DAVIE — Isaac Asiata knows all about kava, the plant root strained into a drink popular in Polynesian cultures, which can be used to treat pain and anxiety.
It’s perfectly legal and an article posted to ESPN.com on Friday suggested kava is: “The NFL’s newest and safest painkiller.”
“I saw guys who used to drink kava in college and guys in the NFL that still drink kava,” Asiata said. “It helps you relax. It reduces anxiety. I wouldn’t say it’s as serious as a pain killer. But it’s a nice relaxant.”
Asiata noted that at Utah, where he played college football, many Polynesian players drank kava.
“If you remember Sione Pouha from the Jets, he came out with a drink, called Bula and it was basically Kava in a can,” Asiata said. “It’s not a drug. It’s definitely safer than opioids.”
The roots of the kava plant are used to produce a drink with sedative, anesthetic, euphoriant and entheogenic properties.
Dolphins center Mike Pouncey, overhearing the conversation with Asiata, said he enjoys kava.
“Hell yeah, I drink a lot of kava,” Pouncey said. “(Former Dolphins) Koa Misi and Paul Soliai are my guys. It’s good. I don’t know. It does make your body feel good. It’s like taking a bunch of like muscle relaxers. You’re tongue goes numb right away.”
According to a NESN.com article highlighted in the ESPN piece, in 2014, Patriots owner Robert Kraft noted that he observed players drinking kava together the Friday before a 45-7 AFC championship game victory.
“You probably couldn’t get it at a store,” Asiata said. “There are certain people who sell it. There also are private companies. I don’t think they carry it at Walmart.”
Well, you sort of can.
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