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TV chef's horror herb does have its uses

Copperfield is tickled by Anthony Worral -Thompson's potentially deadly recommendation to add henbane to your summer salad bowl. There are uses for the toxic herb though. Some positive, others less so.

Copperfield is tickled by Anthony Worral -Thompson's potentially deadly recommendation to add henbane to your summer salad bowl. There are uses for the toxic herb though. Some positive, others less so.



It's been an embarrassing time of late for celebrity TV chef Anthony Worrall –Thompson.

In an interview with "Healthy & Organic Living" magazine the Hobbit of the Hotplate advised its forty thousand readers to try a new and delicious addition to their summer salad bowl, Henbane.

If he'd referred to the plant by it's more popular name, Stinking Nightshade, perhaps he would have twigged that henbane, organically grown or otherwise, is actually extremely toxic.

That's not to say that one medic didn't find a use for the stuff… it's just that the doctor in question was a certain Dr H H Crippen, who used it to knock off his wife.

Herbalists insist that in small doses, henbane (uxor medicus homicidis) can be used to treat patients with tummy aches and "pain affecting their urinary tubules", so let's be careful not to overreact and lose a potentially helpful treatment for such a common medical problem.

When the cock-up was noticed AWT immediately apologised for putting the lives of 40,000 tree-huggers and their dinner guests at risk.

He had, of course, meant to refer to the perfectly edible salad leaf, Fat Hen (chickenus obesus maximumus).

Henbane, the toxic herb recommended in error by Anthony Worral-Thompson Henbane Copperfield

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