In recent times, kava, or kava-kava, a traditional drink from the South Pacific, is gaining popularity among people in the US. You can find kava online, shops, and even in specialized kava bars. The market offers many different products, each of them with their own characteristics. So, no matter if you are a newbie or an experienced kava consumer, you’ve probably come across different kava formats. And probably, sometimes you have felt overwhelmed by the number of products that the market has to offer.
One of the most popular kava formats that you can find either online or in specialized shops is micronized kava. But what is micronized kava and what is the difference with traditional or instant kava? In this article, we’ll tell you all you need to know about this product.
What Is Kava?
Kava, kava-kava, or Piper methysticum is a plant native to the Western and South Pacific islands, where it grows naturally. The plant is especially popular in places like Polynesia, Vanuatu, Hawaii, and even in Australia. And, native cultures from many of these places have traditionally used the root of the plant to prepare a beverage that is used in social ceremonies. In fact, in many countries, a kava beverage is offered to welcome visitors to the islands.
The kava root contains kavalactones, which are the components that give the plant its unique properties. But the kava drink is not only popular in social events, but it also holds other beneficial properties, such as relaxing, calming, and even euphoric. Kava drinkers report that the beverage gives them a sense of happiness, well-being, and relaxation at the same time.
However, if you are considering trying kava, be aware that it can affect your liver, so you should stay away from it if you suffer from a liver condition.
Types of Kava Products
Before explaining what micronized kava is, you should know that you can find different kava formats in the market. The most common are:
- Traditional kava (also known as medium grind kava): the traditional grind kava root that you must soak and knead to prepare your drink
- Instant kava: instant kava is made by dehydrating kava liquid
- Micronized kava: a finely ground and specially prepared kava root
Additionally, you can find other kava products such as extracts, which are powders with a higher kavalactone concentration.
What Is Micronized Kava?
So, what is micronized kava? Before answering this question, you must know what traditional or medium grind kava is.
Typically, there are three components in medium grind kava that you can see with the naked eye:
- Root flesh: soft plant material powder
- Root skin: dark particles that you can see after preparation
- Makas: hard fibers that you can find in the powder
So, in order to make micronized kava, medium grind kava must be grounded until a very fine powder is obtained, this is called micron level size. However, you can find two types of micronized kava in the market:
- Simple micronized kava: all three components of the medium grind kava are present.
- Maka reduced or free micronized kava: to prepare this powder, makas are removed before grinding the rest of the material. However, this type of product still holds the properties of traditional kava, as makas contain a lower amount of kavalactones.
Micronized Kava Vs. Instant and Traditional Kava
The main difference between traditional, instant and micronized kava lay in the process they go through before consumption. Whilst traditional kava has thicker particles and even fibers, instant, and micronized products consist of a fine powder that you can dissolve in your drink. However, the difference between micronized and instant kava is that to make the first, medium grind kava must be grounded to get a fine powder. On the other hand, to make instant kava, first, kava producers must first make a liquid that they dehydrate afterward to obtain the powder.
The method of consumption also differs between different products. Whilst you must knead and strain traditional kava to prepare a beverage, you can just add instant or micronized kava to water, juices, or smoothies and drink it. So, this makes it a great choice for newbies.
However, consider that some people report stomach upset and nausea with this product. So, you should always stay within the recommended doses.
How to Take Micronized Kava?
If you are an experienced kava user, you probably know that preparing a traditional kava beverage takes time and some skills. However, one of the greatest advantages of micronized kava is that is easy to consume, and you can even do it on the go. With this product, you’ll simply have to mix the powder with water, juices, or smoothies, and there you go, ready to drink.
Regarding the dose, there is no general rule to this, it will depend on each person. So, the recommendation is to start low and increase until you find the effects that you are looking for. However, consider that some people feel kava effects with just 2 tablespoons, whilst others need 3 or 4.
Additionally, in order to properly mix micronized kava with your drink, you can follow one of these methods:
- Pour water, juice, or smoothie and your kava dose in a bottle, close it and give it a good shake until you get a frothy mix.
- Use a blender to mix it: pour your drink and kava dose in the blender and blend on high for 2-3 minutes.
Finally, to get rid of any leftover particles, you can strain the liquid by using a strainer bag. Contrary to traditional medium grind kava, you won’t need to knead, just strain and squeeze the bag.
Let us know about you, which kava format do you prefer? Use the comment section below!