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New here! Have never tried kava and curious about first true experiences...

Discussion in 'New Members Forum' started by Fiji42, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. Fiji42

    Fiji42 Cautiously adventurous

    For all of you veteran members... since I am just embarking on my (hopefully) lifelong journey with kava, I am curious: can you remember and describe your first (or first noteworthy) experience with kava? I am very interested to learn about how you became advocates of kava.
    Intrepidus_dux likes this.
  2. Krunʞy

    Krunʞy Kava Enthusiast Admin

    My very first krunk came with GHK Moi instant, I still have fond memories of that day and the many, many more krunks that followed. :) Welcome aboard officially. The best part about drinking kava is trying all the different types out there. Have fun and keep us updated on your progress.
    Fiji42 likes this.
  3. fait

    fait Position 5 Hard Support

    My first foray into kava was when I bought some kava powder from KavaDotCom. I did a lot of reading about kava but not so much the part about who to buy it from. The experience was lackluster but I felt like maybe I just didn't like kava. I don't even recall feeling any effects from it. After a few sessions of drinking that and trying to use a strainer bag to make it with, I gave up on kava for a while.

    Fast forward a year later. I discovered the Kava Forums while researching kava once again. I learned so much more reading these message boards and I eventually decided I'd sign up and participate here myself. I ordered a lot of kava and this was WAY better than the stuff from KavaDotCom. I remember when I first tried GHK's Honokane Iki and I felt like there were spirits in my floor beckoning me to lie down and join them. That was the unique wave of kava relaxation I felt the first time I drank that.

    Since then I've drank kava off and on. Last year was a lousy year and I came back to kava not too long ago having a need to relax and feel pleasant. I'm still learning a bunch hanging out with everyone here.
    Intrepidus_dux and Fiji42 like this.
  4. Fiji42

    Fiji42 Cautiously adventurous

    Thanks for the responses! Hard to believe I've been on this earth all this time and am only now starting to learn about this whole subculture. Actually I'd heard about kava a long time ago but understood that it was similar to other herbal supplements like valerian or St. John's Wort, and so didn't investigate much further. Now, from all the great info I've been reading here and a couple of other places, it sounds like this little plant just might check all the important boxes for me: alcohol replacer, anxiety reducer, relaxation enhancer. Also I love the fact that there are so many varieties to explore.
    But for now I'm still waiting for that first order to arrive...
    Intrepidus_dux likes this.
  5. Krunʞy

    Krunʞy Kava Enthusiast Admin

    Cut to a little over 3 years ago, I was anxiety ridden, drinking alcohol almost daily and taking Valium like the crutch that it tends to be. I too had heard about kava but thought it fell along the same category as other supplements, same as you. I probably knew even less than you do or others that have come after.

    In more detail, I took a supplement called Gaya kava pills (it's technically, along with Yogi kava tea, the only otc kava that works) for about 9-10 days to break through RT (reverse tolerance) around the 10th day, my GHK order arrived, I mixed about 2 teaspoons with water and shot it down, I had already bitten onto a gaya capsule and had some idea on what to expect taste wise. It's worth mentioning that instant kava tastes a hell of a lot better than medium grind or Micro, with micro being the worst offender both in taste and on your gut. This first real breakthrough and krunk put a smile on my face from ear to ear, suffice to say that I immediately knew that kava had the potential for me to kick benzo's once and for all.

    About 6-7 months into regular daily drinking, I quit drinking booze as well which was a side effect from the kava, I just didn't feel the need to drink anymore. What alcohol once gave me, kava was doing a much better job at it, most notably, on nights that I thought I overdid on kava, I woke up with no hangover or worst case, mildly and maybe a bit krunked still. You will enjoy a lingering effect as time goes on and the active ingredient in kava, kavalactones, builds up in your body overtime and regular consumption.

    I became involved and an advocate for kava because of the surprisingly positive results I got and still do. The people that grow, sell and drink kava (and this forum) have become a big part of my life and who i am today because of it. My only complaint are market prices, lol. I miss the days a pound went for $40.
    Fiji42 and Krunkie McKrunkface like this.
  6. Krunkie McKrunkface

    Krunkie McKrunkface Kava Enthusiast

    first effect for me was my dreams going from an old 17" B&W Sylvania circa 1964 with tinfoil on the antennae and only lasting 15 minutes to dreams that were 62" 4K with Atmos that lasted hours. Only later did the sensation of being hugged by a benevolent female deity kick in.
    Fiji42 likes this.
  7. fait

    fait Position 5 Hard Support

    I feel lucky in this regard. The floor spirits beckoned me to join them when I drank some quality GHK root.
    Fiji42 and Krunkie McKrunkface like this.
  8. Plantacious

    Plantacious Kava Enthusiast

    I am just curious.
    How did you hear about kava ?
    And what made you decide to try it yourself ?
  9. Fiji42

    Fiji42 Cautiously adventurous

    I originally learned about it, along with other natural supplements, several years ago when I started having some problems with insomnia and late-night anxiety. I took melatonin and valerian, with varying degrees of limited success, but never tried the capsule form of kava at that time. I was prescribed Ambien but I really didn’t want to become dependent on it and I didn’t like the very heavy sleep it forced on me anyway. Eventually I was prescribed trazodone which I’ve been taking for about 5 years now. It does the trick for helping with general drowsiness, but again I’d rather not have a lifelong prescription dependency if I can find a more natural alternative. The most recent motivation that drew me to look into kava again more deeply, however, was a search for good alternatives to alcohol. I found myself developing an almost daily habit of a couple of glasses of wine, as well as increasing the frequency of whiskey or vodka drinking on a weekly basis, and I do not want to continue down that road. It’s certainly more of a habit than an addiction at this point, but I think the line can easily start to blur as time goes on. I am sincerely hoping that kava can be a good replacement. I’m also very interested in the other health benefits I’ve been reading about kava, as well as learning about its historical and cultural significance. Intriguing.
  10. fait

    fait Position 5 Hard Support

    It's called kava culture for a reason, fam.
  11. Intrepidus_dux

    Intrepidus_dux Kava Enthusiast

    Welcome! You'll love it. I distinctly remember repeatedly asking myself if this is what "normal" people feel like during my first few months of kava drinking. The stress and anxiety relief has been tremendous.
    Fiji42 and tarragon like this.
  12. tarragon

    tarragon Member

    Hey! I ask myself that all the time. Did you find the answer?
    Intrepidus_dux likes this.
  13. Krunkie McKrunkface

    Krunkie McKrunkface Kava Enthusiast

    kava is certainly a good replacement for being addicted to something, for sure, even benign addictions, like to a harmless substance or activity, for example, are bad because addiction itself is bad, it's a manifestation of an inflammation of the brain IMO, so no addiction of any kind = healthier brain at least.

    I drink kava and I am not addicted to anything at all, and certainly not kava. It feels great. For much of my life, and for which I am sad and apologetic but not to the point of whiny I hope, I have endured addictions to one thing or another, which I survived and in most cases kicked but all of them did me harm in some way or other, and to be totally honest I don't care about any harm I received as I deserved all that and more which of course I didn't get but what hurts is the harm I caused others about whom I care and even total strangers I did not know and all deserved better from me than they got, and now to not have any addictions, for which I entirely credit kava, it just feels really really great, like I can trust that part of myself again that I learned I could not trust, so I get to utilize more of my resources, makes me more effective on several levels, IMO.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019 at 10:23 AM
    Intrepidus_dux and Fiji42 like this.
  14. Intrepidus_dux

    Intrepidus_dux Kava Enthusiast

    I believe the answer is yes, and also a bit better than that even. I feel that kava calms the nervous system in all kinds of ways we don't fully understand even with the fascinating studies on brain chemicals changed by kava. I've gotten some friends on board with kava too and now holidays and get togethers are much more enjoyable when everyone is drinking kava.
    Krunʞy likes this.
  15. Intrepidus_dux

    Intrepidus_dux Kava Enthusiast

    It's a rare thing for a person to take responsibility in this way these days. I'm in awe that you have here. Please don't beat yourself up too much. Everyone makes mistakes! There have been times where I have gone back and apologized to people far after the fact because I still felt badly. I don't have any perfect answers here but feel I understand your feelings even without knowing all the details.

    And thank heaven for kava! ::happyshell::
    Fiji42 likes this.
  16. Fiji42

    Fiji42 Cautiously adventurous

    Just a quick first-and-second-impression update: my husband and I tried KWK Pouni Ono yesterday at about noon after more than 4 hours on empty stomachs. We tried traditional preparation, using 4 TBS steeped 5 minutes, then we kneaded it for about 10 minutes in 20 oz. of very warm water. So we had about 2 TBS each in 10 oz. water. Felt the tingly lips and numbish tongue for a few minutes. About an hour later my husband said he felt that he couldn't concentrate well enough to write a complicated database query he was working on, but other than that no real effects for him. The only possible effect I felt was that I seemed to have a little better focus than usual for the afternoon, but I honestly feel that it might very well have been wishful thinking on my part.
    Last night at about 7:00 (about 5 hours after eating anything), we tried KWK Vanuatu Borogu. This time we used 6 TBS in about 18-20 oz. water, same prep as above. Also I added a small splash of half and half and some ice to our glasses. We both felt relaxed and calm after about 45 minutes, and though I have no idea if that was attributable to the kava or not, the thing that stood out to me the most was that neither of us missed our usual nightly glass(es) of beer or wine. I want to say that again because for me that was unexpected and amazing: neither of us had the desire to have any alcohol at all last night. Now I don't know if that was really because we replaced the cozy "ritual" of preparing, pouring, and settling down on the sofa together with a different ritual, but frankly I don't care. For me that alone is worth it, though of course I am hoping for even better results as time goes on. The taste was actually not quite as bad as I expected, and my husband did experience somewhat of an upset stomach at night, and I had a headache right before going to sleep, but overall it was fine. I did take my nightly trazodone, but I decreased it slightly to 3/4 of a 50mg tablet (which I know still works for me for drowsiness - goal is to continue decreasing over time until I can eliminate it completely).
    Can't wait to try again tonight to see if anything changes. And maybe my husband should eat more (or less?) this time afterwards to prevent the upset stomach.
    Any advice you all could give about how we might fine-tune amounts or method of preparation is of course welcome. I am just glad and so relieved that the craving for alcohol was entirely absent.
  17. Fiji42

    Fiji42 Cautiously adventurous

    This gives me a great deal of hope and makes me want to continue trying different varieties of kava until I can get to a similar mental plane. Thank you.
    Intrepidus_dux likes this.
  18. fait

    fait Position 5 Hard Support

    How many cups were you drinking and how long were you waiting between cups?
    Intrepidus_dux likes this.
  19. Krunkie McKrunkface

    Krunkie McKrunkface Kava Enthusiast

    This is just to confirm that the things you think you are feeling you are actually feeling and these are very very common experiences, including that focus, that was an odd sensation the very first time I drank kava but I shrugged it off until I saw that happen to others as well, and now you. Glad you're enjoying it. Going forward, focus will be one of the main benefits you'll enjoy. It makes life so much easier, getting your brain back from the world of distractions that hijack it.

    for stomach, try ginger, ginger beer to chase the grog, or some ginger chews or candided ginger, those all work well but in a pinch some sips of ginger ale can work for some. The other option is mint but ginger seems to work much better.

    As for the eating, I wouldn't worry about it too much one way or another, the empty stomach really only makes a difference if you want to feel strong effects immediately, especially the krunk. I would just eat normally if I were you and only do the fasting prior if you were aiming for a recreational experience. OTOH, if you feel the pleasure of kava and want a recreational experience, that's also remarkably cool, too, so go for it.

    Kava alone is great. Kava with someone you like is even better. Heck, kava is awesome even with total strangers. Very glad you guys are enjoying it, your prep seems excellent, and you chose good root. Bula!
    Intrepidus_dux likes this.
  20. Fiji42

    Fiji42 Cautiously adventurous

    For both the afternoon and evening sessions, we only had 2 cups each (about 5-6 ounces per cup) spaced about 20 minutes apart. Since we weren't sure what to expect, we didn't want to overdo it the first time.