Taki MaiTaki Mai

By Zane Yoshida

Can Kava Improve Your Sex Life?

Has the bedroom been a bit of a barren desert recently? Things not going ‘bump’ in the night? The answer to sprucing up your sex life may be quite close to home: up the kava!

Aphrodisiacs have been sought ever since Man first walked the earth and met Woman. Many of these have been used and abused, both natural and man-made. But kava is rarely mentioned.

In fact, the whole topic of sexual dysfunction is often treated as taboo; this in a world where we are constantly bombarded with images of sex on TV and in printed media, in advertisements, from online services to movies. It’s enough to make us fall a little inadequate when we are constantly presented with beautiful, sexy people from all angles, yet we can’t even get it on with our partner!

It’s time we had the discussion to see whether kava can, indeed, help.

How can kava help in the bedroom?

There could be many reasons why one’s sex life is not exactly bouncing along –physical, mental, and relational issues abound. That’s what makes us human and interesting. But some believe that kava is the aphrodisiac you need to add some much-needed ‘zip’ to your love life.

Kava WON’T necessarily make things happen instantly, like some well-known pharmaceutical remedies (especially those small blue ones, I’m told). But it WILL calm you down and chill you out, and that may just be the tonic you and your partner need; it’s important to be relaxed, de-stressed and anxiety-free in the bedroom.

Stress and tension are major contributors to loss of libido in both men and women. Eric J. Leech from Planet Green puts it like this:

“The mind is a very powerful tool for improving health, but it can also be a factor in our own self-induced sexual dysfunctions if we let it.”

Kava produces this relaxing effect without the drowsiness or mental ‘fogginess‘ that can come with some sedatives. This could mean that indulging in a little kava before indulging in a little love-making may be beneficial.

Some people use alcohol to relax, remove tension, and to shed inhibitions before getting romantic, and kava could be a great replacement for this – without the negative side effects of alcohol (I think we all know what that can mean, gents – shall we just call it ‘performance anxiety’?)

It’s also worth noting that in South Pacific folk medicine, kava was an important treatment for genito-urinary infections. Because of its antiseptic qualities, it was used to treat a variety of conditions from gall bladder problems to vaginitis and sexually transmitted diseases. So, kava has traditionally been used to help restore sex lives after health problems.

A natural solution to an age-old problem?

Sexual problems are far more common than people admit; whether it’s erectile dysfunction or females failing to reach orgasm, few relationships can honestly claim to be immune to problems in the bedroom.

With kava being 100% natural, there is no risk of unpleasant side effects like some people get with the erectile dysfunction pills. This includes shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, and sudden hearing and vision loss, for instance.

There are also none of the stigmas attached to buying or taking kava, which some people experience with the pills.

The bottom line? The effects of kava may work as an aphrodisiac for some; but there is really only one way of knowing…

By Zane Yoshida

When Should You Avoid Taking Kava?

Most people can enjoy taking kava in its various forms and experience its relaxing and de-stressing effects. Whether taken as a drink or supplement, in liquid, capsule or powder form, kava suits most situations. Its benefits are well documented on here and other websites.

But what about situations when taking kava might present problems? It’s wrong to say that EVERYONE can enjoy kava at ALL times. So who should avoid kava, and when?

Here are a few scenarios that you might not have considered:

Pregnant or lactating women

In a report produced by the Food Standards Australia New Zealand, it advised:

“Use of kava during pregnancy or lactation has been cautioned since kavalactones may be present at concentrations, which would likely have an effect on the foetus or infant (Brinker, 1998).”

So, if you are pregnant, planning pregnancy, or breastfeeding, avoid taking kava unless you have first checked with your doctor.

When driving or operating machinery

Kava has been shown in studies to act as a relaxant and enhance cognitive performance (making it a useful study aid). It is also considered safe to take it in moderate amounts and then drive vehicles.

However, there are some concerns about driving and operating machinery after consuming higher amounts of kava, because it may impair reaction times and motor skills.

It’s therefore best to exercise caution when driving or operating machinery after taking higher doses of kava.

When drinking alcohol

Alcohol and kava should not be mixed; in general, if you take kava, avoid drinking alcohol for 24 hours.

Kava works best when drank on an empty stomach , so if you are going to have a kava session it may be best to avoid drinking or eating anything except water for around four hours before. Kava is a diuretic so make sure you keep water levels topped up during your kava session.

When noble kava is not available

The quality of the kava you take is important. Avoid taking any non-noble varieties that may be of inferior quality and be harsher on your body.

With Taki Mai you can be sure that all the kava in your shots, capsules, or powder is premium quality, noble kava from one location in Fiji – the island of Ovalau.

If you avoid taking kava in the above four instances, you should be able to enjoy it safely, healthily, and while experiencing all of its benefits.

By Zane Yoshida

Kava Shots: Perfect For Teetotalers

Kava shots are at home in many places. They can be study aids, anti-anxiety supplements, a way to rejuvenate muscles after exercising, a way to relax before flying, or yoga supplements, to name a few.

Kava shots may also be the perfect solution for teetotalers, who like the social side of sharing a drink, but prefer to avoid pubs, bars, and clubs.

Teetotalism

Kava is drunk by millions of people throughout the South Pacific on a daily basis. Increasingly it is also being used in the west, where it is finding ways to assimilate into our culture.

One of the potential challenges for kava is that alcohol has already cemented its place as the great ‘social drink’ in the west. But this neglects the large amounts of people who are teetotal for one reason or another.

Not everyone who drinks kava shots is teetotal, of course. But kava can fill a ‘gap’ for some people who abstain from alcohol. There are many reasons for doing so, including:

  • Health reasons
  • Religious reasons
  • Because they are on medication
  • To save money
  • To lose weight
  • To avoid hangovers
  • To avoid depression
  • To sleep better
  • To stay in control
  • To avoid alcohol-fueled problems
  • To avoid aggression
  • To avoid alcoholism
  • They don’t like the taste

…plus many others! You can probably think of a few more…

The different effects of kava

Kava is a social drink that avoids many of the problems associated with alcohol – especially in terms of health and negative behavior.

Also, there is no conflict with most religions. For instance, tea, coffee and alcohol are prohibited for Mormons, but there are no restrictions on kava!

With kava there is no hangover, you stay in control, it is easy on the liver (if you select the right noble kava), and it has quite the reverse effect to making you aggressive; it will generally relax you and make you rather passive.

If you’re a teetotaler you can seek one of the many kava bars that are springing up around the world – maybe there’s one in your local area?

Or, if you prefer to have a more portable version, try the Taki Mai shots mixed with natural fruit juices  – not only do they possess all those great kava relaxation benefits; they taste great too!

By Zane Yoshida

The Kava Alternative: No Hangover…No Addiction

One of the reasons for kava’s growing popularity in the west is that is provides a natural alternative to two drugs that have become ‘mainstays’ of modern culture: alcohol and diazepam.

People who have either given up alcohol, don’t enjoy it, suffer from bad hangovers, or who would just rather not drink it can enjoy a similar social buzz from kava.

And those who have been taking Diazepam, Valium or any of the other spin-off benzodiazepine family of drugs that produce the trademark calming effect can find similar relief from kava; but without the same potential for addiction that the little pills carry.

The kava alternative to alcohol

As suggested by the growing popularity of kava bars in the US, large numbers of people enjoy the social side of meeting up with friends in a bar, but they don’t necessarily want to drink alcohol.

The notorious side effects of alcohol (we all know what that pounding headache and nausea feels like), not to mention the inability to drive home after consuming it, makes alcohol particularly hard for many people to justify.

In a kava bar, you get the relaxing and calming effect of kava, together with its slightly euphoric effects, while also enjoying a social experience; and with no hangover afterwards.

The owner of the Krave kava bar in Carrboro, North Carolina puts it this way:

“It gives you a sense of well-being, you feel generally good, you become less anxious, more social, relaxed.”

And some of the drinkers at her bar say:

“I like bars, I like talking to people. This provides the same environment.”

“It’s a fun alternative to going out.”

“It makes you feel really relaxed and less stressed out.”

The kava alternative to diazepam

In 2006, Valium addiction sent over 19,000 people in the US to ER; in 2010, over sixty million Valium prescriptions were written. It is one of the most used drugs in the world, both recreationally and medically (in particular for those who suffer from seizures, muscle spasm, insomnia, alcohol withdrawal, or anxiety).

The active compounds in kava (kavalactones) bind onto the brain receptors in the amygdala, which regulates feelings of fear and anxiety in a similar way to diazepam or valium; but, unlike with these prescription drugs, with kava there is no threat of addiction or other unpleasant side effects when taken in normal doses. These include driving impairment, memory loss, heart attack, hallucinations, and coma.

Consequently, there is great interest in the power of kava as a safe and natural treatment for depression, stress, restlessness, and anxiety.

Why not try kava if you are suffering side effects from your prescription anxiety medicine, or want to kick alcohol? What’s the alternative?

By Zane Yoshida

Kava and Tea: Closer Than Kava and Beer?

Following on from our recent post about whether kava is a safe alternative to alcohol, we ask the question whether it would be more accurate to compare kava to a cup of tea than a beer or a glass of wine?

The similarities and differences between alcohol and kava were discussed at length in that article. So you know by now that kava is often drunk by people who want to relax or wind down, that there are health-giving properties attached to it, that there are very few after-effects of drinking it, and that it is associated with calm behaviour.

Couldn’t that equally be applied to tea drinking? Or perhaps a cup of coffee? More so than drinking alcohol, which can have the opposite effect and certainly has few health benefits?

An SBS report on kava culture in Australia referred to kava as ‘much like a cup of tea or coffee’ in Pacific Islander culture.

“Kava comes from the root of a pepper plant. It has a distinctive taste and a relaxing and slightly numbing effect. Pacific islanders enjoy sharing kava, much like a cup of tea or coffee in other cultures, but it is drunk in much larger quantities for the effect.”

Tea and coffee culture

As you can see from the image above, a traditional tea ceremony in China or Japan has many similarities to a traditional kava ceremony.

There is much emphasis on ceremony and community, with a specific way of sitting, pouring the tea, and drinking it. Cupping the bowl with both hands is just how Fijians cup the coconut shell full of kava.

You can still see the communal element of tea drinking today in much of Asia, with India, China, and Japan having large numbers of tea drinkers, as well as in the Middle East and in countries like Turkey.

In the west, the English are known for their insatiable tea-drinking appetite. Again it is a very social and hospitable drink, with the offer of a “nice cup of tea” never too far away in an English home. A family will sit around sipping tea with guests and chatting.

A coffee culture also exists in many places around the world, such as Italy, France, Brazil, parts of south-east Asia and Africa, and Australia. Again, coffee-drinking is frequently a communal experience, with a chat over a coffee a common way for people to catch up with each other.

There must be something about the mildly narcotic effects of caffeine and kavalactones that gets people talking and being more sociable!

Safety and health benefits of kava and tea/coffee

The above-mentioned SBS article refers to kava as a “health supplement for export”. The health benefits of kava are briefly discussed in the article, where our very own Zane Yoshida (founder of Taki Mai) has this to say:

“I’ve developed a kava supplement that I currently sell in the United States and Fiji through the natural food channels. This produce here is a kava supplement for taking the edge off, for relaxing,”

“As we progress with clinical trials here in Australia, we’d like to make structure function claims for relieving stress and anxiety.”

The health benefits of tea and coffee, on the other hand, are discussed in this Harvard Medical School article:

“Tea, especially green tea, is often said to be good for your health. Tea contains substances linked to a lower risk for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes“

“The main health-promoting substances in tea are polyphenols, in particular catechins and epicatechins. Lab and animal studies say these molecules have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Harvard-led studies of large groups of people over time have found that tea or coffee drinkers are at lower risk for diabetes and possibly cardiovascular disease. Coffee also contains polyphenols.”

Kava, tea and coffee could all be classed as minor narcotics for the compounds they contain. But all are widely drunk in different parts of the world as part of a communal experience; and not only are they considered safe, many consider them health-enhancing.

That is why, if you want to draw comparisons between kava and another common drink, then coffee or tea may be a more likely candidate than beer, whisky or wine.

1 2 3
Can Kava Improve Your Sex Life?
When Should You Avoid Taking Kava?
Kava Shots: Perfect For Teetotalers
The Kava Alternative: No Hangover…No Addiction
Kava and Tea: Closer Than Kava and Beer?