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Vanuatu

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violet

Do all things with love
Moderator
The grind of this kava is very fine, and the first thing I noticed when measuring it out is that it is a little heavier than what I'm used to. 50 grams is usually 6 rounded-heaping T for me, but it’s only taking me 5 T to get to 50 grams.

A few brief whiffs and this smells piney, earthy, and spicy(?)... some other fragrant aromatics that my kava aversion will not allow me to explore for identification.

I touch a tiny bit of the powder to the front of my tongue, it is peppery and numbing.

I found this kava to be very oily. It makes a thick, almost chalky brew. I usually use warm water, but without even getting close to boiling I notice grog starts getting a lot thicker at not much beyond 120°F.

(*Note: The first time I squeezed this, I used very hot water, probably close to 140°F or upwards. The kava became so greasy and thick that I was unable to squeeze it very efficiently.)

Taste is bitter, very piney. It’s a little rough going down, but it does potently numb which detracts from the unpleasantness.


I was completely startled by the effects of this kava.

This is a heavy kava that comes on quick, hits hard, and then takes it time.

The initial effects were quite cerebral and came on within 10 minutes. After the initial effects began, they continued building for another 10 minutes, and I found myself wondering if I had not inadvertently incapacitated myself.

The first shell then gave way to body melt and intense physical relaxation. While I was unable to just sit and really sink with it, I did slow down a little so I could maintain coordination. My vision was also affected. There is no doubt in my mind that the second shell would have sent me straight to kava dream land, even after the first hour.

After the first hour, I felt like I was in a battle with gravity. The heaviness really creeps in and plays harmoniously with the sedative qualities of this kava. At that point, I could have lain down on the floor and slept like a babe. A light meal and a couple of hours later I got to relax and drink the second shell. The sedation was a very tranquil feeling, while any physical nuisance I had had disappeared as my body was completely mellowed out.

This is definitely a nightcap kava. While I find this kava great to induce sleep, I have also noticed it does not hamper my ability to arise the following morning. I awake refreshed and don’t find it necessary to bribe myself with the thought of tea and breakfast to get my feet to hit the floor.

At $25 and available through Amazon with Prime shipping, I think this kava is a great deal. I find the effects to be potent for what I want in a body kava, and this one is a keeper for my pantry.


ETA: Since after my first three sessions with this kava, my results have been inconsistent. I'm not getting nearly the muscle effects, but the sedative quality is still there. It makes my eyes heavy and sings me a lullaby, still nice to have to help bring on the sleep.
 
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violet

Do all things with love
Moderator
I had a slightly different experience with this last night. The above describes a consistent 3 days in a row of of this root. The difference last night is that I had taken some benadryl before my kava session, and had paradoxical reaction from the benadryl (it wired me up, which is typical for me over half the time). I didn't get near the body effects that I had been getting from this kava, but the cerebral effects were still there. (The headiness of this kava hangs around as nicely as the body effects do, had I not felt the body effects so strongly I would say this kava is very well balanced.) I'm wondering if the benadryl didn't somehow interfere with the kava, or perhaps it was just an off night. Either way, it was enough for me to come back and report about it for the sake of accuracy, even if it is just my subjective opinion.
 

krunkedout

Kava Lover
I'm really interested in giving this kava a go, i mean for 25$ a pound, you can't really go wrong! How would you say this kava compares to the BKH vanuatu strains?
 

violet

Do all things with love
Moderator
@krunkedout At first I thought it was a lot stronger. It gave me the head hit that I get with Melo Melo with the muscle relaxation I get with the Boroguru. In addition to that, it has a very distinct sedative quality that I've not felt from kava before. I'm still getting the sedation from it which is great, but I haven't been feeling the onset as strongly nor noticing much muscle effect. Not sure wherein lies the inconsistency (Kava, she can be a fickle one, no?). I am also not sure that it's helping my tendinitis the way Boroguru does. I guess if I had to compare it, it leans more in the direction of the Melo Melo, but someone else might get different results than I have been getting.

ETA: Tastewise, this kava is not nearly as smooth as the BKH Vanuatu varieties, it's more piney than Boroguru.

At $25, I think it's worth trying, I really like it for how it sedates me if nothing else.
 
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infraredz

BULA!
Hmmm, the piney taste and real heavy, DHM/DHK like effects (from what it sounds like) make it sound like it might be a little close to tudei?

How would you compare it to Koniak or ISAs if you have had them?
 
D

Deactivated Account

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make it sound like it might be a little close to tudei?
Youll know if it is…thats the sickest ive been in my life i think. I renamed it fourdei kava. Took a fair bit over a period to do it though.
 
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Deleted User01

Guest
Did someone say it cures Tendinitis, sign me up. Nice Review Violet. With all the reviews and raves coming in, I guess we can say that Wakacon is a decent vendor.
 

violet

Do all things with love
Moderator
Hmmm, the piney taste and real heavy, DHM/DHK like effects (from what it sounds like) make it sound like it might be a little close to tudei?

How would you compare it to Koniak or ISAs if you have had them?
In effects, similar to Koniak, yes, but in taste the piney flavor is a lot rougher, Koniak is wonderfully smooth in comparison. Koniak didn't make me want to instantly sleep as much as this stuff does either.

I've not had any ISA's, but I would say there is a huge difference in how long the effects last. When I drink Koniak, the next morning I am most content finding a new cool spot for my feet every so often for a few hours instead of getting out of bed. Even with drinking shells late, this Vanuatu is definitely not with me when I wake up in the morning, quite the opposite I feel well rested and ready to go. For comparison, Boroguru can make me wake up a little bit on the lazy side.

I got hard, heavy effects from it the first few times (after having been off kava 5-6 days), then the next few times I didn't, so I'm taking another few days off to see if I'm the variable causing the inconsistency. I will be interested to see how this kava works for others.
 

violet

Do all things with love
Moderator
Did someone say it cures Tendinitis, sign me up. Nice Review Violet. With all the reviews and raves coming in, I guess we can say that Wakacon is a decent vendor.
Thanks, @Deleted User01. Kava has immensely helped my tendinitis. I have tendinitis in both wrists (De Quervain's Tenosynovitis, actually). On one side I tried everything over the course of 18 months before giving into surgery. The other side went south just before that. When I began drinking kava, it was suddenly like my tendinitis was never there. I was really scared at first about the squeezing and kneading, nothing aggravates my wrists more than that but it has been all good. Now it's been close to a couple of weeks since I've had any Boroguru, and my wrists are flaring warm and painful, grrr both of them :sour:. Had I known about kava back when the problem first occurred, I believe I could have totally averted the chronic inflammation which ultimately led to surgery.

I have similar experience with kava getting rid of my chest pain, once the doctor ruled out any possible heart issues and prescribed me NSAID's I began kava. I don't recall injuring myself and I don't usually wake up with the pain, so I think it's just stress and a physical symptom of anxiety. I'd have thought it gone, but it starts coming back after a few days off kava. Another nod to the muscle relaxation and anti-inflammatory properties to kava is that it has succeeded in making years of chronic tension headaches disappear completely. Regular chiropractic used to get me a couple of headache free days a week. Regular kava drinking keeps me headache free every day.
 

kavadude

❦ॐ tanuki tamer
Hmmm, the piney taste and real heavy, DHM/DHK like effects (from what it sounds like) make it sound like it might be a little close to tudei?

How would you compare it to Koniak or ISAs if you have had them?
Just had some, and I'd almost guarantee that it's not. Seems to be a fairly standard Vanuatu.
 

TidyMinion

Kava Padawan
I'm mixing some up right now. Just delivered today and I've decided to give this a go over the Lawena as i've read that's a lighter, leaner kava. Might save that for weekday trial but it's Friday so i'll see where this kava goes tonight :wacky:
 

CanAwa

1 kava 2 kava 3 kava COUCH
I'm mixing some up right now. Just delivered today and I've decided to give this a go over the Lawena as i've read that's a lighter, leaner kava. Might save that for weekday trial but it's Friday so i'll see where this kava goes tonight :wacky:
I'm mixing up some more melo ..tonight's the night! Going full strength
 

Steve T

Kava Enthusiast
This stuff has hit me so hard that it eventually lead to my joining these forums and looking for alternative kavas.

I am new to brewing kava and have been ordering Waka Kava by this same vendor due to my budget, and liked the results. One day they mistakenly sent me 2 bags of Vanuatu instead of Waka -- I don't care, I get to try something new and how different can it be?

As I have worked my way through these 2 bags I have inspected my life up and down trying to figure out why I am so tired with almost flu-like symptoms.

I take 600mg Gabapentin and 25mg Trazodone for relaxation/sleep every night. When I started taking kava I was at 3x600 Gabapentin, and in fact kava has helped me cut down from 5x -- it has been great. I cut down to 1 gaba because I thought this med was kicking my ass every morning. When I experiment with cutting meds I finally figure out it's this kava which is ruining me. Or maybe it's an interaction with these light meds, since trazodone is also metabolized by the liver?

In order to get that ear-ringing level of kava I need 4-5 (heaping) normal-sized spoonfuls, mixed with soy milk and water. I filter it twice with a metal strainer you'd use to wash rice or lentils in, then I drink it while avoiding sediment at the bottom.

I take 2 nights off from kava, and take 2 spoonfuls of Vanuatu last night.

Mentally and fatigue-wise, this entire day feels like I've had 8-10 beers last night. A mildly relaxed hangover which impedes on daily activities. Or it feels like I've been day drinking slowly all day. And right now it's 7:30 PM, 19 hours after I consumed it, and only TWO SPOONFULS!

The worst part is that when I drank it I felt almost nothing, and wanted to drink more but didn't just to observe low-dosage effects. So it peaks when I wake up from bed?? Why is this effect less with Waka Kava? It makes no sense. So tonight just for a proper/pertinent review I'll take 4 spoonfuls with zero trazodone, since this kava helps me sleep far better than trazodone, and the intense fatigue kicks in when I take this med before bed.

I forgot to mention that I am impervious to all caffeine during this effect. Apologies for having only a slightly relevant review, but advice would also be greatly appreciated. I ordered Bula Melo Melo earlier and hope this "heady" kava will create better relaxation without this heavy, intense, hung over feeling.
 

kavadude

❦ॐ tanuki tamer
Welcome aboard, Steve!

I strongly recommend running your kava through a cloth strainer. Bula Kava House sells excellent fijian strainers, or there are a variety of household items that can be repurposed for this (tide laundry bags, jelly strainers, all sorts of things). I guarantee that day-long effect is some kind of interaction with or side effect of your medication; I've never had anything like that happen. Talk to your doc about potential interactions.
 
D

Deleted User01

Guest
I would also recommend an Acetone test. I wasn't going to say anything until somebody complained. I was relieved to find that Solomons passed the test and and not so relieved when Koniak failed. I think every Kava needs to be tested once and especially if you have a tough next day. If it passes, then they are in business. If not ... well at least you know why a 30 dollar Kava is so strong. The drug interaction may be huge as well but the test should be mandatory for all Kavas anyway. I don't want to start another thread on Tudie but if you guys test your favorite Kavas then just give us a quick thumbs up or down. Nuff said.
 

Steve T

Kava Enthusiast
Welcome aboard, Steve!

I strongly recommend running your kava through a cloth strainer. Bula Kava House sells excellent fijian strainers, or there are a variety of household items that can be repurposed for this (tide laundry bags, jelly strainers, all sorts of things). I guarantee that day-long effect is some kind of interaction with or side effect of your medication; I've never had anything like that happen. Talk to your doc about potential interactions.
Thank you for the reply. I took your advice and went back to straining with a cheese cloth.

I stopped taking trazodone and this hangover effect hasn't happened since. The 12.5-25mg of trazodone I've taken is like 1/8 the normal dose, and 2 spoons of kava is nothing as well. I drank 6 spoons of this kava last night and I'm perfectly functional today.

Regarding an Acetone test, I am also interested in the results, and I would like to do this regularly if I find an affordable method. At the end of the day if this Vanuatu kava is safe, it's actually quite good for the price.
 
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