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096: The Benefits of Kava with Cameron George

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Have you heard of the benefits of kava? Do you know if the kava you’re getting is high quality? Here to answer those questions and much more is Cameron George of Tru Kava.

Cameron is a researcher, writer, entrepreneur and the founder of Tru Kava. Tru Kava is a company that is striving to set the industry standard for quality, safety and education around kava within the mass market. Cameron and his team are focused on developing scalable, user-friendly products that deliver the full therapeutic action of the traditional kava drink, the form of kava that has been highly prized in the South Pacific islands for over 3000 years.

I asked Cameron to tell us more about kava, since there is such mystery surrounding this medicinal plant. Cameron explains kava is stress relieving nootropic drink. It is prepared from the roots of a small shrub-like plant that grows exclusively in the South Pacific called Piper Methysticum, the words Piper Methysticum literally mean intoxicating pepper. It is within the realm of psychedlic medicines, meaning they help with a variety of human experiences like introspection, creative thinking and examining different aspects of our lives in an objective manner.

It’s also part of a plant medicine revival we’re seeing, but kava is unique in that it provides these benefits without having to go into profound altered states. It also allows your right and left hemispheres of your brain to communicate so your rational and creative sides come together more easily. In essence, kava relaxes the mind and body while still allowing for higher brain functions.

Cameron describes the neurobiology behind how kava does this. We also talk about his history and how he was introduced to kava. He developed a severe neurotoxic auto-immune spectrum illness, which means he had a complete collapse of his health that he later realized all came from an autoimmune process in his body.

At 21, he was diagnosed with Crohn’s and Hashimoto’s, and a lot of other different diseases. He tried to medicate his way to getting better, which didn’t help. In fact, it made things incredibly worse. At one point, he experienced what he calls an ampethamine psychosis during which he became impulsive, manic. He ran up hundreds of thousands of dollars in credit card debit, he bought exotic animals with no forethought. His life was in shambles, and eventually the medications stopped working and he went off of them. And his health had continued to deteriorate, it became so bad at one point that he couldn’t eat anything without having a seizure.

It took several years but eventually he found several people who could help him, including a functional medicine doctor who is a cellular detox expert. Throughout this time, Cameron had been doing his own research and knew about the benefits of psychedelics in healing drug addiction and other maladies. His thorough investigation and commitment to getting better led him to kava.

Cameron picks up the story from there, and it is a fascinating one! Please join us to hear the rest of it plus how to choose the right kava from all the options in the marketplace. There’s so much waiting for you in this edition of Awesome Health Podcast.

Episode Resources:

Read The Episode Transcript:

Wade Lightheart: Good morning, good afternoon and good evening. It is Wade T Lightheart from BiOptimizers and another edition of the Awesome Health Show. And today we are going to get into some really, really cool topics about kava. Kava is a very interesting product. And today we have an expert in this. His name is Cameron George, and he owns a company called True Kava. He's a researcher writer, entrepreneur, and of course the founder of the company, but he is striving to set the industry standard for quality, safety and education around kava, the mass market. He's focused on developing scalable user-friendly products that deliver the full therapeutic action of the traditional kava drink, which is the only form which has been highly prized in the South Pacific islands for over 3000 years. So what's interesting is Cameron has spent many years investigating just about every aspect of kava that he can imagine. And he's collaborated with some of the most prominent experts in the world and the research and historical use. Now, of course, he's got a lot of information here. I just slammed back one of his true kava drinks just a second ago before we started this podcast. And I'm excited to experience both the intellectual experience of this amazing product, as well as the actual physiological simultaneously, because that's how we do things at BiOptimizers. It's not enough to theorize, we need to optimize. Cameron, welcome to the show.

Cameron George: Wade, thanks so much for having me, man. It'd be fun.

Wade Lightheart: You know, I love this stuff. I get so excited. I'm jacked up about this. So what the hell is kava and what does it do? How did you discover it, what's the story here? It's an interesting thing. There's a lot of people that talk about kava. There's a lot of mysterious stuff we hear about this stuff. And then there's a wide variance of products. How does a guy like you living in Arkansas end up really getting into an herb or a nutritional product from the South Pacific islands? I'm curious.

Cameron George: Yeah. Okay. So I guess a good place to start would be to kind of defi ne what Kava is, and then I'll go into sort of how I found it and how I came across it. And that changed my life. And those of you, many people in this space. Kkava is stress relieving nootropic drink. That's prepared from the roots of a small shrub like plant that grows exclusively in the South Pacific called Piper Methysticum. So the words Piper Methysticum literally mean intoxicating pepper. And, you know, kava is in this sort of like wheelhouse of psychoactive medicinal plants that at the forefront of this sort of huge what we call like a plant Renaissance that's happening right now. Like, you know, within the functional medicine, health and wellness, personal development space. There are a lot of people who are rediscovering plant medicine across the board.

Cameron George: So that means everything from the sort of biologically optimizing compounds. Like we would see an adaptogenic herbs, everything from ginseng to reishi mushroom, to cordyceps all these things that we take that sort of optimize our bodies and our immune system all the way to the plants that are highly psychoactive that people use in more acutely medicinal circumstances to actually realign human perspective, psychologically, mentally and spiritually as well. Those would be things like the psychedelic class of compounds, like psilocybin mushrooms and people are going on ayahuasca retreats and obviously cannabis, whether it be used medically or whether it be as recreationally now that we've got laws opening up and things like that. Kava is in a very, very unique part of that spectrum. It's almost a set of characteristics that are like none other, because it both falls into the semi sort of tonic application part of that spectrum, but also has a lot of the psychological and entheogenic effects entheogenic meaning you know, sort of all the psychological effects, the word entheogenic means the divine within.

Cameron George: And that's really what we get from a lot of these psychedelic medicines, they help with introspection and creative thinking, and they help for people to sort of dissect sort of the underpinning parts of their psyche and sort of put everything out on the table objectively and examine different aspects of their life from an objective manner. That's why they're used for self-improvement and they're good for people visiting some of their traumas and relating to them in different ways and in a more positive manner and such, but kava falls in this really, really unique place, because unlike say like some of the really powerful psychedelic compounds that have tremendous medicinal application, but are not tonic herbs, like these are not things that you take every single day.

Cameron George: These are not things that are even legal in the United States. Yet a lot of times you have to go to South America or Mexico or something to have like an ayahuasca ceremony, or obviously we're starting to see some clinical trials, more with silicide, but an LSD and some of these things but those things are things that have to be used with extreme caution because there's tremendous application to them, but they do carry some level of potential danger because you're going into a really, really profound altered state, right. Kava is able to deliver some of those psychological effects without the altered state, without the profound altered state. So it's more delivers an enhanced state of natural sobriety that makes you more introspective and opens up some of those perceptual doorways and allows you to connect and communicate with people more efficiently and effectively helps to increase the flowof communication across the two hemispheres of the brain, both the creative and the rational side, which is really, really good from a nootropic aspect, you know, introspective, creative thinking, all that kind of stuff.

Cameron George: So it definitely falls into that wheelhouse that it's not even near as psychoactive as cannabis. In fact, you maintain your sobriety, but yet it can really, really boost, uplift your mood, make you focused, make you more engaged, but also relax you at the same time. Kava is probably most famous for its relaxing effects because it has effects on the brain that are very similar to alcohol and benzodiazepines. At the same time it is giving you some of the sort of higher brain function effects where it's able to bring down the emotional system, the reactive system that drives stress in our bodies by binding to this specific set of receptors in the brain called the GABA receptors. And it does it in a very balanced sort of modulatory way. So it doesn't down-regulate them or deplete them like say a synthetic drug would. It actually the studies that we have now show that kava actually has a good rehabilitative effect on that system. It helps to strengthen and rehabilitate the parasympathetic nervous system. That's been beat down over years, time by too much stress, too much trauma. We actually see an increase in GABA receptor density with long-term use of good well-sourced kava products.

Wade Lightheart: That's an incredible statement. Are you actually seeing an upregulation of the receptors? The only product I know like that as nicotine that will actually increase receptor. So kava does it as well?

Cameron George: Yes. So this is something that's always been looked at and theorized by indigenous peoples in the South Pacific, but they don't use the same terminology from a scientific standpoint. They use sort of more direct experiential, like it sort of heals the bodies what we would call the parasympathetic nervous system, but it rehabilitates the psyche and it's medicine for the psyche. And these are the things that they would say. But, you know, in the last 30, 40, 50 years Kava has been like pretty rigorously subjected to the scientific lens as well. And it's one of the most well studied herbs in the world outside of cannabis and ginseng and a couple others. And what we see now in studies is we see an increase in GABA receptor density and that it needs to be vetted out more. I mean, the research is just piling up and it has been accelerating over the last few years, but it was something that I've experienced personally as well.

Cameron George: I work with a network of several hundred functional medicine doctors that we've integrated it into these physicians practices and it's been used very successfully to get a lot of people off of addictive benzodiazepine, drugs, which, you know, benzodiazepine addiction is an epidemic in this country. And now that we have a huge, a huge underpinning of stress and trauma, especially going into 2020, it was already there before. But it's going to be more of a relevant epidemic than we even had. Well, then we even knew about four, obviously.

Wade Lightheart: Dr. Jordan Peterson, the famous psychologist at Toronto who kind of came to flame and was interested in benzodiazepine addiction. Tthey had retreating it and he had a fit. And what people don't understand, this is not a mental addiction. This is a serious physiological division. And he ended up to get off it. He almost lost his life. They put him in a medically induced coma in Russia for like 10 days for him to come out. It was a very horrific thing. Like once you're addicted to these things, coming off them is a very serious. It's not like most people in the West don't even know how to do it. So we need getting in that, that rabbit hole and they're very highly prescribed medications. Am I right?

Cameron George: Yes. There's some of the most widely prescribed medications in the world, and it's becoming more and more of an issue now that we're seeing this profound explosion in chronic degenerative diseases of which stress is always the main contributing factor. So benzos are just sort of readily prescribed for a lot of things. And even any savvy sort of mainstream psychiatrist that a lot of their belief system lies totally on medicines. They're still very scared of these drugs, but they prescribed them because people are in such agregious circumstances, both with seizures and sleep disorders, severe anxiety and everything. But yes, like what happened to Jordan was he just got on a very, very small dose of benzodiazepine. I think I, I heard his daughter Mikhaila talking about it. She was talking that he started on like half of a half a milligram, which is a very small dose.

Cameron George: It wasn't even doing a whole lot for me. It wasn't even noticing even like the beneficial effects and he just continued to take it. He got to a period of time where it lost its effectiveness. Totally. He tried to go off it and he went into a severe sporadic withdrawal that ended up in seizures and all kinds of stuff. And benzodiazepine, withdrawal is one of the most dangerous and horrific medical situations that a person can go through, it's worse than so many ways than withdrawal opiate withdrawal and benzodiazepine, withdrawal, and alcohol withdrawal are the three that can kill you. Other withdrawals are horrible, but benzos and alcohol are the most dangerous. They're potentially lethal and if it's not lethal, it's complete hell. I mean if you're anywhere on that spectrum, even if you're not on the severe end,if your chemistry is not super fragile going into the usage and you get into the addiction, even if you have rock solid, like a rock solid nervous system, like no one gets out of like long-term benzo use unscathed essentially. I mean, it's very, very rare that someone just easily gets off of them because it's just that GABA system is such a pivotal system in the body for the regulation and the modulation of the balance between GABA, the most inhibitory neurotransmitter, which is like the brakes of the nervous system and glutamate, which is the most excited neurotransmitter.

Cameron George: It's very, very crucial, but it's very highly regulated in modulator. If it gets out of balance, it burns out the system that's what leads to excited toxicity, seizures and things like that. You know, in fact, the food additive monosodium glutamate is toxic is directly toxic because it's a form of glutamate that elates the system and gives you this huge boost in mood and makes you feel good and that's why it's very addictive. But it burns out the motor neurons at the same time. It's a neurotoxic substance. So when you throw off that system,ou end up, you know, the system sort of ricochets in the opposite direction when you deplete GABA and glutamate, it goes crazy. And then it ends this inflammatory cascade. That's very, very dangerous. So it's really, really egregious situation in the world right now, both with people with chronic anxiety, sleeplessness, and the imbalance between this parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system and the indigenous people of the South Pacific, when it comes to a medicine like kava.

Cameron George: I mean, they never saw it, that much for this application because they weren't suffering from the same diseases we are suffering from today, but they saw it as a substance that they could use to relax, to connect, to get into these sort of introspective states where empathy is increased, where focuses increased, and they could connect to one another in a much, much deeper way and sort of reflect on their internal circumstances in their life. So it has so many of these different sort of actions right in the body and in the mind that are amazing. In fact, in the South Pacific, it's been traditionally used for almost every social context imaginable. So weddings, funeral, spiritual ceremonies, social gatherings, it is a foundational part of the social framework of these islands.

Cameron George: It's the number one export in an Island chain called Vanuatu, which is really the home of kava, where it was first used over 3000 years ago. And then in Fiji as well, too, it's just such a sacred substance, these people, even though they have access, like it's, you know, saying Vanuatu to more powerful psychoactive compounds like psilocybin mushrooms, they see kava as their most sacred substance because sometimes it's not the stronger, the better, sometimes less is more. And sometimes something that you can take regularly over a long period of time that continuously has cumulative benefits on the psyche subtly that you can sustain is actually going to be the best medicine in some circumstances, because it can be well tolerated by the greatest amount of people over the longest period of time.
Cameron George: And it doesn't, it's stronger. Psychedelics will shout a message that you that kind of whispers but it's very subtle. So it has that psychological aspect to it. But then it also has this amazing physiological aspect that now we have this whole new set of applications for it in the West and in the modern world where we have this explosion of chronic disease, that's highly contributed to, by stress where we have these upsets and these destructions of the nervous system that are relatively new because of our philosophy of better living through chemistry and better living through technology and stuff in which we're trying to come to complete terms with a try to realign ourselves with nature while embracing technology at the same time.

Cameron George: And so I'm sure a lot of your listeners understand about a lot of the environmental circumstances. That cause a lot of this chronic disease, but discovering kava and coming across, it was a life-changing event for me because me being in the middle of a severe auto-immune disease at the time and having seizures 10 times a day and such medicine as where I had many prior experiences with other plant medicines, psychedelic medicines and in cannabis, kava was really one of those that just completely changed my life. And I realized that it virtually didn't have a place currently in the modern world and in the modern market, in its true form because there's so many ways you can screw up. The kava that is out there actually is not by definition, considered kava at all. And doesn't carry most of these effects carries a very small shade of them.

Wade Lightheart: Go back to it. We'll go back to that in a minute. You just touched on something, you just drop the lead, you just snuck in like a nuclear bomb there, which is had these severe physiological symptoms. Can you share with our listeners what was going on for you? That's put you on this journey to find this out and obviously found some corrective benefits. Can you share that with us?

Cameron George: Exactly. Just to kind of start from the base of my story, I guess so many of us who get into this worldwe both come across a lot of different influencers and amazing people and entrepreneurs and this whole sort of health and wellness, personal development space that spans all the way from the guys we both know, like Dave Asprey all the way to guys like Jordan Peterson thatyou touched on there. But a lot of people who make it into this world, a lot of their experiences come out of their own pain, right? It's like, I didn't wake up one day at 21 years old or 25 years old and say, Hey, I'm going to go.

Cameron George: And I'm going to explore root, like muddy drinks that are drinking islands in the South Pacific by indigenous people in a village, right. It's like, that's not something that would have come across my psyche. Had I not been pressured to a point that forced me into a huge sort of Odyssey, investigatory process over, decades time that sort of led me to some of these things. But when I was pretty young, I started to get pretty sick, like so many people today. I developed a pretty severe neurotoxic auto-immune spectrum illness, which for people to to kind of understand what that means is, I just had a complete collapse of my health that I later realized all came from an autoimmune process in my body that was contributed to not by one thing.

Cameron George: It wasn't like one thing that made me sick. It was a combination or an accumulation of a bunch of different cumulative factors that overwhelmed and overburdened my system and got me to start expressing a lot of these symptoms of my genetic weaknesses, right through an epigenetic process. I always use our sort of world of functional medicine where we've got a metaphor that we always use for this, of why some people get sick and why some people don't and we call it the bucket metaphor. You know, everybody has a metaphorical stress bucket, right. And every stressor, physical, chemical, emotional spiritual is a drop in the bucket. Some people have smaller buckets than others. And the minute that your bucket starts to overflow, then you start expressing the symptoms of your genetic weakness, whether it be ulcerative colitis, Crohn's or whether it be lupus or whether it be Hashimoto's or any of these things.

Cameron George: But, you know, whenever I think about autoimmune disease, most of the chronic diseases today are auto-immune in their components, whether it be Alzheimer's type two diabetes obesity, and that comes from chronic inflammation, which we all kind of know is the underpinning of this. But when I think about chronic inflammation, I really think about chronic irritation, right? Irritation, meaning that the stress bucket gets full the immune system, which is the interface between you and the outside world, that deals with incoming stressors of all kinds, physical, chemical, or emotional, it gets primed. You know, imagine if someone comes up to you and slaps you in the face once, it kind of gets your attention, they slap you in the face twice, you're on edge mores, swiping the face again, you're ready to fight. You know what I mean? So it's, that's what happens to the immune system over time is it starts to become hostile and it starts to become highly reactive and it gets primed.

Cameron George: And then it gets to a point where it starts to chronically pour out inflammation and start to fight a pathogen or an invader. That's not even there because it's been traumatized so much. The bucket has been full for so long that the immune system is self creating an inflammatory storm, just like an army, right. You've sounded the alarm. And you start to throw off all these missiles and eventually you get friendly fire, and you're just devastating the whole system with an inflammatory storm that can cause a loss of health and how that manifests from person to person depends on your genetic susceptibilities. Remember it, genes, for the most part, don't cause 98% of disease.But they are the loaded gun and the environment will pull the trigger. So you can have a susceptibility to these certain things.

Cameron George: So I had different susceptibilities to different types of neurological dysfunctions and that inflammation affecting me neurologically first in my gut and a few different other things. But eventually the whole system broke down. And the reason why I didn't come right out of the gate and say, I was just diagnosed with, I had crones, or I had this, or I had that because I got diagnosed with like 20 different things. I had a complete collapse of my health, where at one point I was diagnosed with Crohn's. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's. I was diagnosed with a lot of different diseases at the end of the day. These names are just labels that we put on symptom clusters, but really what I'm interested in is the pathology. What is the disease process that's causing it?

Cameron George: And more importantly, what are all the drops in the bucket that are causing the bucket to overflow to start this process? Right. So for me, I was about 21. When all of this stuff came to a head, I had been experiencing some dysfunction for awhile, but during my adolescence, I was still very high functioning. I was a competitive distance runner. I ran it in college and whenever my health broke down, I qualified for the Olympic trials and in the marathon, I was very high functioning person. I was working three jobs, in school, all that stuff. But I started to become a little bit fatigued and having some neurological stuff, some attention stuff, some anxiety stuff. I just thought, Hey, you know, I'm, over-training, I'm overworked and overburdened.

Cameron George: So I started to back off, didn't get better. Actually, it got worse within a couple of months I was profoundly fatigued. You know, I was on the couch, couldn't get off the couch. I was extremely depressed. I didn't know what was wrong. I just thought it was a moral failing. I thought that I needed to push the accelerator harder and I was pushing it and the wheels were just continuing to spin and I just continued to deteriorate more and more and more and more. And I'm thinking, what the heck is going on here? You know, I mean, I was functioning well, I had a lot of issues that I wasn't really aware of. I had normalize them, but then when the bottom really fell out, it fell out. I am 22 years old and I have this huge just, just break down because, you know, psychologically, that's hard for a person, especially when you're an athlete and you're used to functioning all this stuff where it's like, you just feel like you're weak.

Cameron George: And what the heck is wrong with me? And at this time, 10, 15 years ago. And on top of that, I'm from a part of the country. That's not in the more, I gues evolved part of the country when it comes to alternative medicine, some things. So it was basically just go to a doctor, they type in your symptoms into a computer. It correlates to a medication outside of that. They say, well, if you're not dying, then you're, well, right. This idea that if I can't see that you're dying right now on a CT scan or this or that, or you have cancer or something, then, you know, then it's just the most…

Wade Lightheart: It's a disease definition or model of health. Your health is the absence of a diagnosable disease by the technology we have available in the capacity of the physician that you happen to run into. Pretty narrow.

Cameron George: And there wasn't this, of course, right. The allopathic system is not as much of a healthcare system as it is a disease symptom management program where they're just correlating your different symptoms to a disease process. And then given the corresponding drug and such, which is what eventually ended up happening to me, I kept getting worse and worse and worse, and I got more and more desperate. And although I wasn't someone who wanted to just go after and take a medication, I ended up in a psychiatrist's office and I did the worst thing that I could've possibly done at that point was go on a whole host of different psychiatric drug medications, the primary one being Adderall, which is an amphetamine drug, right. Most of us know about Adderall, especially, you know, people who've been in any industry where there's a lot of people trying to perform and take some of these shortcuts to turn their brains on.

Cameron George: A lot of us, whenever we're younger, especially on college campuses there's an epidemic of just people going and taking these things to cram. I mean, it's an amphetamine. So it overrides and turns on your sympathetic nervous system in a very unnatural way. It's an override in the system. It's a little bit like pouring jet fuel in your car engine. And unfortunately when we talk about synthetic pharmaceutical drugs,they're single compounds with a very linear mechanism. That's just an override, right? If you think about all the different biochemical processes in your body is like an assembly line that everybody's on the same page, the pharmaceutical drug like interrupts the assembly line down, downstream down, like four steps down the road and it creates a quick shift, but it can throw off everything else around it.

Cameron George: Right? So it's optimizing for certain metrics at the cost of others downstream. So with pharmaceutical drugs, you're not creating any more of these chemicals. You're low on that you're lacking, like, say with Adderall, it'd be like dopamine, right? You get this huge dopamine boost, but you're not giving yourself more dopamine, you're just using up your body's energy stores. And you're just borrowing from tomorrow's allowance to pay for today. Eventually you end up in debt with your body and you can end up in a serious situation. So if you're like me who was already down this process, and I had every sign and symptom of severe metabolic and mitochondrial dysfunction, like I had a severe energy deficit. That's why I was crashed on the couch. I had accumulated a lot of different toxic stress, not immunity and stuff. The worst thing I could have done was putting amphetamine in my system to override it, which is exactly what I did.

Cameron George: And I went from being what I thought was in a bad situation to I got on the drugs and like you would expect, I felt better the next day. So I think, Oh, this is the answer, blah, blah, blah. I go on it for, for two years. Within that two years, my life deteriorated in ways that I can't even describe in a short conversation. It deteriorated and obliterated what was left of my life at that point. Within two months of getting on Adderall, I went into what, I can only describe as a full blown sort of like amphetamine psychosis where it totally changed my personality. And basically, I started living the life of a meth addict. And at this time going up until now, I was a very, I was a very functional, responsible person.

Cameron George: And I got on this drug and a few other drugs in that, but that was the main one. And within months, my entire life externally changed. I started connecting with people who are on that same wavelength, like drug addicts and stuff. It led to me taking other stuff. I ended up being crazy manic, hyper impulsive, like buying spree and charging up hundreds of thousands of dollars a credit. I ended up in an apartment. I was in college at the time. I ended up with an apartment full of exotic animals that I just went and purchased in different places. I had like monkeys and dogs and parrots. And like, this was like a complete disaster, right? It's like things were normal. I go down this road of synthetic drugs these pharma drugs, I already had problems.

Cameron George: So I didn't go upstream and look for the cause. I tried to medicate downstream and I gave up responsibility in my health and I put it in the hands of a physician whohad a certain philosophy of using these drugs obviously. And my life deteriorated so much both financially, physically, psychologically, and it just invited a whole host of different toxic circumstances that just destroyed everything. Right. I ended up in so much debt after about a year and a half, the drugs lost their effectiveness. And I thought that I was fatigued before, like I had to go off of them because they just made me completely crazy. And I had interventions for my family who are done. I mean, you know, the whole lot. And I went off of them and fatigue and brain fog don't even begin to describe it.

Cameron George: Like what I had before was fatigue and brain fog. This was like brain dead. And literally can't get off the couch and I'm having severe cognitive deficits, like pretty severe that were getting worse as time went on. So whenever I got off Adderall and all of these drugs, my brain felt like it was completely fried and it was deteriorating rapidly after that too. Like I got to a point where I had to stop driving. I had to move back in with my parents at the time. I ended up pretty much completely incapacitated. I had such bad cognitive deficits that I was starting to not recognize people in my own family. I couldn't leave the house without getting lost or going down. And this is like not a normal normal scenario.

Cameron George: This is like a severe sort of neurotoxic reaction to these drugs. It was just a perfect storm. I had all the susceptibility, all these factors come in and then this whole thing just sort of hit me. So anyways, my health has to continue to deteriorate cause it was on the aftermath of all this damage. It just had sped up the progression of this process. And basically I started tearing pretty rapidly, ended up having a bunch of environmental sensitivities after that, which is something that happens whenever your bucket gets full. They call it multiple chemical sensitivity, but it's something that a lot of neurotoxic people experience, especially in today's world where it's becoming an epidemic where these very neurotoxic auto immune cases, peoples develop all these sensitivities to things in their environment.

Cameron George: Mine were severe. Months down the line, after getting off Adderall, I started reacting to almost every food I was eating, every supplement I was taking, I was reacting to lights and sounds. And it's a form of PTSD basically, but I was reacting so bad that I got to a point where every bite of food that I was taking would send me into a full grandma seizure. And I ended up at this medical research facility in Dallas, Texas, that's basically like a community for very severe auto, like the most severe auto-immune sort of environmental sensitivity cases that you have ever seen. Right. Where they quarantine people. It's like, that was a new word for me at the time. Like I was quarantined before it was cool.

Wade Lightheart: I never knew it was cool.

Cameron George: Before it was a thing. I was down at this, this medical research facility where I just thought my life was over because on paper, I just hadn't, you know, it seemed completely insurmountable because I was doing nothing but deteriorating. I was losing the ability to eat. I lost40, 50, 60 pounds at one point I was dwindled down to nothing. I was having these constant seizures that it got to a point where they became pseudo lethal, right? Like where's a very dangerous situation where I was so weak and these seizures, I got to a point where having another one could have killed me. Obviously, it was a really egregious situation because of my reactions. I was reacting to everything I was taking or doing.

Cameron George: So I couldn't even take anti-seizure drugs or meds because I would react more to them. And they would cause seizures instead of an insane situation. I would have never even thought this was possible. At one point I even started reacting to water, which I never would have thought was possible, but I got to a point where I could not drink water, whether it be the mineral content. I was so reactive that I put water on my tongue and I would go into a seizure and it was like clockwork. And it was so crazy that I ended up, there was one point where I ended up going weeks without food, which was like an extended, fast was actually some healing that occurred there, believe it or not. But I actually had to go days without water and I almost died from kidney failure and dehydration whenever I was there in Dallas, Texas.

Cameron George: So all of this happened and I deteriorated to a point through this whole period of time from the time I got off the drugs to the time that I was at my absolute worst and almost near death I spent that was actually like about a six or seven year period. Actually it sounded like it was a short thing, but it was actually like a long period of time where I was completely basically disabled. I did nothing throughout that six or seven years, but scour medical and scientific literature articles research. I was traveling around with my family. I couldn't travel around by myself, obviously. And I was talking, making contact with doctors and researchers and scientists, because I am definitely someone who will dig as I would scour the earth for an answer.

Cameron George: And I made a decision that I was going to fight. I was going to fight and I was going to spend every last bit of energy that I had in my body to just try to find any semblance of information that would lead to an answer. So anyways, it was about the time that it was at my worst that I got in contact with a functional medicine doctor who was leading a network of functional medicine doctors around the country. His name was dr. Dan Pompa, and he's a sort of a cellular detox sort of specialty expert where they develop and teach protocols for a process that we call true cellular detox, which is basically just a very comprehensive detoxification program that uses targeted supplements, various treatments, therapies, modalities, fasting, intermittent, fasting, ketosis, diet variation, all of these things in systems to try to in someone back to better metabolic health and to bring down the toxic concentrations in their tissues.

Cameron George: Right? So for neurotoxic conditions. So I got in contact with them. And when I was at my very worst, I was able to get enough of a heavy anti-seizure drug in my system to get me drinking water. Again, this kind of saved my life, but I was nowhere near out of the woods, started working with this doctor and a couple of different other people. And we slowly sort of started to get some inertia going. But during my process, I got to a point where I knew I couldn't keep taking these drugs. Cause one of the drugs was a heavy benzo. So I was heavily addicted to a Klonopin. I was on a huge dose of Klonopin. It was, I had already been down this road with Adderall. I knew that it was going to lose its effectiveness. And then I was going to ricochet in the other direction, like we talked about earlier and my body would have it.

Cameron George: It was, there's no way I would've survived it. I knew I could not be without nothing because of my reactions at that point. Cause my reactions were keeping me from taking, from doing any supplements, any nutrition or anything, but I needed to get off the benzos. So I was in a very serious situation where I needed to find a plant-based non-addictive analog or replacement to a benzodiazepine, and I needed to find it pretty darn quick. Good thing. I'd already spent years scouring the Aetna pharmacological data for all different plant compounds and got into that because I had had experiences with psychedelics in the past that just like intrigued me and gave me sort of this, this fascination with the plant and fungal kingdom and the intelligence that's there and what it offers. And that was really what gave me the means and the inspiration to even fight my process.

Cameron George: Anyways, thank God I had had those experiences siliciden was one of them was actually a psilocybin experience that inspired me to get off of Adderall and to stop that. But anyways, going back to this, I needed to find an answer very, very quickly and immediately my mind goes to, okay, so I'm speaking with this doctor that I'm working with and such, and we're trying to find answers and I'm saying, okay, I need to find something that binds to the same receptors as a benzodiazepine and offers a level of therapeutic application that is comparable or greater than what I'm experiencing with the benzo. I didn't know if that existed, honestly, I'm like, dude, I don't know, because a lot of times with pharmaceutical drugs, a lot of these plant compounds are really subtle compared to the pharmaceutical drugs. So you just don't know if something is actually gonna work and what level it's going to work at if it does.

Cameron George: The doctor I was working with was offering a lot of great information, great therapies and modalities and strategies, nutritional strategies and everything of that. In order to tolerate them, I had to find some way to keep my seizures and my nervous system under control and to be able to safely transition off the benzos. So I needed to find a non-addictive safe plant-based or fungal based analog to this synthetic benzodiazepine. I needed to find something out of the plant or fungal kingdom that was modulatory. That was more biologically compatible.

Cameron George: With the nervous system that wouldn't lead to this toxicity, dependence and withdrawal process. So I needed to look at compounds that bound to the same receptors, which is these GABA receptors, which is what the benzodiazepines bind to again. But that wouldn't, downregulate, deplete them in the same way. And honestly, I didn't know if I was going to find that because a lot of these compounds that we find in the plant kingdom are very subtle. You know, the ones that you can take on a regular basis, a lot of these plants, like in this wheelhouse of things that affect the GABA system, things like passion, flower, and lemon balm and valerian root and skull cap and all of these things, I mean, there's nothing wrong with any of them. They're all good.

Cameron George: But at that point, it's like I had tried all those things that was a little bit like shooting a BB gun at an elephant, right. I mean, it was just not anywhere near enough for what I needed. I had tried medical cannabis, I liked medical cannabis, but at that time, it doesn't work on that system. It doesn't work on the GABA system, especially directly. And it actually made my reactions worse and it made me more sort of paranoid and anxious. And THC has this bi-directional effect where it can work or it doesn't, but it certainly didn't work as directly for these purposes, how these side effects, I was stoned the altered state, the whole thing that I really didn't want or need at the time. And it just didn't work. So that you know, cannabis was the go-to like strong drug, alternative plant, medicine and that wasn't a thing.

Cameron George: So this led me back around to kava. I had tried kava before, and of course I had read about kava and read a bunch about kava when I had tried basically every other supplement over those like seven years. I had experiments with virtually anything that you could buy at the health food store. And I came back across it in the literature because it's sort of in this wheelhouse of GABA receptor binding plant compounds. And it's like considered to be the all-star, it's considered to be nature's most powerful anxi alytic. And, but whenever I circled back around to it, I'm thinking, but I've tried kava before. It really wasn't any stronger than a cup of camomile tea. I mean, it was something, but it wasn't anything to write home about and all this stuff.

Cameron George: And I had read about side effects and all this kind of stuff, but I started getting in contact with some people, some friends that I had made in the ethnobotanical community and some researchers and stuff, when I was trying to find an answer here, and I came across this guy who I later became really good friends with, and he was from the South Pacific islands. And he said, have you tried kava? I said, yes, I've tried kava, but you know, it doesn't work and blah, blah, blah, blah. And he said, okay, what'd you try? And I said, well, I went to the health food store. I got this company, this company, and they came these little castles and they said, okay, that's not kava. That's a kava like product, right. Kava is the drink that's prepared the full spectrum drink. That's prepared from the roots of this shrub pipe.

Cameron George: And with this to come, I said, okay, well, I've never tried kava then. And I started reading about it and that made sense to me because I had read so much. Right. You know, I had initially read actually this book behind me that I have back here, which is Christian Rätsch, Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants. Virtually, it's encyclopedia, virtually every psychoactive plant that we have in our ethno botanical sort of Pharmacopia. And I had read a huge section of kava and I had read two or three books on it. I had seen that it was written about this sort of sacred substance in the islands and to a level at which only rivaled that, of what some indigenous populations hadn't referred to, like silicide bananas.

Cameron George: And I knew how powerful siliciden was, but then I kind of, in my mind, I was like, well, why is kava so highly prized? I mean, it was nothing special at all whenever I tried it. So whenever I came across this guy in my desperate state, and he was telling me that I was like that, okay. Yeah. I, you know, I obviously preparation and sourcing matters tremendously. It does with every plan, but with some plants that really matter. So what he explained to me was that, you know, kava in order for its full essence, the full sort of effects profile of the plant to actually be present in the final product or whatever you consume, it really heavily relies on the entourage effect. So we talk about sort of plant medicine circles and what we hear talked about a lot, like in him, in cannabis and CBD now is this, this understanding that the effects of a plant medicine are different than a pharmaceutical is one molecule.

Cameron George: It's one compound that has a very linear mechanism, right? So we kind of talked about four pushes the body in one direction or another. There's not much intelligence there because usually pharmaceuticals are made by taking one compound out of a plant somewhere, isolating it, concentrating it, synthesizing it and into something that gives you a very direct linear action. That is a hack. That's the override of the body that throws off the whole assembly line and the body of chemical processes. Like we talked about, that leads to the whole thing, becoming confused and compensating and down-regulating receptors and all this stuff. And that's what leads to the dependency, the addiction, the side effects, all of that plant medicines like kava, like cannabis have a host of hundreds of different biologically active compounds. A plant medicine is a living system.

Cameron George: Like a human body is a living system that has a multitude of therapeutic compounds and constituents that all work synergistically like the instruments in a musical orchestra. Right. And obviously you can take out one single compound and still get a fraction, the effects you can take out one instrument in the orchestra and you can even take out one of the main instruments, like say with cannabis, you could isolate THC and you could see how that main instrument, it could play the melody. And it can give you the main version of the song. But if you put it in the orchestra, it gives you a whole depth to the experience that far surpasses what you would have just from a single compound and with plant medicines. That means that you're taking a living system. It interfaces with you as a living system, because we have to realize too, that we all come, we all are extensions of the natural ecology of the planet, which is an integrated intelligence system.

Cameron George: So we don't like rain over it. We're not these separate we're part of it living system. And so are the plants. So whenever we have this other organism, we take that into our body. Those systems are compatible because they same, they come from the same sort of creation framework, the same intelligence that developed us as a living system develops the plants. And so those systems interface together and you take it in there, right? And so that's what we call biological compatibility. There's this synchronization that happens. Right. And so with kava, that is incredibly important because the moment that you integrate a preparation method that isolates a few of the active constituents and leaves the others, it dilutes the effects down to a very small fraction of what you would normally get, because all of those instruments work together, those compounds work together to give you this huge experience, right?

Cameron George: So that's basically what most kava on the market actually is. 99% of kava on the market is all done with solvent extractions. The indigenous people knew this a long time ago. They've never used solvents to extract their kava because you use a solvent like one of these high hydrocarbon solvents or butane or hexane, and one of these things that can put toxins in it and everything, obviously you can have the solvent leftover in there and it'll grab a few constituents and leave others, but even, you know, using alcohol, which is the solvent of choice by most people it gives you something, but it just grabs a few of the active constituents we call kava. Lactones like in cannabis or cannabinoids, these are called lactones. It grabs a few of the main ones, which is what a lot of people look for in their testing, but it leaves everything else.

Cameron George: And you end up with this thing, that's just like, it's a small fracture, a small shame. So the indigenous people prepare kava by taking the ground root preferably dried in a specific way. So you leave a lot of the bioactive enzymes in place, and you prepare it by squeezing it through a strainer bag, into a bowl of warm water. Certain amount of pressure is given. So it's pressure and it's a certain amount or a certain type of heat. And this brings out the full spectrum of active constituents that are like a suspension into the liquid. The kava lactones are oil, like compounds their lipids. And then there's all these other different flavanoids and enzymes and other things that activate the lactones and bring them into the cells. So it's the complete constituent mixture in that drink that you'll see of kava that gives you the effects.

Cameron George: So basically when I was at this crossroads point, I got in touch with this person. They got in touch with one of their farmers in the South Pacific. The farmers sent me a bag of the kava, gave me instructions of how to prepare it. I did, it was a very tedious process, I had to go through and it took like 30 minutes, 45 minutes and squeeze out to this strainer bag and got my strainer all gunky. And what I ended up with was like a bowl of what looked like muddy water. And let me tell you, it tasted like it too.

Wade Lightheart: They're going to have a kind of a numbing feeling when you see…

Cameron George: Exactly. Yeah, exactly. And that, but those were the two problems with kava, just traditional kava is the taste and the preparation, right? Because North to get that you either in the past, I've had to either take a solvent extract with none of the effects or you had to prepare it yourself and drink the stuff. That's hard for some people to tolerate. You know, I was happy to have it, but I started drinking this stuff. I didn't care about taste right. In my situation, I started drinking it within a week. There's a cumulative effect to kavaa crescendo and cumulative effect because of what we know now, the GABA receptor upregulation and some of the other different things that occur, it leads to this, cumulative effect that it's like a reverse tolerance because of the up regulation. So the longer you drink coffee, the more you'll feel it, the least you'll ever feel calm as the first time you take it, which is opposite of the pharmaceutical that down-regulates to the upregulates depletes.

Cameron George: It doesn't replete. So whenever I first started taking, after about a week, I was blown away by the effects. I was like, Oh my gosh, I love this stuff. Within three weeks to four weeks, I was already reducing my dosage of benzos. Long story short within two months, I was able to completely get off my benzos that I had been on for years, which is completely unheard of. Like with benzos, you have to do an extremely slow taper over usually six months, minimum, most of the time, a year, sometimes a year and a half. And sometimes you aren't even successful then depending on how wrecked your nervous system is, how bad it is at readapting. It was, you know, to say the least, this was a miracle for me because it literally saved my life because so after two months of taking this stuff, I was able to sustain myself.

Cameron George: I was off of my benzodiazepines and they were actually more effective than the benzo was for me at reducing my reactions and seizures. It reduced all my seizure activity by like 85 to 90%. And eventually they went away within a short period of time after that. And I was able to tolerate foods again, settlements again, I was able to tolerate these treatments and therapies and my nervous system would just stay stable. It wasn't how I got my life back was not any one thing. It was multi-cloud therapeutic approach of a bunch of things that worked in synergy together. It was the dietary framework. It was the fasting and the intermittent fasting, and then treatments and therapies that I did as the icing on the cake. I wouldn't did STEM cells multiple times in Mexico and in Panama.

Cameron George: And I've been all over it. I got into this world because my doctor brought me into this world afterwards, I started doing product development and a whole bunch of other stuff, doing research for his books and other people in the field and different things and working with some of the STEM cell development products and stuff. But basically from then on that kava was the leverage point that I needed to get a foothold, my sort of inhibitory reactions that were inhibiting me from being able to tolerate the things I needed to get well. And that's even if that's an extreme store with an extreme example, but in today's world, so many people, obviously stress is the underpinning of all disease. No matter what kind of stress is physical, chemical, or emotional, it drives the irritation drives the disease, but whenever we're overwhelmed by stress, stress can be very paralyzing, right?

Cameron George: I mean, it can really, really paralyze people. And sometimes it's hard for people to even have the motivation, to even formulate a strategy to get out of their circumstance because they're so overwhelmed that they need it. So kava is what I think of, it's a biological compatible. It's a plant medicine that is not only a safe crutch, but it also helps in the rehabilitation process, but it really comes in and it gives you acute relief from symptoms to allow you to take a breath, to allow you to get better sleep, tremendously enhances deep sleep. And that's one thing that also improved tremendously on me, which accelerated my process as well too. It's just one of those amazing sort of plant aid, sorta crutches. That's sort of like a guilt free crutch, right? It's this drug alternative, this amazing thing that you can use to gain leverage psychologically, emotionally and physically, because that's another thing that it does too.

Cameron George: It just uplifted my emotions and it has this amazing non addictive effect on dopamine, which helps the person get sort of focused and motivated and as well too, and just inspired because I noticed pretty quickly and I was in tune with this kind of stuff, because I had had previous psychedelic experiences. I noticed the effect that it was having on my psyche as I was taking it too, which was just a plus on top of everything else. I took it to stop my seizures and all this stuff, but I realized that I was more introspective whenever I was on high dose of it, that I was more creative. And the indigenous people have written about this for hundreds of years, thousands of years. In Vanuatu still to this day in the village, they have a chief in the village, obviously in every village.

Cameron George: And if there's a dispute in the village, the people involved in the dispute are forced to sit down and solve it over kava because kava is an empathic person. It increases feelings of empathy and understanding, and focus and allows you to sort of connect to people and to put yourself in their shoes and reflect on your own response to their response. It just makes you more connected. It brings people together in a really amazing way like entheogens do, but it's one of those things that almost anybody can tolerate on a regular basis, unlike like a siliciden where you just take it once every once in a while, then you try to integrate the lessons that you get. Kava is one of those intermediary things that some people now are using. Like, in-between, they're powerful, like ayahuasca journeys to help kind of remind them and bring them back to that space without having to go fully there or to sort of integrate, to keep them connected during the integration process of their lessons as well too.

Cameron George: But it is a great conversationalist. This is why there are kava bars popping up in different places around the world. And in the islands, there are 20 times as many kava bars. There are regular bars because the environment that kava creates is such a social connected, loving environment, which is really the opposite of alcohol in a lot of ways, right? You'll never see a fight breakout at a coffee bar ever, you're like that enhanced, sober, right? It takes higher doses of kava to feel this, obviously with the more subtle products, it's more like a daily tonic that even kids can tolerate, but the stronger and stronger there are forms of kava that can get you this, like more sort of entheogenic thing where you're just focusing. It's great for reflecting, connecting, brainstorming. Today we're starting to use it in all of our brainstorming sessions.

Cameron George: One of the best things that we use in our company meetings, right. It's just an amazing plant-based tool across the board. It gave me leverage and over a number of years after that worst point that I just touched about three or four years later, I had my life virtually completely back. And it just led to this and it's sort of enhanced this already synchronistic process. I call it the synchronicity turbine, right. That was going on in my life where you get aligned or you get connected with an authentic part of yourself, your existential core, either through extreme pressure adversity. And for me, it was a combination of enhancement of consciousness through previous experiences with plant medicine and then extreme pressure and adversity that only necessity can bring out of you that sort of most authentic part of yourself and can sort of make you understand the value of your life and align you with a sense of meaning and purpose, and then really give you the motivation, just the relentless motivation to go after it. It was a combination of all of those different things that sort of led me into this world.

Wade Lightheart: Let me ask you to be mindful of our time and stuff. I want to go through a couple of quick questions that you can kind of identify for people that that might have. Your story is incredible and there's these huge benefits that can be taken from kava. But of course, you kind of illustrated before. There's a lot of things that aren't really covered. What makes the kava that you advocate with true kava, what makes it different from say other types or forms? Whhat's so unique because you have an array of kava products as well. So can you break that down for us? What makes it work? What are the misconceptions about kava and how do they get the right product?

Cameron George: Exactly. So the main points and what led to the inception of this company was me going through that entire process, getting pulled into this world, and then seeing a huge need for this in the marketplace that just was not being filled at all, right? Like this did not like the stuff I was drinking was not in the marketplace at all, maybe in a few kava bars. But what I noticed is that even where people could buy of cotton, prepare it themselves, there was a huge variation of quality and lack of standardized consistency because of the way kava is sourced in the South Pacific, because you know, most of the large scale kava suppliers and brokers, there's only like five of them in vendor. Vanuatu that supply most of the world's kavawe are the main one, but at the time they would get bushels of kava from hundreds of different farmers that would just give it to them in bushels.

Cameron George: They had no way of distinguishing individual strains. They had no way of distinguishing, whether or not there were the right parts of the plant in there. They had no way of distinguishing a lot of these things. So here are the main factors that you want to look for. So we decided to start this company to provide to the market, basically a new commodity, which has kava in its true form. That is standardized, that is lab tested that uses the correct parts of the plant, that's completely in alignment with not only the WHS position, but also just the position, the consensus of the scientific and etnobotanical community as to the standardized sort of biochemical framework of the plant. And I'll tell you what that means. So there are a few things that make kava really effective.

Cameron George: Obviously what I touched on before not using solvent extraction. So traditional preparation is the first one, we had to develop extraction methods that pulled out the full matrix that I talked about, the full constituent mixture out of the plant without damaging it and stabilized it so that it would stay powerful, prominent, alive, living, everything like that. Obviously we wanted to put it in forms where we got rid of some of the mucky tastes that the mass market wouldn't be so savvy to us biohackers. We don't care. We eat anything, but the mainstream marketplace was not necessarily ready for that money water. I was drinking. I developed several extraction methods with some engineers and some people in the industry over years we developed a special press, a pressing method.

Cameron George: That's not a traditional expeller press. That's a hydraulic press that presses the lactone matrix out of the plant without any grinding or twisting that pulls oxygen down into it and oxidizes. Right. And we exert all of our oils that we make out of this. We make a kava oil called Coplex and it's a full spectrum kavaoil. We test it and we test the starting material for all of the major kava lactones. And we do a chemo type analysis, which gives us the ratio of the lactone. So we get to know whether or not it's natured. When we test on the other side, we also subjected to lipid peroxidation testing to see if there's been any oxidation of the oils and stuff. Obviously we're pressing it with, so everything is pristine. We dialed it in, we have this amazing oil that we've produced called the complex soil, and it's a full spectrum.

Cameron George: So it's the full essence of the plant that's captured in a ready to take product that is far more palatable than the traditional drink is. That's the base. We still did that in a concentration that can be tolerated by any age. Right. It's not the heaviest form of kava. It's in a form that's still subtle, but effective. If you mix it with coffee and MCT, it increases the uptake and you get more of that prominent effect faster. It's a great sort of synergy with coffee and MCT as well.
Speaker 5: That's the oil that you're using.

Cameron George: It was with the oil, it goes great in the coffee and stuff. So, yeah. So, yeah. And you know, the MCT helps transport across the brain helps the bioavailability, all that stuff. So that's the oil. We also developed multiple different stabilized drinks. We have a shot currently. We have a whole line of drinks that are in development. The shot is stronger than the oil. So it's for more sort of acute like situations, but it's still in a very controlled concentration to where you can take it virtually any time of the day. Under these circumstances, the drinks that are coming up are going to be more powerful. Those are going to be ones that can act as very adequate alcohol alternatives that are like the full, full strength of like what you'd get at a coffee bar, but in a very, very flavorful, carbonated drinks.

Cameron George: That process was very difficult to do over many years. I mean, we spent a long time with filtering processes, with stabilizing processes, et cetera, you know, ways of increasing bioavailability and keeping everything there the way that it needed to be. So right now, the two products that we have are the oil and the elevate kava shots. And those will still deliver all of the effects of COVID just in different forms there. Okay. So we have the extraction methods. The thing that we also did with ours was proper selection of the kava material. So I spent years and years before just starting a company, I spent years developing relationships in the islands, getting to know everybody in the etnobotanical community, the doctors, the researchers, the scientists,everybody and a lot of people in governments that had been involved in regulatory processes around kava.

Cameron George: I collaborate with everybody because for me the main objective was to bring value to people. And if we're going to bring kava in the market, we had to do it. Right. So basically sourcing the material meant we needed to be growing our own partnering with farms that do. So basically we do. We've got farms spending across the South Pacific and Hawaii, Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga, Papua New Guinea that we either partner with, or we start ourselves that we grow individual strains of kava. So that's very important, just like cannabis. There are over 200. So different strains of kava. Some are more daytime, some are more nighttime. They all have a similar wheelhouse of effects, but some are more on the nootropic side. The kind of are more of that effected in some of the heavier sort of sleep inducing ones.

Cameron George: They all lead to a good sleep. If you take it during the day and enhance the sleep at night, but some will knock you out some won't okay. So we've got different strains there. For that reason, the strains that we chose for our first two products, just to keep it simple was a strain that was in the middle. That's not going to knock you out. It'll lead to a good sleep, but it gives you all the balanced effects, anxiolytic effects of kava, kind of in the middle. There it's a strain called bargu. And it's a very specific strain. All the other common, the market. There's virtually nothing out there where they're using individual strains, because of what I mentioned before, about the bushels coming in, and then just all ball being mixed. You never know what you're getting, and you never know the quality of the strains.

Cameron George: We make sure that all of our, all of our strains of kava are grown for a minimum of five years. That's how they mature to a level where you actually get the effects. A lot of these strains are being harvested early so they can increase their yields. Contamination is also an issue. Micro toxins are a huge issue in places like Vanuaty because they don't a lot of these farmers, they don't fully dehydrate their kava before they send it in because they want to increase the weight. And it's a tropical plant. So mold grows and mycotoxins et cetera. In other islands like Fiji, they use a lot of glyphosate. They use a lot of chemical pesticides. We don't, we control every step of that process. We irrigate everything. And so there's no bacteria, there's no coli. There's none of this stuff. Everything is tested for biological and industrial contaminants.

Cameron George: So it's very clean. It's the cleanest kava, it's amazing stuff. So you have the extraction method, you've got the strain selection in the strain selection too. We only use a class of cultivars that are called in this classification term. That's its category called Nobel kava. Nobel kava is a classification term that's given to kava that are specific strains that have a certain chemo type. Like I mentioned before, a certain ratio of active constituents and none of these plant defense compounds that are in some of the more wild strains, which end up in a lot of collar products that are out there. It's a class of kava that has been used for daily over years and years over generations time for 3000 years,other strains of kava can be acutely medicinal, but this whole idea that we hear about there on the internet of people saying that kava is toxic to the liver, that was a quality control issue.

Cameron George: That started. It was basically one pharmaceutical company in Germany and in Switzerland did a series of study with some unscrupulous material where they use the wrong parts of the plant and the wrong strains. And then they extracted it with acetone, so solvent, and they concentrated the plant defense toxins that were in there. And then they gave it to a combination of people that were withdrawing from alcohol that already had compromised liver function. They heard a few people got highly publicized. What they were using was not kava at all. So it's just like what happened with trip to fan in the early 1990s here it's like that wasn't trip to fan. This was not kava. So that's still a belief system out there. So we're doing a lot of education on that front, on distinguishing real kava from not kava. So on top of the biological industrial contaminants on top of extraction, the strain selection, the last thing that we have is making sure that we use a hundred percent root material, right?

Cameron George: Cause like in that, that Germany Switzerland thing the only parts of the plant that are supposed to be used are the roots. Indigenous people figured out the leaves and stems are pretty actually toxic to humans and animals because they have plant defense alkaloids in them that are meant to protect themselves from PEs. The roots do not have those, you get the underground parts of the plant and the root is only the medicine. The leaves and stems still have that so you get effects. So some unscrupulous farmers will sneak pieces of the roots and that should obviously get a greater yield out of their harvest. That's a huge problem we test to make sure with our farmers, we know, but the ones that we're sourcing from we test for core fill to make sure.

Cameron George: So we test for all of these things rigorously, whenever it gets in the United States, we test our material before and after extraction to make sure that it's completely full spectrum. And then we put it in some of these forms. So those are the main quality control issues at which we're meticulously looking at every step of the process. We developed the extraction processes. We have our own sourcing. Everything is as clean as it possibly can be. And what we get is we get a standardized product that you can rely on the effects time after time that we can create at scale.

Wade Lightheart: Beautiful, beautiful. That's pretty exciting. So someone who wants to find out more, get access to Tru kava products, how they would go, and I'm sure you have a lot of information and resources and people can find out more about this because I think a lot of people don't really understand what kava can do. And I think your story really illustrates its potency and its power. And there's the passion. I love the passionTalk about where people can find Tru Kava, where they can experiment with Tru Kava and the vast array of products that you provide for people.

Cameron George: Yeah. so you can go to our website, it's get That's T R U cava, not T R U E. Get TRUKAVA.COM. Most of the studies there on that website, there are more on top of that, that you can email in and I'll provide to you. Our team will provide to you anything that you want to know about kava and any of the literature that's on kava, et cetera. Under the learn tab, we have a whole page there with basically breaking down everything, all of its applications, even the applications that we didn't have time to touch on today. Like one of the main ones is effect on cellular autophagy and an increased fat burning. We know that now, and that's something that's really exciting because it's a great key to adaptive aging on top of everything else.

Cameron George: So it's one of our all-stars with MCT and coffee. I was on an interview with Dave Asprey recently, and we talked about some of that stuff, but anyway, so we've got all that information on the website. I was going to make a code for you guys. We can make a like a discount code for like 15% off. We could do BiOptimizers or we could do WADE15 or either one of those. So we'll get a code for you.

Wade Lightheart: We'll put those links into that as well as the links to the effects that you were talking about with Dave Asprey. I think that's a very interesting point. And so Dave's a good friend of ours, and we've done that. It's assessable connect into that. So people can get access to that as well.

Cameron George: There's a whole host of on the website. There's so many applications that just like cannabis, it's multi therapeutic cross, the board neuroprotective effects anti-inflammatory effects, et cetera. It's just sleep enhancing the fat burning stuff. It's really, really interesting. So anyone who is interested can go to our website and they can look at all that stuff you can email in for any of the studies that are not on there. And ourse you can try the product. We'll give you the discount code in the description there and up in the near future, hopefully sometime first quarter here we'll have our drink line out. Hopefully we're planning on at some of these conferences like upgrade labs and some other ones, we are going to be catering and serving all of our drinks. We'll see if that happens depending on the state of the world, if conferences happen. But yeah, so look for all that stuff next quarter, and we're going to have several other products in the future, more products with individual strains, for the medical space, for the recreational space and just for the standard sort of a mainstream market as well, too.

Wade Lightheart: Beautiful. It's always so fascinating when I interview the founders of companies. And I think it was Tim Ferriss that said, one time it's, you know, the best companies are created by the people that need to scratch their own itch. And obviously you had more than a niche. It was a life-threatening condition. And the remarkable aspect is, you know, no one would ever guess that right now, in an interview that you have been able to find something that was used, and now sharing that with the world. And that's a beautiful thing. And I want to commend you on the effort in order to do that. I know it's not easy to build a company. I know the level that you've gone to with true kava, I really love the products that you've sent to me, and I'm encouraging my listeners, you know, Hey, look, there are real answers to real serious challenges.

Wade Lightheart: And if you know, someone that maybe had some of the conditions that you were talking about, or just want to have a unique experience with kava or a legitimate experience with kava, you can trust that true kava is going to provide that for you. So be sure to check this product out, give it a shot, try it out, go to the website, get the research, check out the correlated stats and information with the fat burning effects with Dave Asprey. And what can I tell you? Cameron George, thank you so much for being on here. It's been so great to, to listen to your story, to learn about this, about kava and to use your products. I really love them. Thanks for sending them out to me. I think they're great. And for our listeners, I hope that you will enjoy them too. That's another episode of the awesome health podcasts. See you again in the very near future, but until then, make sure that you stay biologically optimize because you're worth it.
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