Just picked this up from the store and it seems pretty fresh. I add some just above room temperature water (about 80 degrees is fine) and smash it against the inside of a bowl or rounded cup for about 5 minutes. Then strain it and enjoy. Kinda makes the lips and tongue go a little numb, then the relaxation sets in for an hour or 2.
Loose Kava Kava from Rainbow Grocery in SF.
DO NOT DRINK THIS TEA if you have or have had liver problems, frequently use alcoholic beverages, or are taking any medications.
Kava came under the FDA’s scrutiny after a number of European reports that it might cause damage to the liver – including hepatitis, cirrhosis, and liver failure. German & Swiss health authorities have identified approximately 30 such cases, including four cases requiring transplantation, and one death. As a result, regulatory agencies in Germany, Switzerland, France, Canada, & the U.K., have taken actions ranging from warning consumers about the potential risks of kava use, to removing kava-containing products from the marketplace. In the U.S., FDA has received several reports of kava-related liver damage, including a report of a previously healthy young woman who required a liver transplant. Although the incidence appears to be rare, FDA believes consumers should be informed of potential risks.
Kava is ranked among the top 10 herbs sold in the United States and Europe. In a double-blind clinical study testing Kava’s reputed stress relieving properties, Kava was proven not to relieve anxiety more than the placebo (study conducted in 2005 by the University of California: San Francisco). Conclusion: There’s no reason to risk your liver in the hope that you’ll be less stressed out. Drink a different tea!