In this episode of Bulletproof Radio, we’re putting the spotlight on kava. It’s a powerful plant-based stress relieving, nootropic drink from islands in the South Pacific that boosts mood, enhances cognitive abilities and relieves anxiety.My guest is Cameron George, a researcher, writer, entrepreneur and the founder of TRU KAVA.
His profoundly personal experience with kava compelled him to research and develop products that could help others. He credits the kava with saving his life. “My story was definitely one of those what I call a pain-to-purpose journey,” Cameron says, “meaning that a lot of these discoveries that I made and even a lot of the other stuff that I’m involved in now all came out of my own pain.”
TRU KAVA is setting the industry standard for quality, safety and education around kava within the mass market. “There are more than 200 strains of kava that are used regularly in Vanuatu and Fiji mainly, and then other islands, as well,” Cameron explains. “Just like the world of cannabis, there are all these different strains. … Noble kava is kava that has to meet a certain chemical composition standard.”
Kava has been highly regarded for 3,000 years as a safe, natural alternative to drugs and alcohol. The effects are comparable to alcohol, without the drunkenness. The experience often is described as a calm, enhanced state of natural sobriety. Kava is completely non-addictive.
Kava also is commonly known as “the great protector” because it is one of nature’s most profound and complete protective substances. This means that when humans consume kava, it helps both protect the body from all forms of stress (physical, chemical, emotional) and rid the body of built-up stress.
Cameron says from its signature and its life force, Kava is a protective substance. “That’s why it has… protective pathways from reducing glutamate levels through GABA and sodium calcium channel blocking to activating cellular autophagy and turning over fat into ketones. All of these things are protective, and the same thing with COX stuff and everything and the NRF2 upregulation, as well, that occurs. These are hormetic stress pathways.”
In the islands, kava is also known as a very gentle entheogen (psychedelic) that brings about creative and introspective thinking and makes users more empathetic.
“The entourage effect that we hear about in these plant medicines comes from the fact that a plant medicine or a fungal medicine is a living system,” Cameron says. “It’s a living, intelligent system just like the human body is a living, intelligent system. It has a multitude of different active compounds in it that work synergistically. They’re biologically compatible because they come from our natural ecology.”
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Follow Along with the Transcript
- First, just tell me, what is kava? – 2:38
- It’s said in the islands that a man who drinks alcohol becomes a beast, but a man who drinks kava becomes more of who he really is. – 5:28
- All of our products are made with traditional preparation methods.- 9:39
- Actually have effects that can be pretty indistinguishable from alcohol and really strong nootropics. – 11:05
- There’s a phenomenon called reverse tolerance with kava – 12:11
- I ended up in a psychiatrist’s office, was prescribed a whole bunch of drugs – 15:02
- What you said about brain fog there is so important – 18:12
- Kava has an effect on the GABA receptors and multiple other pathways – 21:30
- Dave samples two different Kava shots – 36:36
- Walk me through what you do to make it pure that people should pay attention to – 31:55
- We’ve covered preparation, but how do you know what variety to use? – 37:04
- Have you ever played with using kava when you’re flying to be more resilient? – 44:50
- If there’s a dispute in the village, the people involved in the dispute are forced to settle it over kava because it really helps you connect – 48:33
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