Ü Relax Review: Are Kava Drinks Unsafe?

Ü Relax Review: Are Kava Drinks Unsafe?


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Disclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice, and is just the opinion of the writer(s). We recommend that individuals follow their doctor’s guidance in regard to stress and anxiety.

Ü Relax is a drink used to promote relaxation that contains the herb kava, along with other botanical ingredients. The drink is sold by a brand called Calming Co., which claims that their product “takes just a few minutes to set in for up to 4 hours of pure, uninterrupted bliss.”

But does Ü Relax contain research-backed ingredients for promoting relaxation, or are these just marketing claims? Does the brand use any questionable additive ingredients? Is kava safe for daily use? And how do real users rate and describe the effects of Ü Relax?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more, as we analyze the ingredients in Ü Relax based on medical studies to give our take on whether it’s likely to be effective, or if it’s a waste of money.

We’ll discuss if it’s unsafe to consume kava regularly, and feature unsponsored customer reviews of this product.

Ingredient Analysis

Ü Relax active ingredients

The active ingredients in Ü Relax are shown above.

This formulation does contain some research-backed ingredients for stress relief.

Kava was described as an effective treatment for short-term (but not long-term) treatment for anxiety in a 2018 meta-study.

Chamomile is a flowering plant that was described as a “mild tranquilizer and sleep inducer” in a 2010 medical review, and chamomile extract at a higher dose than that in Ü Relax was shown to be safe and to reduce moderate-to-severe anxiety symptoms in a clinical trial published in the Phytomedicine journal.

Lemon balm extract is clinically shown to reduce anxiety and depression, as we documented in our NoonBrew reviews article on another brand that includes this ingredient.

Ashwagandha extract is an adaptogen that was found to have an anti-stress effect in a 2021 clinical trial, with trial participants taking ashwagandha extract 83% more likely to achieve control over their stress than participants taking placebo.

L-theanine is an amino acid that’s well-studied for its effects on anxiety. A medical review published in the Nutrients journal reported that supplementation of l-theanine reduced stress scores in adults.

Clearly, there are a number of effective active ingredients in Ü Relax, but there are also some inactive ingredients that may be questionable from a health perspective.

The inactive ingredients in Ü Relax are shown below:

Ü Relax inactive ingedients

Citric acid is a preservative and flavor enhancer shown in a medical review published in the Toxicology Reports journal to cause whole-body inflammation in some individuals.

Natural flavors is healthier than artificial flavors, but a 2013 medical review documented some toxicity concerns with some flavoring additives and their metabolites.

Overall, we consider Ü Relax likely to support stress relief and relaxation. From an efficacy and potency perspective, this is an impressive formulation.

However, beyond the inactive ingredients we have concerns about its safety. In the next section of this article, we’ll discuss potential dangers of kava supplementation.

Is Kava Dangerous?

While kava is an effective natural stress reliever, it may injure the liver.

Dietary supplements containing kava have been associated with severe liver injury, according to the FDA.

A medical review published in the Annals of Hepatology documented 14 patients with liver injury suspected to be caused by kava use. The study authors concluded that “...in a few individuals kava may be hepatotoxic.”

A 2010 medical review described the following: “Kava hepatotoxicity is a well-defined herb-induced liver injury, caused by the use of commercial anxyolytic ethanolic and acetonic kava extracts, and of traditional recreational aqueous kava extracts.”

A segment on the Dr. Phil show has over 40,000 views on YouTube and features doctors discussing whether kava and kratom teas are dangerous:

Does Ü Relax Cause Side Effects?

Ü Relax doesn’t appear to be clinically tested, which makes it challenging to say for certain whether or not the supplement will cause side effects. However, we can make an educated guess based on its active ingredients.

The most common side effect of kava use is a skin rash, according to a medical review published in the Alternative Medicine Reviews journal.

The more serious side potential effects such as liver injury are less common.

Ü Relax uses a proprietary (prop) blend for its active ingredients, which make it more challenging to assess side effect risk because only the total dose is published rather than the individual dose of each ingredient.

When we first published this article, a page on Calming Co’s website suggested that kava is effective “without any side effects,” which we found to be a dangerous and misleading statement given the clinical studies we’ve cited in this article.

The brand has since removed this statement which is a good sign.

On an individual basis, it’s challenging to assess side effect risk, but we do consider Ü Relax more likely to cause side effects than the average anti-anxiety supplement we’ve reviewed on Illuminate Health given our concerns about kava.

Real People Try Ü Relax

The only unsponsored online review we could find of Ü Relax comes from a TikTok user named Sabrina:

@sabdaddy3 Episode 1: Ü relax. 0/10. #urelax disappointed #alcoholfreejourney #alcoholalternatives #sober #buzz #series #lgbtq #fyp @UCalmingCo ♬ original sound - Sabrina 🏳️‍🌈

A YouTube creator named "Rachel Vlogs" shared her experience trying kava for the first time:

Our Clean Mood Support Picks

There are nutrients that are clinically shown to help support relaxation.

Pique Japanese Sencha Green Tea is our top relaxation tea pick.

Green tea was shown in a 2017 clinical trial to significantly reduce stress levels, and has been used to promote mental and physical wellness for centuries.

Bulletproof Magnesium is our top magnesium supplement pick.

Magnesium is a mineral that 45% of Americans are deficient in according to a research review, and "existing evidence is suggestive of a beneficial effect of [magnesium] on subjective anxiety" according to a medical review published in the Nutrients journal.

Cornbread CBD Lotion is our top pick for a topical stress-reliever.

CBD is clinically shown to be absorbed through the skin, and was shown in a 2020 medical review to be a "promising" natural treatment for anxiety disorders.

All of the products recommended in this section are entirely free of additive ingredients that we consider to be unhealthy.

Pros and Cons of Ü Relax

Here are the pros and cons of Ü Relax in our opinion:

Pros:

  • Effective formulation
  • Should decrease stress short-term
  • All active ingredients have research backing

Cons:

  • Doesn’t appear to be clinically tested
  • Kava may harm the liver
  • Active ingredients are in proprietary blend
  • Contains citric acid
  • Contains flavoring additives
  • Hard to find unsponsored customer reviews
  • Brand claims kava doesn’t cause side effects
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

We consider Ü Relax likely to be effective for short-term treatment of anxiety. 

We do not currently recommend this supplement given our concerns about kava, and two of its inactive ingredients.

While kava is clinically shown to reduce anxiety and stress, it also has a concerning side effect profile and may cause liver injury in rare cases.

We would strongly urge patients to speak with their doctor prior to taking any supplement containing kava.

The manufacturer of Ü Relax claims on their website that kava does not cause any side effects, which we disagree with as we have cited several clinical trials in this article concluding the opposite.

The only unsponsored customer review we could find of this supplement was highly negative and rated it 0/10.