In the 1600s, Europeans exploring the American southeast wrote of a purification ritual practiced by the native people, involving dancing, vomiting, and large amounts of what the travelers called black drink. Served from shell cups, the highly caffeinated tea was brewed from the shrub Ilex vomitoria, a species of holly. In a new study, researchers have found the first direct evidence of black drink — not in shells from Florida or Mississippi, but in ceramic beakers at the ancient city of Cahokia outside what’s now St. Louis, Missouri. The finding hints at a trade network that flourished centuries before Christopher Columbus landed in the New World, in which caffeinated drinks had Starbucks-like importance and possibly religious significance.
A cup of tea, that is, not barfing it up afterwards. Sadly, they don’t go into the exact nature of the beverage any more than that little bit. I suppose drinking such an emetic might contribute to ritual types of states as it could dehydrate one enough eventually to start hallucinating, but emetics have also been used for health purposes. The Egyptians, ferinstance, (some of them anyway) would take emetics once a month to clean out their internals, something like some (nutty, IMO) people do today.