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Robert (DrinkBoy) Hess

Dying for a salad?

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Just ran across this article, and felt it was fairly appropriate for this audience.

 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26010377/?GT1=43001

 

Dying for a salad? You may be, if you eat this...

Chef apologizes after accidentally recommending potentially deadly plant

 

Celebrity chef Anthony Worrall Thompson has apologized after accidentally recommending in a magazine article that the weed henbane (also known as stinking nightshade), a potentially deadly plant, made an excellent addition to summertime meals.

 

After all, there was plenty of it, it grew locally and was used by the ancient Greeks and the Arabs for its anesthetic properties.

 

Er, not quite.

 

Henbane, or Hyoscyamus niger, is toxic and can cause hallucinations, convulsions, vomiting and in extreme cases death.

 

Worrall Thompson, who was discussing his passion for organic foods, had confused the plant with another of a similar name.

 

The magazine Healthy & Organic Living printed an urgent warning: “Henbane is a very toxic plant and should never be eaten. As always, check with an expert when foraging or collecting wild plants.”

 

Henbane, a close relative of deadly nightshade, was used by Dr. Crippen to kill his wife in 1910, and is thought to have been the main ingredient in the poison Romeo took in Shakespeare's play “Romeo and Juliet.”

 

The chef had intended to refer to fat hen, a weed rich in vitamin C, that is edible, media reports said.

 

It too can be harmful because of its high level of nitrates, but cases of poisoning are rare, Garden Organic said on its Web site.

 

Worrall Thompson was reported in the media as saying the confusion had been “a bit embarrassing.

 

“There have been no reports of any casualties,” he said.

 

“Please do pass on my apologies.”

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Methinks that the FDA might not be keen on the toxic hallucinagens; even if they are organic! :twitchsmile:

 

On the plus side, it actually would cause you to see things, unlike absinthe. :arrr:

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Henbane ... is thought to have been the main ingredient in the poison Romeo took in Shakespeare's play “Romeo and Juliet.”

Ah, journalism; speculating on fiction.

 

Mandressing sounds even worse than Mansinthe.
Must.. not... go there! Must... resist.. straight line. Resolve fading...

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Henbane is one of the many Solanaceae plants containing alkaloids of the tropane variety, such as Hyoscyamine, Scopolamine, and Atropine. All these chemicals are currently used as pharmaceutical medications in their pure form. It would definately not be wise to eat henbane, however other members of the Nightshade family can be eaten such as tomatoes, potatos, and eggplants. Also related to tobacco. Every now and then some misguided kids eat one of the poisonous nightshades and the results aren't good.

 

I like to grow poisonous nightshades in my garden... the animals won't eat the deadly ones so they actually make it through the summer. :) And they look nice... A picture of Henbane can be found here:

 

http://weeds.hotmeal.net/weeds/List_B_Part1.html

 

... look what else is there.

 

I haven't grown henbane but I've grown some relatives such as Datura (Angel's Trumpet). But here I go, rambling about nightshades again...

 

One of mine:

 

m_75b42e3893379dc78d98409b97bbdf3c.jpg

 

... it's a Datura.

Edited by thetripscaptain

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