The Heart Shaped Herb

First Appearance: Black Panther’s Prey #2, June 1st 1991

Location

This special plant grows only in Wakanda specifically on Mount Kanda in a section called “the Valley of the Panther”.

What it does

The Heart Shaped herb has been described as a natural “super soldier serum” enhancing all of ones physical attributes to above peak human levels; enhanced speed, agility, strength, endurance, healing and senses. With senses enhanced the person can see in pitch blackness, track a person by smell and differentiate multiple smells in a given vicinity, easily lift a man with one hand and easily break a mans bones with a single punch. It also creates a connection between the person and Bast the Panther god.

Properties

Quoted from Wakanda scientist after examining the herb: “The poultice stimulated and accentuated the human being’s kinesthetic sense. The kinesthetic sense is the subliminal perception that allows human beings to close their eyes, yet know where the different parts of their bodies are. If you didn’t have this sense, you couldn’t pick your nose or wash your hair if your eyes weren’t open. The poultice, plus the stimuli of rigorous theological and physical training, heightened your kinesthetic sense. It heightens the proprioceptors (the proprioceptive system processes the orientation sense to the brain) and perceptions in your body. That is how you sense where a tree limb or a building edge is, know exactly where it is and never have a moment’s doubt that your fingers will close about it…The sacred anointment poultice has a second effect on your muscles and ligaments, specifically on the joints where bones connect and swivel, mesh and respond. There are receptors in these joints called the Pacinian corpuscles that carry the signal to the brain to fulfill proper movement. Somehow the poultice is absorbed into those receptors and makes them especially sensitive…This is what enables you to twist and dodge with unparalleled grace.”

Limitations

The Only people who can survive the ingesting of the herb are those of Royal Wakandan Blood or someone worthy. Those not worthy have either been poisoned by the herb or had their spirit devoured by the panther god.  It should be noted only Eric Killmonger has been known to survive eating the herb though he fell into a coma. When he awoke he had none of the enhanced powers.

How to get it

Their have been conflicting accounts of how one can gain access to the Heart shaped Herb. One way is to defeat the reigning Black Panther, then six of Wakanda‘s greatest fighters and various other challenges before being allowed to use the herb.In Black Panther: Deadliest of the Species when a Black Panther is appointed when another is incapacitated or dead they must walk barefoot across fire, dodge a series of arrows and spears, meditate without being stung for six hours in a pit of scorpions and then scaling a mountain unaided and then sneak or fight your way through more than a dozen black panther’s who guard the herb.

Ritual?

Their have been conflicting accounts of how one gains the powers of the herb. One account has the herb brewed and then it’s juices are applied to a wound made on the chest.

The Other is a simple eating of the herb which sends the mind to the realm of the Panther god to be judged.

Those known to have successfully used the Heart shaped herb

Bashenga- The Fist Black Panther

Azzari- The Wise

T’chaka- The Great

S’yan- The Swift

T’challa- The Most Dangerous Man Alive

Shuri- The Deadliest of the Species

T’chaka Jr.- The Panther

Sh’ri- The successor

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Caribbean born college lecturer, Multidisciplinary specialist/Androgogue/Philosophical Pedagogue; founder/CEO of World of Black Heroes, freelance writer and all around comic book geek. I enjoy a good book, video games, movies and most of all fatherhood. Written credits include work for Islandstage.net, Comicvine, Independent comics etc.

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