What is KavaKalm™?

KavaKalm™ is a unique extract that derives from the noble kava root. It is produced using a super critical extraction method and originates in the Pacific Islands.

What is kava root? Where does it grow?

Kava or kava kava (Piper methysticum) is a crop from the Pacific Islands. Kava is consumed for its sedative effects throughout the Pacific Ocean cultures of Polynesia. Most cultivation occurs in Vanuatu, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Pohnpei, and Hawaii.

How does kava grow?

Each kava plant has to be specifically cultivated from a node on a segment of an attached stalk. Farmers will take the stem of an existing plant and chop it into three to four inch pieces. These stem cuttings are then planted directly into the ground and are nurtured for three to five years until a mature plant grows.

Traditionally, plants are harvested around four years of age because older plants have higher concentrations of kavalactones. After reaching about 2 m (6.6 ft) in height, its stalk thickens and widens. As the Kava plant grows, it is common for additional stalks to sprout from the original stem, thus widening the overall plant rather than increasing in height. The root system can reach depths of up to 60 cm (2.0 ft).

How is kava harvested?

Harvesting kava plants involves removing the upper part of the plant, cutting the stems above the first node, and taking care to harvest the valuable roots without breaking them. These kava roots can reach a thickness of 30–60 cm (1–2 ft) and measure over 2 m in length (6 ft). Then the fresh kava root is cleaned, dried, cut, and packed before shipping.

What is the traditional use of kava?

Traditionally, kava is prepared by either chewing, grinding, or pounding the roots of the kava plant. Grinding is done by hand against a cone-shaped block of dead coral. The ground root is combined with a small amount of water because the fresh root will release moisture during grinding. Pounding is done in a large stone with a small log. The product is then added to cold water and consumed as quickly as possible.

What does kava do? Are there any clinical studies?

The scientific name for the kava kava plant is Piper methysticum, which translates to “intoxicating pepper.” The active ingredients in kava, known as kavalactones, interact with the limbic system of the brain. This includes the amygdala, the part of the limbic system that regulates emotions. As a result, Kava is well known to have a relaxing effect on the mind and body.

There are published clinical trials on kava showing its effectiveness in treating anxiety disorders, depression, and insomnia. Here are some of the clinical studies*.

1, Kava for generalised anxiety disorder: A 16-week double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled study.
Sarris J, Byrne GJ, Bousman CA, Cribb L, Savage KM, Holmes O, Murphy J, Macdonald P, Short A, Nazareth S, Jennings E, Thomas SR, Ogden E, Chamoli S, Scholey A, Stough C.Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2020 Mar;54(3):288-297. doi: 10.1177/0004867419891246. Epub 2019 Dec 8.PMID:31813230Clinical Trial.

2, Kava administration reduces anxiety in perimenopausal women.
Cagnacci A, Arangino S, Renzi A, Zanni AL, Malmusi S, Volpe A.Maturitas. 2003 Feb 25;44(2):103-9. doi: 10.1016/s0378-5122(02)00317-1.PMID:12590005 Clinical Trial.

3, Kava in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study.
Sarris J, Stough C, Bousman CA, Wahid ZT, Murray G, Teschke R, Savage KM, Dowell A, Ng C, Schweitzer I.J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2013 Oct;33(5):643-8. doi: 10.1097/JCP.0b013e318291be67.PMID: 23635869 Clinical Trial.

4, Kava in generalized anxiety disorder: three placebo-controlled trials.
Connor KM, Payne V, Davidson JR.Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 2006 Sep;21(5):249-53. doi: 10.1097/00004850-200609000-00001.PMID: 16877894 Clinical Trial.

5, Kava treatment in patients with anxiety.
Geier FP, Konstantinowicz T.Phytother Res. 2004 Apr;18(4):297-300. doi: 10.1002/ptr.1422.PMID: 15162364 Clinical Trial.

6, Kava for the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder (K-GAD): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial.
Savage KM, Stough CK, Byrne GJ, Scholey A, Bousman C, Murphy J, Macdonald P, Suo C, Hughes M, Thomas S, Teschke R, Xing C, Sarris J.Trials. 2015 Nov 2;16:493. doi: 10.1186/s13063-015-0986-5.PMID: 26527536 

7, Kava for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder RCT: analysis of adverse reactions, liver function, addiction, and sexual effects.
Sarris J, Stough C, Teschke R, Wahid ZT, Bousman CA, Murray G, Savage KM, Mouatt P, Ng C, Schweitzer I.Phytother Res. 2013 Nov;27(11):1723-8. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4916. Epub 2013 Jan 24.PMID: 23348842 Clinical Trial.

8, Kava Anxiety Depression Spectrum Study (KADSS): a mixed methods RCT using an aqueous extract of Piper methysticum.
Sarris J, Kavanagh DJ, Adams J, Bone K, Byrne G.Complement Ther Med. 2009 Jun;17(3):176-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2009.01.001. Epub 2009 Feb 7.PMID: 19398072 Clinical Trial.

9, Kava and valerian in the treatment of stress-induced insomnia.
Wheatley D.Phytother Res. 2001 Sep;15(6):549-51. doi: 10.1002/ptr.840.PMID: 11536390 Clinical Trial.

10, Kava-Kava extract is as effective as Opipramol and Buspirone in Generalised Anxiety Disorder--an 8-week randomized, double-blind multi-centre clinical trial in 129 out-patients.

Boerner RJ, Sommer H, Berger W, Kuhn U, Schmidt U, Mannel M.Phytomedicine. 2003;10 Suppl 4:38-49. doi: 10.1078/1433-187x-00309.PMID: 12807341 Clinical Trial.

11, The Kava Anxiety Depression Spectrum Study (KADSS): a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover trial using an aqueous extract of Piper methysticum.

Sarris J, Kavanagh DJ, Byrne G, Bone KM, Adams J, Deed G.Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2009 Aug;205(3):399-407. doi: 10.1007/s00213-009-1549-9. Epub 2009 May 9.PMID: 19430766 Clinical Trial.

12, Kava-kava extract WS 1490 versus placebo in anxiety disorders--a randomized placebo-controlled 25-week outpatient trial. Volz HP, Kieser M.Pharmacopsychiatry. 1997 Jan;30(1):1-5. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-979474.PMID: 9065962 Clinical Trial.

13, The acute effects of kava and oxazepam on anxiety, mood, neurocognition; and genetic correlates: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study.

Sarris J, Scholey A, Schweitzer I, Bousman C, Laporte E, Ng C, Murray G, Stough C.Hum Psychopharmacol. 2012 May;27(3):262-9. doi: 10.1002/hup.2216. Epub 2012 Feb 7.PMID: 22311378 Clinical Trial.

14, Efficacy of kava-kava in the treatment of non-psychotic anxiety, following pretreatment with benzodiazepines.
Malsch U, Kieser M.Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2001 Sep;157(3):277-83. doi: 10.1007/s002130100792.PMID: 11605083 Clinical Trial.

15, Effect of kava extract on vagal cardiac control in generalized anxiety disorder: preliminary findings.
Watkins LL, Connor KM, Davidson JR.J Psychopharmacol. 2001 Dec;15(4):283-6. doi: 10.1177/026988110101500407.PMID: 11769822 Clinical Trial.

16, Evaluation of combining kava extract with hormone replacement therapy in the treatment of postmenopausal anxiety.
De Leo V, la Marca A, Morgante G, Lanzetta D, Florio P, Petraglia F.Maturitas. 2001 Aug 25;39(2):185-8. doi: 10.1016/s0378-5122(01)00197-9.PMID: 11514117 Clinical Trial.

17, An internet-based randomized, placebo-controlled trial of kava and valerian for anxiety and insomnia.
Jacobs BP, Bent S, Tice JA, Blackwell T, Cummings SR.Medicine (Baltimore). 2005 Jul;84(4):197-207. doi: 10.1097/01.md.0000172299.72364.95.PMID: 16010204 Free article. Clinical Trial.

18, Enhanced cognitive performance and cheerful mood by standardized extracts of Piper methysticum (Kava-kava).
Thompson R, Ruch W, Hasenöhrl RU.Hum Psychopharmacol. 2004 Jun;19(4):243-50. doi: 10.1002/hup.581.PMID: 15181652 Clinical Trial.

19, Clinical efficacy of kava extract WS 1490 in sleep disturbances associated with anxiety disorders. Results of a multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial.
Lehrl S.J Affect Disord. 2004 Feb;78(2):101-10. doi: 10.1016/s0165-0327(02)00238-0.PMID: 14706720 Clinical Trial.

20, Assessment of the association of Kava-Kava extract and hormone replacement therapy in the treatment of postmenopause anxiety].
De Leo V, La Marca A, Lanzetta D, Palazzi S, Torricelli M, Facchini C, Morgante G.Minerva Ginecol. 2000 Jun;52(6):263-7.PMID: 11085051 Clinical Trial. Italian.

21, Effect of a special kava extract in patients with anxiety-, tension-, and excitation states of non-psychotic genesis. Double blind study with placebos over 4 weeks].
Kinzler E, Krömer J, Lehmann E.Arzneimittelforschung. 1991 Jun;41(6):584-8.PMID: 1930344 Clinical Trial. German.

22, Treatment of anxiety, tension and restlessness states with Kava special extract WS 1490 in general practice: a randomized placebo-controlled double-blind multicenter trial.
Gastpar M, Klimm HD.Phytomedicine. 2003 Nov;10(8):631-9. doi: 10.1078/0944-7113-00369.PMID: 14692723 Clinical Trial.

Noble vs. Tudei kava: Which is better?

Noble kava aids mood, anxiety, and social drinking. And it has little negative effects. Tudei kava is a stronger sedative but might cause nausea, headaches, or lethargy that can linger for days.

Noble Kava
Tudei Kava
  • Most popular form of daily-use kava
  • Primarily used for medicinal purposes
  • Tends to produce fewer side effects
  • Higher chance of causing side effects
  • Higher kavain content
  • Contains higher levels of DHM and DHK
  • Lower DHM content
  • Lower cost than noble kava
  • More expensive on average
  • Crops produce high yields
  • Crops produce a lower yield
Noble vs. Tudei kava: How to identify?

Dissolve 10 g of kava powder into 30 ml of acetone. The color will turn yellow if it is noble kava. A brown or red color indicates non-noble kava; however, further HPLC tests should be performed to confirm.

What type of kava root do we use?

We only use noble kava root. There are two major types of kava roots: fibrous (pictured on the right) and tap (pictured on the left). Fibrous roots have a higher potency, which is better when producing kava extracts. They contain 8%–10% kavalactones by HPLC. Tap roots have a lower potency and thus a lower price. They contain 4%–5% kavalactones by HPLC.

What is kava chemotype code?

There are six main kavalactones that account for the majority of kava’s effects. Each kavalactone is assigned a number. The kava is then analyzed to measure the kavalactone content. The numbers are assigned to each kavalactone in descending order.

What are the unique features of our KavaKalm™?

30% to 80% pure kavalactones

CO2 extraction guarantees the best color, taste, and purity

Produced from the highest quality kava: noble kava from Vanuatu

60+ published clinical trials showing effectiveness in treating anxiety disorders, depression, and insomnia

Unique kava chemotype code for each batch

What specs does KavaKalm™ offer?
  • KavaKalm™
  • 30% kavalactones
  • Most popular spec and is widely used in beverages, capsules, or tea cuts
  • KavaKalm™ Plus
  • 30% kavalactones
    Flavokavain A < 0.1%
    Flavokavain B < 0.1%
  • 100% removal of flavokavain A and B to reduce hepatotoxicity risk to zero
  • KavaKalm™ Max
  • 80% kavalactones
  • Highest purity of kava; can use less with more effect

“This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”

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