Worral Thompson out to kill!
17th August 2008
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I know this is nothing at all to do with Stamford, but it tickled me when I read it recently.

Celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson recommended Henbane as a great addition to organic salads in a magazine article recently. He said there was loads of it, it was local and it had been used by the ancient Greeks and the arabs for anaesthetic. He's now apologized - as henbane is potentially deadly!

Hyoscyamus niger (henbane), is really NOT GOOD for you, causing convulsions, hallucinations, vomiting - and even DEATH!

It's thought that Worral Thompson actually meant to recommend Fat Hen, which is a vitamin C righ weed - which although high in nitrates, is edible (with no reported poisonings).

The magazine where the article appeared was "Healthy & Organic Living" and they hastily 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."

Oh, we thought Worral Thompson WAS an expert!

Henbane is related to deadly nightshade, and was the poison used by the infamous Dr Crippen (first criminal caught by radio) to poison and kill his wife in 1910, and it's possibly the main ingredient of the poison used by Romeo in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

So just be careful when foraging for food!

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