Michael McCormack sent to hospital after drinking kava

Home Politics Michael McCormack sent to hospital after drinking kava
Michael McCormack sent to hospital after drinking kava

Nationals MP and former deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has shared an update after trying to down a traditional sedative drink put him in hospital.

The Riverina MP has been travelling through the Pacific as a part of a bipartisan parliamentary delegation, with one occasion marked by the visitors being offered sakau, a type of Micronesian kava.

Mr McCormack said he is “feeling much better now” after a 14-hour sleep and vomiting up the tradiitonal drink.

“Feeling much better now and it’s been a great chance to connect with our Pacific family in FSM,” he said.

Sakau is meant to be sipped rather than gulped, as its much stronger than other types of kava, which are intended to be drunk in their entirety.

“Trouble is, I did stomach it!” Mr McCormack shared on Twitter.

“In a bid to show my respect to local traditions, I drank the whole bowl of Sakau.”

Mr McCormack was caught on video with his head in his hands before vomiting into a bucket and being ferried off to hospital for medical treatment.

“They made it in front of us, squeezing the juice out of these massive tree roots, just absolutely squeezing it. It had a peppery essence and I was OK for 10 to 15 minutes and then I thought, ‘Ooooh, OK’,” he told the Guardian.

“I looked over at [the foreign Minister] Penny Wong and mouthed, ‘I’m not OK’. I went cross-eyed. I really did. Then someone got me a bucket and, well, yeah.”

A non-alcoholic drink, sakau and other kavas are famous for their narcotic, sedative effect.

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