Yogi Kava Tea Stress Relief is perhaps the most ubiquitous Kava in the world. It is available in grocery stores all across the United States, and internationally. Yogi’s prepackaged tea [Amazon Link] is likely the first encounter most people will have with the concept of Kava, and the idea that Kava can relieve stress and promote relaxation. In some ways it is an excellent introduction into the world of kava, but the effects produced by Yogi Kava Tea are pretty far from what is usually experienced by those who use actual Kava Root, or Instant Kava. In this article I will do a Yogi Kava Tea Review, look closely at it, and explain whether or not it is worth purchasing.
Yogi Kava Tea Review
The Yogi brand Kava Stress Relief Tea is a blend of Kava Root Extract (78mg per tea bag), as well as an herb mixture of carob, sarsparilla, cinnamon bark, ginger root, stevia, and cardamom (totaling 1,900mg of herbal blend). Additionally, barley malt, licorice flavoring, hazelnut flavoring, and cinnamon flavoring are added to the mix.
All of these flavors combine to produce a tasty, slightly sweet brew that masks the (generally off-putting) earthy flavor of kava. This tasty tea gently eases those who try it into the world of kava without starting with a coconut shell filled with muddy dishwater.
However, the downside to this is that this tea gives essentially no effect reminiscent of a real kava preparation. In fact, it should probably be re-branded as Anise Stress Relief tea, as there’s more licorice flavor than kava in it.
There is no official information available on what exactly this kava extract is, though from what I could gather online it is a 30% extract. It is unclear whether this kava is noble or tudei kava, what its country of origin is, how it has been harvested, how the extract was made, etc.
My assumption is that Yogi Kava Tea is using a small amount of kava, and some good marketing, to sell a placebo sleep tea. Apparently it’s working well, given the sales of Yogi Kava Tea!
Yogi Kava Tea Effects
Virtually all of the effect of Yogi Kava Tea is placebo, unfortunately. With only 78mg of kava extract per tea bag, potent to around 30% effectiveness, users should expect to get about 23mg of kavalactones per tea bag. From this dose, not much can happen. A typical dosage of kava root powder is in excess of 150mg of kavalactones (the set of active compounds in kava brews that produce an effect). Even if every ounce of the kava extract is converted to kavalactones, there still isn’t enough to produce any effects of note.
Additionally, the typical response users have to kava kava is reverse tolerance. That is, the first time someone uses kava (even a potent brew of kava root), they will likely not feel much of an effect. The second, they may feel more. The third, more again, etc. The body gets used to the presence of kavalactones, and the effects are more pronounced.
Given that, it is even more unlikley that users will feel much of anything from this tea.
It’s possible that some users, especially if they brew with multiple bags of Yogi Kava Tea, may notice the classic mouth numbing effect that is extremely pronounced when kava root brews imbibed, and users may feel a little sleepy, but beyond that, there is not any effect to speak of.
Most typical teas are made by pouring boiling hot water, right off the stove, into a cup with tea. However, typically kava root powder drinks are usually made with either cool to room temperature water, or hot but not boiling water, for the most potent effects. Boiling water tends to destroy kavalactones, and is almost never used by those who make kava kava the traditional way.
Should you decide to try Yogi Kava Tea, be sure to let the water cool down for a minute or two after it has boiled. You should probably use at least three bags of tea in order to get any sort of effect. You probably won’t get much of any effect, anyway.
Yogi Kava Tea High
If you want to feel the significant relaxation, muscle relaxant, and general well being effects that manifest themselves when proper kava is imbibed, I strongly suggest you save your money and purchase one of the many kava root powders, or a miconized brew. Typically these are taken in larger quantities, and are much more potent than Yogi Kava Stress Relief tea when properly prepared.
The mild, almost non-existent impact of the 23mg of kavalactones per bag, plus any impact from the herbal blend of sarsparallia, anise, etc., may produce a mild sleepiness, but beyond that users are not likely to feel any high, and nothing like the sensations produced by a potent kava root tea, or a micronized kava.
Yogi Kava Tea Side Effects
There are likely no side effects to taking Yogi Kava Tea, as the primary effects are so mild themselves. There are potential side effects to more powerful kava root powders, especially when taken improperly, but it appears there is no concern here, since kava is such a minor ingredient in this tea, despite the top billing on the label.
It is recommended that users not drink alcohol or drive after taking Yogi Kava Tea, and I agree that this is sensible advice. Additionally, pregnant women are advised to stay away, even from this low dose of kava, as kava and pregnancy are not a good mix.
There are many wonderful kava root powders and micronized kavas available on the market, though probably not at your local grocery store. If users are interested in feeling the potent pleasant sensations that high quality kava can produce, I strongly recommend you skip the Yogi Kava Tea, and aim higher. And after you have your “real” kava brew, make a cup of some other tea to drink to mask the taste of the kava.