Taki MaiTaki Mai

By Zane Yoshida

Sweet Dreams With Kava?

Always wanted to get a picture of a cute sleeping puppy into a blog post! Bear with me – it’s relevant!

The SquareRut Kava Bar in Austin, Texas, is frequented by many University students, because of kava’s reputation for increasing mental prowess and focus while studying.

But, with kava being kava, it also has an almost reverse quality that many people crave. Rather than aiding mental clarity, they take it to send them to sleep – and to dream.

Scott Pingel, owner of The SquareRut Kava Bar says:

“It will relax you but make you more productive. Your dreams will be vivid and you’ll remember them.”

Kava’s sedative qualities

Kava is not technically a sedative, and may not be what you are looking for if you have serious insomnia. Sleep problems may be complicated and can be down to a wide variety of reasons – both physical and psychological.

However, kava is generally classified as hypnotic and is well-known to decrease anxiety, which is nearly always a hindrance to good sleep. The National Institutes of Health in the U.S. even suggests that kava may be as effective as benzodiazepines like Valium or Xanax (which are sedatives) for promoting calmness and rest.

This may explain many observational reports of kava users experiencing deeper sleep.

If we go back to its origins in the South Pacific, we also see that kava’s soothing, soporific effects have been used medicinally to treat sleeplessness for centuries. So you might like to try it as a safe and natural alternative to reaching for the sleeping pills.

Crazy dreams?

Kava has also developed a reputation for promoting vivid and bizarre dreams, as Scott Pingel suggests. If you scour the online forums there are plenty of stories of ‘crazy’ dreams from people who use kava – but in a positive way, not a negative way.

This is probably related to the fact that kava can induce deeper sleep – which is precisely when dreams tend to abound. We all dream – and the inability to remember dreams is what people often mean they say ‘I don’t dream’.

But with kava, the general consensus (without any scientific proof, mind) is that people can recall their dreams better.

Having trouble sleeping? That puppy’s not! Try a few of our kava shots and you might just sleep a little deeper and remember more of your dreams!

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?

Sweet Dreams With Kava?
The Kava Alternative: No Hangover…No Addiction
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