline
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Re: A great way for newbies to help deal with Kava's taste

Well, he just tried his second dose, in two days... It's wonderful feeling, still.

The taste was much easier to deal with this time, possibly because he was used to the taste. He thought he might be getting bad quality Kava, seeing as it was cheaper than anything else he saw... But it has turned out to be quite powerful.
This time he didn't include anything but water, and didn't strain once again. (He figures the extra dissolution in the stomach lining cant hurt).

He took it a little bit ago, and is feeling it quite strongly now. He is glad it is late, and all he is going to do is smoke a bowl of herbs (not cannabis), then dip. He wonders what it would be like to be with his girlfriend on Kava, has anyone any information on the topic? He also notices the euphoria comes in waves, however he can steady the euphoria at a middle stage with alcohol Kavalactone extracts. He purchased this with his herbal blend, and it is noticable, but only in the sense that it helps him control the waves of euphoria at a plateau, for a good amount of time.

He says that he thinks he is the sort of person that could develop a taste for Kava, but he also is aware that he has an addictive personality, coupled with strong willpower. (He has quit tobacco twice, returning to it once only to get addicted again, and he can now dip without addiction, even at a rate of a can every two days. He can stop cold turkey, no problem.) Judging off of his addictive personality however, he would like to know what a recommended spacing of dosages would be? He realizes that Kava Kava is not physically addictive, but he has found him self addicted to RC's before, ones supposedly non-addictive. This didn't worry him so much, as the RC's left him in a constant haze that he loved so much. Hence, he wants to know what you people think on spacing dosing, especially to keep off the scaly patches of skin. (He is pale skinned with blond hair and blue eyes, leading to problems with sensitivity to the sun, and genetic skin troubles.)

Sorry to ramble, it is an effect Kava has on him, he has said to me that he feels so much less inhibited, that he was actually able to form a connection with his long estranged brother, without even thinking about it. This connection lasted past the kava dosage, and this connection showed him the power of this herb, and why it was so sacred to the natives of the Pacific, especially in sealing deals. When one can make a connection so deep, so profound as he has.... It would be easy for him to detect false intentions, and protect his interests, however he would also be more willing to make the risk, as he feels he can think more clearly, and the nights sleep he gets is better than he has had in years. He has been severly depressed for several years, and subsequently has suffered nightmares more than 6 nights a week. His sleeping has since been affected, but after a dosage of Kava-Kava, he felt complete peace and relaxation. His sleep was plagued by pleasant dreams, and restful sleep. This helped his outlook immensely the next day. (Please note that he has not taken any anti-depressants, however he has recently started seeing a therapist, and so that is helping.)

Again, sorry for rambling, time for another bowl of herbs before he dips, ahve a nice night

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kava, kava and mood, kava drink, kava root, kava taste, kavalactone, making kava, plugging

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