Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Killer weed

Celebrity chef Anthony Worrall Thompson recommended in a magazine article that henbane weed (a.k.a. stinking nightshade), made an excellent addition to summertime meals.
[source] Henbane, or Hyoscyamus niger, is toxic and can cause hallucinations, convulsions, vomiting and in extreme cases death.

[...] 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.

When it comes to food, I generally avoid anything containing the words "stinking" or "nightshade." The chef has apologized for any confusion he may have caused.

1 comment:

Freida Bee said...

Is fat hen aka chickweed? I loves me some chickweed.

Hopefully , no one went out and ate henbane. I heard "Lobelia" was an ingredient in Romeo and Juliet's concoction, a sedative that slows the heart, which is hard to come by in herb shops these days, though it is in some tinctures I've found, as in small doses it is an excellent phlem loosener. Now, I'm gonna have to look up that concoction and find out after first hearing that 15 years ago. I should go to the source.