Kava tea, anyone?

So I’m the type of person who gets really tense and headache-y from stress sometimes, and as such, I usually like to drink a cup of herbal tea to relax. I have chamomile tea, which works pretty well, but doesn’t relax my muscles as much as I’d like. When I went to the store yesterday, I saw a tea specifically designed for stress relief and muscle relaxation; it was made from kava. I considered buying it, but was a little wary of the massive list of contraindications on the box, so I didn’t.

I’m reconsidering buying it though. I would like to be able to relax as much as one does from drinking a glass or two of wine, but I can’t stand alcohol and won’t drink the stuff. From what I’ve researched (with the almighty Wikipedia :p), kava seems to have effects comparable to alcohol.

Has anyone else here drank kava tea, or used it for this purpose? Does it work better or worse than other herbal teas or wine? Did it ever have any unexpected effects? Is there anything I really should know about it, in order to make that decision? For the record, if I were to get it, I wouldn’t be a “recreational” user; I would use it sparingly, and only one cup at a time.

Thanks for your attention!

I had kava numerous times when in Fiji. I assume that this is the same stuff that the kava tea is that you are referring to. It was kind of a mild stimulant/buzz that was pleasant but not overwhelming. It tasted and looked like mud. I didn’t notice any negative physiological symptoms, and it was a fun social experience hanging out with native Fijians, who are a very friendly lot.

I had kava kava once, at a friend’s birthday party when they lived in Las Vegas. It was made with hot water (I’ve heard that hot water destroys some of the chemicals, but I may be thinking of something else) and it was 104º that day. I found the drink to be very refreshing. I liked the taste.