Once again, a prime-time crime-solving drama has used exotic herbs in an episode. This time, it was CSI: NY and the herbs were integral to both the mode of death and to solving the cirme.
The first herbal culprit was the so-called Miracle Fruit. Amazingly, when a person swishes the seed of this berry in their mouth for a few seconds, everything that's bitter or sour will taste sweet to the person for a half hour to two hours afterwards. It's a very unusual concept and if mothers of toddlers get the idea of this, there might be a lot more vegetables eaten...
But then, I doubt that it is a good idea to use exotic plants on our children...who knows what harm they might be able to cause.
The other odd plant that was ingested in the episode was one commonly chewed as a stimulant in in Asia. It's called Betel Quid and according to the show anyway, its chewing is supposed to keep a person's DNA from being detected. I was curious and did some research online about it and sure enough, it's a commonly chewed herb in Asia...but I found no references to the DNA anomoly. But whether it's true or not, it made for good television.
Let's hope it doesn't become used by criminals in the commission of crimes to mask their DNA...unless it doesn't work. Then it could be great, since it would offer a false sense of safety.
I love how TV writers are getting more creative with their use of herbs and herbal treatments in the plots of their shows. It's just another indication that people are becomming more used to herbs being used for medicinal and other uses. I just wish the herbs on TV didn't always have to the be killers... ;-)
Find out more about Betel Quid here.