Although palm wine is, generally speaking, quite a nice drink, you've got to know about it before you can really enjoy it. Otherwise, it can be dangerous to your health. For instance, if you go to a palm wine bar too early in the morning, you are likely to be sold stuff that has stayed in the water-pot (ahina) overnight. Such stuff is extremely strong, because it has already begun to ferment. It can also emit a relatively offensive smell.
Now, these are attributes which real, dyed-in-the-wool palm wine 'drinkards' actually appreciate in their calabashful of the stuff. But if you're a novice or a city type used to beer and whisky, their combined effect within a mouthful of palm wine may make you throw up when the stuff enters your stomach. Even if it stays, you may feel unwell for some time.
Similarly, if you go to a palm wine bar too late at night, you might find that the stuff you are sold has "thinned" in its "palm wine-ness", if you see what I mean. In other words, it is thinner than what good palm wine should be. This would be because as the day wears on and the palm wine seller realises that he hasn't got enough stuff to sell to every customer who comes, he helps the pot to remain always half-full by adding judicious amounts of water to the stuff in the pot.
You see, if you come in at night, the lack of adequate lighting in the palm wine bar--it will probably be lit by a kerosine lamp with a broken mantle, or, if you're really unlucky, by a smoke-emitting palm-oil fuelled wicker lamp--will make it difficult for you to detect the colour of the palm wine, and you'll down it before realising that it is diluted stuff. Or maybe, at that time of night, you would have had so much to drink already that your taste buds are gone and you won't notice the difference between fully rich palm wine and the diluted version.
Much worse, because you can't see properly at night, you might accept a calabashful of sediment as palm wine. Now, this sedimentary stuff is dangerous--its contents might include parts or the complete body of a bee or wasp; a small chunk of charcoal; a matchstick, and/or the pupa of a big, maggot-like creature called akokon. Or a fully-grown akokon itself, probably not quite dead. Or the creature that an akokon is supposed to turn into at the last stage of its life--an asommorodwe.
None of these ingredients is poisonous by itself, but put them on top of each other in a human abdomen whose digestive capacity is...