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Kava Allergy

I've been looking into kava for a while now, and this past Thursday finally got my first taste. It was incredible-- reduced my anxiety considerably (and thus made reading and other working quite pleasureful), dissipated every iota of discomfort and pain in my body, and made me much more able to appreciate music and other stimulus. I'm also really interested in using kava as a meditation aid! Last night, two days later, I tried it again, and again it was wonderful, but I noticed a slight "tightness" in my throat, like it was slightly constricted. Tonight, I had more than I had either of the prior nights, but with less of the pleasure, and with even more pronounced of a tightness in my throat. I notice that when I scratch my skin lightly, I'm more likely to break out in hives (which isn't entirely abnormal-- I have sensitive skin usually).
My question is: does this sound like a mild allergic reaction to kava? Has anyone experienced a kava allergy that went away (or was time- or strain-specific)? Or realized that the reaction was related to kava in conjunction with something else? (Like eating [certain foods], or imbibing drugs like weed, etc?)
I'm so worried I won't be able to appreciate kava anymore in the future! I so had my heart set on loving it! Thanks in advance for your responses either way!
Yes, it definitely seems like I experienced some sort of allergic reaction, but I'm not sure if it was really all that serious. (Perhaps just wishful thinking though?) I've experienced similar things in the way of slight breathing restriction sometimes from alcohol (which at other times and with different varieties have not elicited the same response), and hives from soy milk (which I drink plenty of in other instances-- and I have plenty of tofu in my normal diet). I'm just a sensitive person.

I have read, though, that kava might inhibit some enzymatic functions... so perhaps drinking it in conjunction with other things would make it more likely for me to have an allergic reaction to the other things?

Perhaps I'm being exceedingly reckless, but I really want to attempt kava again soon (and with some Benadryl on hand). I'll try to isolate the variables, so I'll wait ~6 hours after my last meal, and avoid all other substances for 12. (Unless y'all advise very heavily against it entirely.) Should I wait a few days from my last kava experience though?

Also, I don't know if anybody has any experience with this (maybe with allergies to other things?), but I've heard that exposing yourself to small amounts of the allergen over a period of time can help retrain your body into not having the allergic response altogether.... hmmmm...


Kava Enthusiast
I had a bad reaction with kava and Benadryl in my system. I'm not 100% sure it was the Benadryl, but it was the most likely candidate. Kava is reported to be a maoi and can interact with other substances.

now, if someone finds a pleasant interaction, let me know :)


Notorious Lightweight
Review Maestro
It sounds like the numbing effect kava can have is freaking you out. When I drink certain kinds of kava my throat, lips and mouth get pretty numb and swallowing isn't easy. Once the numbness wears off everything is fine though.

If it's actually making you itch really bad so much so that you scratch yourself then it probably is a reaction to kava or whatever else you might have had with it.

If in doubt though just stop.
It's definitely an allergy, a mild form of allergy nevertheless I don't think you should try kava anymore, this my turn badly for you. Anabolic steroids usually help with allergies, they also help in asthma so you may want to try them if you still want to enjoy kave. You should just make sure you talk with your doctor, he'll know better what to prescribe you, also you can check this resource SteroidSources.com, you'll find plenty information here too. I hope that helped!