Yaupons are a native species of holly found in
Very few people know this interesting fact about yaupon (Ilex vomitoria), also known as
The Latin classification, vomitoria, comes from the ritual practice of coastal Indians who made and consumed a tea made from the leaves, berries and bark before going into battle. This very strong tea was called "black drink" and caused vomiting which was viewed as a ritualistic way to cleanse the body and soul. During hard times, many coastal residents made a tea by drying the young, tender leaves and stems and then steeping them to make a tea. Yaupon tea is still enjoyed by many long term residents of some of the more remote coastal areas in the
The leaves can also be used as a stimulant when chewed directly but are somewhat bitter in taste. Roasting or drying the leaves and steeping the leaves in hot water makes a much more palatable and enjoyable drink.
The main use of yaupon tea was in the southeastern
Got yaupons? Make some tea!
Be aware. Be informed. Be prepared.