Sassafras: The All-Purpose Wonder
In the midst of the Civil War, Kate Stone, a fierce advocate of the southern cause, wrote from a plantation near Tallulah, "The plums and sassafras are in full bloom and the whole yard is fragrant. We all drank sassafras tea for a while, but soon got tired of it, pretty and pink as it is." At the same time the infamous Yankee General Benjamin Butler was enjoying the delights of genuine New Orleans gumbos during his occupation of that city. His meals were surely spiced with dried, powdered sassafras leaves known as file.