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Archaeology & History

Ancient Americans consumed 'vomit drink'

By T.K. Randall
August 8, 2012 · Comment icon 11 comments

Image Credit: CC 2.0 Jeremy Keith
A special type of caffeinated drink made from holly leaves was all the rage one thousand years ago.
Evidence of the drink was discovered at the site of the pre-Columbian settlement of Cahokia near the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. Up to 50,000 people lived there between 1050 and 1350 AD and the infamous 'black drink' was part of their culture, it is believed that it may have been used as part of purification ceremonies.

"We're not sure when Native Americans stopped using black drink," said researcher Thomas Emerson. "I think its use went more into the closet, due to pressure from Europeans to drop pagan practices."
Caffeine-loaded black drinks apparently dominated the heartland of America earlier than once thought — a beverage neither coffee nor cola, but instead brewed from holly leaves, researchers say.

Source: Fox News | Comments (11)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by Super-Fly 12 years ago
6 times more potent then coffee! Quality, might make a tidy an expresso! Thanks,
Comment icon #3 Posted by spud the mackem 12 years ago
Are you sure about "ceramic" beakers ? a 1000 yrs ago !
Comment icon #4 Posted by spud the mackem 12 years ago
"I say, dash it all madam, you've got your Indians mixed up again. The smallest schoolboy is well aware that proper tea drinking (ie. with milk and sugar) originated in the Punjab under the gentle eye of the Great White Queen Empress!" Oh Sahib char wallah come soon !
Comment icon #5 Posted by Hilander 12 years ago
I guess this was the original energy drink. Bet they were buzzing around all over the place.
Comment icon #6 Posted by King Fluffs 12 years ago
Mmmm, vomit drink. Sounds tasty eh?
Comment icon #7 Posted by Junior Chubb 12 years ago
Ancient Americans consumed 'vomit drink' Reverse bulimia, the beginning of the Junk Food Giant? I am aware they did not drink the vomit, but hey why let that stop a humorous post!
Comment icon #8 Posted by Atlantia 12 years ago
I'll have a diet Puke please!
Comment icon #9 Posted by Sundew 12 years ago
Living in the S.E. Youpon, Ilex vomitoria, grows wild in my yard, plus I have a weeping and dwarf leaved form. Dwarf forms are popular locally as ornamentals. My understanding it the leaves can be made into tea and it is the red berries of the female plant (hollies are either male of female) that cause vomiting. Supposedly it is the only native plant in the United States that contains caffeine. I have never made tea from the leaves; I prefer Camellia sinensis, the source of black tea.
Comment icon #10 Posted by csspwns 12 years ago
the drink resembles Dr. PUKEper
Comment icon #11 Posted by justcalmebubba 12 years ago
pineneedle tea is pritty good once you get past the snakebite of turpintine

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