Kava: Nature's Liquid Courage

Kava: Nature's Liquid Courage

Kava is one of my very favorite of herbs for a number of things including sleep, pain, anxiety, and even liquid courage (no kidding). 

Kava comes from the Pacific Islands, where people have used it for centuries.  Kava is known to be a potent anxiety reliever, and a non-alcoholic way to wind down at the end of the day, especially if you’re working late or you have trouble falling asleep.  The secret lies in kavalactones, the psychoactive parts of the kava plant. The kavalactones in a few drops of kava tincture, can put you into a rare state of relaxed focus. This is why I recommend taking it before public speaking, or any social engagement.

Benefits of Kava

Relaxed Focus

This is one of my favorite things about Kava, and the liquid courage that I mentioned earlier. Kava loosens you up socially without the negative effects of drinking. It’s a good way to keep up with the party and wake up feeling good the next morning.  Since Kava doesn’t effect your mental capabilities, you can confidently take it in place of an alcoholic beverage to feel relaxed, but while still remaining aware and focused.

This relaxed focus is also why Kava fans use it faithfully before public speaking of making a presentation.


Kava decreases stress and relaxes your muscles, making it easier to fall asleep. It also produces a mild, pleasant euphoria but not enough to make it addictive.  Studies have found that it influences GABA and serotonin, two key neurotransmitters for helping you wind down.


The dihydrokavain and dihydromethysticin are two of the natural pain relievers in the kava plant.  These constituents relieve pain and muscle spasms when you drink them.  Kava can also be used massaged in topically.


Kava is known for its relaxing properties without dulling your mental awareness. A Cochrane Review of kava looked at 11 double-blind, placebo-controlled studies with a total of 645 participants. It found that kava significantly relieves anxiety, with mild to no side effects.

Several studies have found that kava extract is comparable to antidepressants and benzodiazepines (Xanax and Valium, for example) for improving social and general anxiety disorders.  Participants who took it daily for up to 24 weeks showed none of the side effects or addiction you can get from pharmaceuticals.

Libido/ Sexual Inhibition

Common causes of poor libido and sexual dissatisfaction is anxiety, tension, and other stress-related issues caused by relationships, work, or even the thought of the sexual performance in itself. When lack of confidence is the reason for the lack of intimacy, Kava may help by relaxing the man or woman and making them feel more confident. This lack of inhibition can also improve one's communication skills.

What to Expect When Taking Kava

It is normal for your lips and/or mouth to tingle of feel a bit numb. While it doesn't take long to start feeling the effect of kava, the full effect takes about 20 minutes and will then last 3+ hours. 

How to Take Kava

Adults: Start with taking one squeeze of The Herbal Toad Kava Tincture. If one is not enough, try two squeezes instead.

Children 6-12: One half of adult dose.

Children 2-6: One quarter of adult dose.

21st May 2019 THT Steph

APOTHECARY PIE - a Blog by The Herbal Toad