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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Jamaican Ginger Paralysis - watch those plasticisers!
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Old 07-09-2011, 04:52 AM   #1
passedpawn
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Default Jamaican Ginger Paralysis - watch those plasticisers!

I was just reading about Jamaican Ginger Paralysis. During prohibition (1920 - 1933) many poor people drank ethanol-based extracts to get their "fix". One was Jamaican Ginger, aka "Jake". It's not normally toxic, but because of some changes made to it to get around gov't restrictions, it caused widespread paralysis in drinkers. It was a big deal, as possibly more than 100,000 were affected.

While stories like this give "homebrew" alcohol production a bad name, the root cause of this health disaster was prohibition.

Lot's more here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamaica_ginger


BTW, jake leg had a large part in the book "Water for Elephants". It's an entertaining read. I dropped out of high school and spent a year on the road with a show, so it was especially interesting to me.


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Old 07-09-2011, 05:06 AM   #2
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Another fun tidbit is the US government poisoning people during prohibition
http://www.slate.com/id/2245188/
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:56 AM   #3
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Wow both were an interesting read thanks guys!
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