Kava is a widely-used herbal supplement in the South Pacific, and over recent years has become a very popular beverage to drink in the West.
This is because kava contains healing properties that can help those suffering from anxiety and insomnia maintain a more calm and relaxed state, without having to resort to using prescription drugs.
But does kava make your mouth numb? Yes, kava will make your mouth feel numb shortly after you start drinking it, assuming you’ve got a good kava. The numb mouth is the first sign the kava is doing its job!
Don’t be alarmed by the sensation, it will go away soon. Most kava enthusiasts quickly get used to it, and use the mouth sensations as a gauge to kava quality and effects.
The Effects of Kava
Kava is known to produce many positive effects on the body, the main ones being relaxation and a strong sense of calm, as well as muscle relaxation. These effects are the main reasons why so many people choose to drink it.
Basically, kava produces the same kind of effect that anti-anxiety medications like Xanax do, but with a completely clear head and no addictive properties, and typically without any hangover the next morning (unless you drink enough to get krunk)!
But along with the feelings of calmness and relaxation, many people also find that they have some side effects from drinking kava. Some find they are unable to maintain attention, feel slightly restless or itchy, and become sleepy. which is why it is suggested that you don’t drive a vehicle or operate any heavy machinery after drinking it.
This is because kava works by sedating the nervous system and relaxing all the muscles in your body. This is Kava is not suggested for use with those who already suffer from nervous system disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease.
And, by the way, if you’re pregnant, you should also stay away from drinking kava (along with literally everything else).
However, kava, which is made from the root of a pepper plant that grows on the South Pacific Islands, generally won’t cause you to experience any negative side effects unlike prescription anti-anxiety drugs — as long as you stick to the recommended dosage.
Just like all herbal supplements though, kava does have the potential of causing side effects if you drink too much of it, and these can include mouth dryness and numbing. So, let’s have a closer look at why this could happen.
Does Kava Make Your Mouth Numb?
Yes, kava will numb your mouth as you drink it, and many kava enthusiasts can judge the quality of a specific cultivar of kava by mouth sensations. The better the kava, the more powerful the mouth-numbing sensations.
One of the common side effects of drinking kava is the fact that it can cause numbness to certain areas of the body, including the gums, mouth, throat, face, and stomach.
The better the kava, the more powerful the mouth-numbing senstations.
The numbness that you might feel after drinking kava is caused by the presence of various kavalactones, the active ingredients that the roots of the plant contain. The kavalactone known as kavain is what causes your blood vessels to contract, which results in a slight aesthetic effect and can cause numbness in different parts of the body.
In fact, traditionally many indigenous people in the South Pacific and Asia have chewed on kava to help numb their mouths in order to relieve the pain of toothache.
How Long Does the Mouth Numbness from Kava Last?
So, if you’ve consumed a good deal of high-quality kava containing kavain, then it’s very likely that your mouth will become numb. Usually, this sensation will subside somewhat within 15 minutes and will be replaced with the more full-body effects of kava.
Just roll with it, and rinse your mouth out with water if you feel uncomfortable due to the numb mouth.