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Kava Allergy/Rash & Storage

The Allergy/Rash

So, I broke into allergic rashes after drinking a few sessions into drinking Kava (Reputable Vendor & Noble). The rash was less of a rash of more a very itchy allergic reaction and although the itch was across my whole body, it was characterized by many small bumps across my arms and legs akin to goosebumps. Any scratching attempts left red streaks or what seems like a histamine flare and compounded the itch.

My face also swelled up a bit, although it didn't itch (besides the ears), which led me to further believe that this was not dermopathy but an allergic reaction, seeing as I do not drink Kava often enough for dermopathy (once every two weeks or longer). There was also no skin flaking or abnormally dry skin at anytime. It occurs quite awhile after drinking Kava, roughly 10 hours or so which is an interesting point (Allergy to Kava Metabolite?)

I did not have Benadryl, and took Cetrizine instead, although it did not really seem to help which seems to be the same for a lot of the other reports as well.

This put me off for awhile but I decided to try to narrow down the potential allergens i.e. Kava or External related (Contamination?) because my initial sessions did not cause any reaction.

Crossing out Natural Developed Allergy

From the first Kava (two Fijian Varieties) I bought - I noted that the reaction occurred a couple of weeks after my first session i.e. third or fourth session roughly. I had two varieties, both were okay at first but then began causing the reaction.

At that point, I figured my allergy takes time to develop, explaining the delay in reaction,

I decided to purchase from other reputable, noble-only vendors and give it another go, in order to test the explanation. Similarly I purchased 3 varieties (2 Hawaiian and 1 Vanuatu) . I then, opened and tried the two Hawaiian varieties. I expected a reaction but surprisingly, I had no reaction from these two new varieties and thought the problem solved, but similarly after a couple of weeks, I started to have an allergic reaction again.

The similar delay before getting a reaction suggested an allergy to Kava specifically was unlikely as the potential allergen should be the same across all Kava (unsure), and new varieties should trigger the reaction immediately once my Kava allergy was developed. Unless, each Kava cultivar has specifically unique allergens and I am developing allergies to each one as I take it.

Suggest Contamination from Improper Storage

I had one remaining Kava from Vanuatu. A couple of months later (not eager to itch again), I decided to open and try it, and likewise, no reaction until a couple of weeks after.

I realised here that the reaction always occurs after weeks from trying it the first time i.e. opening. This leads me to believe that exposure to air and possible contamination might be the cause, as the long (relatively) sealed Vanuatu Kava didn't cause the reaction at first too.

This means that Kava Storage is the problem here, preparation is ruled out as my previous preps did not cause the reaction. I suspect the culprit to be humidity as opposed to temperature as all my Kava are kept out in the open in the same place (long stored Vanuatu Kava did not have reaction despite same temperature as the others). Furthermore, I live in a very humid place (average of 80% humidity). It could also be that the humidity reacts with Kava in a way to make it allergic, considering that the allergy reaction seems unique among other allergies (unsure).

I intend to try vacuum sealing my next Kava to see if my reaction occurs again and also to repurchase the same Kava I've tried and check for any reaction from a new batch.

Note: I usually drink my sessions with friends and I was the only one who has the reaction, so seems like the problem seems specific to people which was expected. Anyways, this means that even without more stringent storage, most people will be fine although for the edge cases, this could be the reason.

TLDR - Kava Allergy/Rash is caused by improper storage of Kava (Humidity?) as opposed to being actually allergic to Kava.


I’m not to strict about storage, and have only had reactions when taking heavy doses and this is across several strains. My worst reaction was flushing and a patchy rash when drinking tequila the next night after a pretty heavy dose (about 1cup of kava wish I could remember the strain) and I was still pretty new to the game. 10 years later I get light itching if I binge hard, or do over 8 tbs, and I’ll get some light stomach problems.

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