“Achewood,” like wormwood, was used by antebellum slaves in the production of “achewater,” a long-since outmoded and outlawed Southern beverage.
Drinkers of achewater experienced hallucinations and euphoria, but the after-effects of the liquor produced a deep and lasting melancholy (hence its name).
Modern science has confirmed that achewood oil, the active ingredient in achewater, is a powerful depressant which causes irreversible neurological damage.
Achewater is generally thought to have inspired many Southern folk songs and fables, such as “The Story of Poor John Ritch,” “Sullivan’s Bear and Dried Bird” and “I’m Following a Little Round Lord.”
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