Most of you reading with this will enjoy the occasional Taki Mai shot or even regular kava sessions with friends, without having to worry about safety or whether you need to avoid kava.
But there are still the ‘naysayers’ out there who continue to focus on the isolated negative incidents involved with kava rather than the millennia of safe kava use in the South Pacific.
Now kava is becoming more global and is taking its place alongside other herbal supplements and beverages in health stores and supermarkets across the world, it is inevitable that kava is coming under more scrutiny.
This is a good thing – let’s consider it a way for kava to clear its name.
But there are some people who certainly should avoid kava. Below we briefly consider who should NOT be sitting by the kava bowl.
Avoid kava if you…
Let’s first make it clear that kava is non-addictive, has proven ability to relax and de-stress you, and has been used safely for millennia to treat a wide range of ailments and at social gatherings and ceremonies in the South Pacific.
Kava is well-known for its treatment of mild anxiety but those with severe depression should avoid taking it.
While it is worth noting that no study has ever proven a link between liver toxicity and kava, rare cases of liver problems have been reported, as you are probably aware from the so-called ‘European kava ban’ from previous years. Kava is best avoided totally if you have pre-existing liver problems. It is not known precisely why the cases of liver toxicity in Europe occurred, but it is suspected that sub-standard kava was used.
Putting this problem into context, the amount of people with liver problems as a result of kava usage would be a dot on the landscape of those who suffer liver problems from alcohol usage.
…which brings us to another category of people who should avoid kava. It’s best never to mix kava with alcohol, benzodiazepine, or SSRI usage. It’s also best avoided if you are taking prescription monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).
Pregnant or nursing women are also advised to avoid kava altogether, as are children under the age of 18 and anyone who is due to have surgery.
Kava is sometimes associated with dry, yellowish, scaly skin, but this is usually only in users who take large amount of kava, or indulge in particularly strong, low-grade strains of kava.
A few shots of elite Taki Mai kava are very unlikely to cause any problems. So enjoy!