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Help understanding kava interaction/outcome.


Hey there I started Kava about 2 years ago and was blown away. I have combined autism and ADHD. Kava has been an absolute godsend. I was put on remeron to help with generalized anxiety + depression and I can say Kava was 100x better than that medication. It frustrates me to no end that a herb so helpful is not being investigated, especially with the potential to help many people, it's social affects vastly improve my Autistic symptoms.

Anyway sorry to waft, I don't have a diagnosis for ADHD, I only recently learnt I have it. But out of desperation and insane NHS waiting times, I've experimented with Atomoxetine + Modafinil. And they are effective, which essentially confirms it's existence.

The only issue is I have profoundly realized that Kava impairs my concentration + cognition. But it seems to have contradictory affects, the studies I see online suggest cognition is not impaired., And focus is improved. It seems to do this sometimes and other times not.

I take it largely to help with anxiety + autistic symptoms, the atomic+modaf makes me functional but Im not talkative. Its like improving the ADHD brings the autistic symptoms to the forefront.

This is baffling to me, I have had the Kava without the atomox + Modafinil combo and it is the same thing, regardless of cultivar (I started on Dokobana Fijian, then switched to Melo Melo) Though I preferred Dokobana, both did seem to make me dopey and spacey.

When I try Kava with atomox+modafinil it makes me calmer and more talkative. But reverses the positive benefits to my ADHD.

But yet the other week I tried this combo with the drugs again and suddenly it enhanced the atomox+Modafinil combo. So much so that I felt my focus was what it should be and it both normalized my autistic symptoms on the backend.

I just don't understand these miracle moments, what is changing in these situations to cause this interaction??

I know my situation is unique, but if anyone could shed some light on this it would be profoundly helpful.

If I can piece down this interaction maybe I don't have to wait for Adderall which I think from the modafinil sides would be bad for me because modaf unless at really low dosages (50mg) exacerbates my sensory problems. So I may end up experimenting again anyway.

FYI I take 50mg modafinil, 40mg atomoxetine, and 1/2 TSP Kava (though I drink this raw), raw has saved me money and I see no difference in affects from Aluball (I've tried both, same diff, just need more for same potency.) + Some minor stuff like P5P + Taurine. Which seem to improve the modafinil.

I noticed a difference when I started with 1 TSP Kava and then took Moda+Ato later in the day. I don't seem to see any correlation between hydration. But notably I did have Kava on an empty stomach later this day and it seemed to have the same earlier affect of bolstering the Moda+Ato.

Sorry for the wall of text any help would be greatly appreciated.


Kava Enthusiast
Check out kanna.Shouldbe no problem with modafinil and kava but it might add to side effects of amphetamines somewhat. L8ng duration as tea.

Check out yohimbine. Might create anxiety and sounds quite suspicious with Ritalin, Adderall, Reboxetine and their kind. Short duration. More than 25 mg would be suspucious, standard is 5 or 10.

Do cognitipn tests if you know how to. Might chart what you can do better.

Stay away from very boring vocations that have responsibility. Would sound like asking for trouble.


Aluballin' in the UK
Kava Vendor
Check out kanna.Shouldbe no problem with modafinil and kava but it might add to side effects of amphetamines somewhat. L8ng duration as tea.

Check out yohimbine. Might create anxiety and sounds quite suspicious with Ritalin, Adderall, Reboxetine and their kind. Short duration. More than 25 mg would be suspucious, standard is 5 or 10.

Do cognitipn tests if you know how to. Might chart what you can do better.

Stay away from very boring vocations that have responsibility. Would sound like asking for trouble.
Sorry @Slakemoth I can't help with your questions but I have a question for @Orz[EST] , do you have any idea of the legal status of Kanna in Europe/UK? I am being offered a decent amount that would be economical to start selling but I just can't find any good information on whether it is actually legal or not for import and sale in the UK.


Kava Enthusiast
Wrote an application to import as food supplement. Agency of medicines said that I could do it as medicine. That is costly. Ifid not because there is a risk that oligopoly pharmacies do not like it. As a food supplement it would have been probably doable but with financially high barrier entry without strong marketing presence / contacts - nah.

It is legal to import from abroad. Possibly a customs agent could ask if I have permission of Agency of Medicine yo do so but it has never happened.

Mist of the kanna is very weak. I suspect similar but wrong species because if a dried powder is weaker than self grown one, no objective (mydriasis) and threshold effects as tea or chewn herb... I am not entirely sure that it is real thing (understatement).

Kanna ET2 is proper extract, probably quite strong. Sublingually. Snorting I do advise against if used for self treatment. UTC ones are OK but a bit weaker.
Hey @Slakemoth, I also don't have a super helpful answer re your specific circumstances, but wanted to jump on and say keep experimenting within what is comfortable for you. I'm autistic, but I only found out 3 weeks ago (I'm 50) and have been having kava for about 10 years to help chill out. Now I know that I was constantly overstimulated, I can more fully appreciate what kava can do for us.
I prefer heavy kavas, with vanuatu being my favourite location, and I guess boroguru being my regular style. I use an aluball as I have tendon issues and can't squeeze like I used to. Instant kava doesn't really work too well on me, or at least the ones I've tried so far. And I always have it on an empty stomach.
I was on lyrica for a nerve issue and was concerned about it interacting with kava, but once I'd adapted to it in my system, it didn't seem to be an issue. So weird how these things combine with each other, or not.
There have to be other AuDHDers on here somewhere, whether they know it or not, so hopefully you can get some good advice re the interaction with meds.


Kava Enthusiast
Hey, I am here to be an example of an individual who drinks kava for its focus-enhancing quality. I read your whole post. I have not much to say on psychological conditions or pharmaceutical medications--If you handed me a scientific journal explaining the pharmacokinetics of each substance I may come up with a general idea.

Please brew traditional prep - at least try it if you haven't. I used to do the same thing as you drinking the kava raw. I thought it saved kava. Nope. Straining it, freezing the root for a second wash, is the way which is gentler on the belly and perhaps stronger in effects due to being brewed properly and not mixed with side effects caused by Maka Drinking (Unstrained root).

About focus. Too much kava can hurt my focus(at work), a little bit helps it. I think this has plenty to do with how I am - I'm pretty vigilant and aware of my surroundings. Sometimes, unnecessarily, or feeling a little sensory overload from a simple relaxed atmosphere shared with others. I thrive when I am busy so that I do not have time to hear all the noises, smell all the smells, and kava seems to play a role in keeping me free from distraction. If I have too much, On the other hand, I feel slowed down. I wash dishes in a kitchen and for me, I work a balance of quality and quantity. I will rather work harder and longer than sacrifice quality. Kava helps me focus on exactly what to wash in what order. It's a challenge. Whenever I watch somebody step into my shoes, they cut corners and gloat about being faster than I. I don't claim to be the fastest. I am fast and clean. Fast, and clean, flowing, listening, tuning and dialing in to what needs to be done. Sometimes, kava is that gentle nudge reminding me to stay in the now and get my job done when I may otherwise feel puzzled or concern myself with other times and dates - later, earlier, not now. Kava brings me to the now, often a chill relaxed vibe to it.

At home, by myself, kava does not seem to reach a point of lost focus no matter how much I drink. Rather, focus seems to increase, On a thankfully unfixed neutral point of reference. With eyes closed I'll focus on my heartbeat, or my breath, or my circulation of blood. I do this during meditation, if I can turn my mind off. This is true focus to me, focusing on the micro-cosmic world inside our bodies.
Kava in mild amounts lets me follow through with a routine.
Larger amounts of kava I drink seem to demand that I be free and clear of responsibilities. Sometimes I have the light out, sit in the dark, and let time pass, only checking on my body once in a while to make sure I'm breathing, not thirsty or dirty and have decent posture. Then, back into meditation I go.

I know this is a long post. I wish it contributes in a positive way! Thank you.


Kava Enthusiast
Here's a thought: Try Kelai, Malo Tonga, or another uplifting, energetic, daytime light and refreshing kava such as Palasa from Santo or Mo'i from Hawaii if you can get your hands on them! Kelai is available from a few vendors as should Malo Tonga be available by at least one (FVK).

I have tried Dokobana, as a waka lover, and it is a fine waka. Wakas are generally pretty "heady", I feel. Melo Melo felt...quite mellow to me, beyond what I can withstand when being social. Kelai, makes me feel way uplifted. The downside to that is I drink three times more when enjoying for sleep. It occurs to me though if you tried only two kava that you have experienced a small fraction of the effects kava has to offer. There are a variety of "heavy" kavas, some coming to mind include anything from the Solomon Islands, Hawaiian Hiwa, Borongoru from Vanuatu, and BirKar. MeloMelo is pretty heavy to me, too. There are the hybrids, again, only speaking of Noble Kava, we have +from my experience+ KavaDepot Ceremonial
NakamalAtHome Black Sands
Ofa's Tongan
Like, everything Cactus Kava offers and most of Kalm with Kava's offerings. Kava Time will tell you whether they think it is heavy or heady and you can even learn the chemotypes on kavalactones and find out a hypothesized preference of your own! My favorite two kavalactones of the main six are Kavain, and Yangonin, based on what I know. I could be wrong.I
Some heady offerings, in my experience, are wakas from Fiji including Squanch and dokobana, Chief's Choice was pretty balanced because it is only 30% waka. And for me, Kelai goes in to the heady category along with fresh green Pana'ewa from Hawaii and the Palasa from Santo was a delectable balanced-leaning heady kava in my opinion.

In essence, try more kavas and give traditional prep a chance please! There are so many opportunities, brewing styles, cultivars to choose from, even mixing kava with other kava.