Kava has been used for centuries by people around the world without evidence of causing damage or producing harm to anyone. In fact, findings have been just the opposite.
Kava offers you a calm, relaxed physical state, while keeping the mind alert and aware. It does not cause hangovers, it is not addictive, and it is well known for helping people feel cheerful and in a good mood.
Many people who consume kava often ask about different kava drug interactions. They are curious if it is okay to mix kava with other substances such as alcohol and sedatives.
In order to fully understand kava drug interactions, you have to be familiar with the different varieties of kava available. Noble kava is different from ignoble kava. Knowing the difference between the two is very important to avoid unpleasant consequences.
Noble vs. Non-Noble Kava
It is best to work with a supplier who can explain the difference in the two kavas, and ensure you are receiving the kava you intent to when you purchase.
Noble kava is extracted from the roots only of the piper methysticum plant. This type of kava gives you very positive effects.
Non-noble kava, also called tudei kava is extracted from the stems and leaves of the piper methysticum plant.
Tudei kava, or two-day kava, or tudei kava. No matter how you spell it, this type of kava offers a stronger, longer lasting effect compared to noble kava. Some users enjoy the longer, heavier effects while others fear it.
For approximately 48 hours, the effects of tudei kava make you feel overly sedated, followed by a few other results. If this is the variety of kava you are looking for, make sure you work with a reputable kava supplier who produces quality non-noble kava.
What Are Kava Drug Interactions?
When you ingest one substance and it affects how another substance works, that is considered a drug interaction. Some drug interactions can be negative and create further effects that harm your body.
Every substance, whether herbal, natural or synthetic, can create an interaction if used with the wrong substances.
If you are taking anti-depressants that boost serotonin in the brain and gut, and you take another medicine that also boosts serotonin, you may have a drug interaction that causes you to get too much serotonin. You are then more at risk to get serotonin syndrome.
Too much of a good thing can be damaging.
While kava has never been associated with deaths or negative effects on its own, there are some kava drug interactions, mostly synthetic, that can interfere with the positive effects of kava.
Alcohol and Kava
Alcohol can have many damaging effects. This substance can alter the brain, disturb judgment and thinking, and hamper speech and other body movements. It clouds the mind and makes it hard for a person to make good decisions.
When substantial amounts of alcohol are consumed in a brief period, it can lead to alcohol poisoning.
Alcohol is associated with memory loss because of its effects on the hippocampus region in the brain. Alcohol dehydrates the body, which may be one of the reasons for hangovers the day after drinking.
A hangover can include anything from a mild headache to nausea and vomiting.
Kava and alcohol are very different; kava produces the exact opposite effects of alcohol. Therefore, the kava drug interactions from combining the two is not a good idea. Mixing the two will confuse your brain and likely make you feel overly sedated, which can lead to risky behaviors and poor decisions.
This is probably why many people are using kava as a replacement for alcohol.
Sedatives and Kava
Kava is already a sedating, all-natural, herbal drink. When mixed with synthetic sedatives, you could reach a dangerous level of sleepiness that could lead to coma or worse.
Sedatives have been proven through hundreds of studies to negatively effect memory, movement, speech and decision making. There are many deaths relating to sedatives in the United States.
Kava provides the right amount of sedation, without all the negative effects synthetic sedatives produce. The kava drug interactions of mixing these two could be fatal. There are no known deaths relating to the use of kava by itself.
Dopamine and Kava
Dopamine consists of the feel-good chemicals found in the brain and the gut. There are legal medications, although still not good, that spike the dopamine levels in the body to help with pain relief. These medicines are highly addictive and create a false sense of happiness for a brief period.
Kava also spikes the dopamine chemicals, but on a slower and less intrusive manner. Kava, by itself, gives a person a sense of happiness and euphoria for hours.
If you mix kava and pain relievers, you would receive a dopamine spike that may feel good in the moment, but your brain can not reproduce this feeling on its own. This means where you once felt super happy, you will now feel super depressed.
The spike is good, the crash is terrible.
Using kava by itself is like a slow release, natural alternative. It does not trick your brain.
Other Drugs and Kava
Acetaminophen, like Tylenol, can potentially harm the liver if taken too much, for too long.
The danger of combining acetaminophen and kava is the potential effects on your liver. And since kava is a natural pain reliever, there is no need to include acetaminophen.
Psychotropic drugs you may take for depression, anxiety or other mental illnesses can have serious side effects all by themselves. Some reports claim psychotropic drugs cause sweating, nausea, vomiting, and they can even increase the mental health symptoms.
Anesthesia can become even more dangerous when mixed with kava. You are already in a relaxed, sleep-like state. Kava would increase this and could further put you to sleep, with the potential of going into a coma.
There is no need to mix kava with any synthetic drugs. Not only because synthetic drugs have many side effects and unknown long-term effects, but because kava produces the positive affects you are seeking all by itself.
Kava drug interactions can be harmful. It's important to understand these interactions before combining kava with other substances.