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"He or she who consumes the heart-shaped herb becomes the Black Panther. Through a ritual that has existed for generations, fruit from the flower is offered to one who is worthy to claim the mantle."

The Heart-Shaped Herb is a plant native to Wakanda that was traditionally consumed by those who held the mantle of the Black Panther in order to obtain enhanced physical abilities. After being burned under the orders of King N'Jadaka, Shuri was able to recreate the Heart-Shaped Herb using a vibranium enriched herb from Talokan.



"A warrior shaman received a vision from the Panther Goddess Bast, who led him to the heart-shaped herb, a plant that granted him superhuman strength, speed, and instincts."
BP - Bashenga and the Herb2

Bashenga consuming the Heart-Shaped Herb

Millions of years ago, a large meteorite composed of vibranium crashed into Africa, where it gave off massive amounts of radiation, affecting the plant life around it over time. When the time of man came, several tribes began fighting over the vibranium, the Panther Goddess Bast instructed a warrior shaman to ingest the herb, transforming him into the first Black Panther, who united the tribes into the country of Wakanda.[1]

Usage Over the Years[]

T'Challa Consumes Heart-Shaped Herb

T'Challa consumes the heart-shaped herb

"Allow the heart-shaped herb to restore the powers of the Black Panther and take you to the Ancestral Plane."

The herb's powers are tied to the vibranium that has been permeating the soil of Wakanda for thousands of years. Each Black Panther throughout the generations has consumed the herb upon receiving the title, in order to gain enhanced abilities, in a ceremony involving a shaman of the royal court. Usage of the heart-shaped herb is seemingly limited to the royal family to allow them to better protect themselves and Wakanda. During the ritual combat in which any tribe or family member may challenge the heir for the throne, the heir must drink a serum to strip away the capabilities of the heart-shaped herb.[1]


Black Panther OCT17 Trailer 47

Erik Killmonger has the herb gardens burned down

"My king, we cannot do that. It is our tradition..."
"When I tell you to do something, I mean that shit. Burn it all!"
Sope and Erik Killmonger[src]

When Erik Killmonger became King of Wakanda and obtained the powers of the herb, he ordered the herbs burned so no one could use their powers against him. However, Nakia was able to secretly steal one of the herb before they were all burned.[1]

Recreation Attempts[]

"Once it's consumed it causes intense physical trauma and pain, which may explain the ingestor's ability to reach the Ancestral Plane."

Following the Blip, Shuri began looking for a way to recreate the heart-shaped herb, considering stabilizing its effects by adding a small amount of vibranium into the mix. She considered using artificial synthesis or creating a serum that possessed all of the herb's traditional advantages. However, she was unable to do so, leading to her attempting to acquire a sample of the original plant to study.[2][3]



"Allow this Heart-Shaped Herb to give you the strength of the Black Panther and take you to the Ancestral Plane."
Nakia to Shuri[src]
Synthetic Herb

Shuri plants synthetic herbs to the ground soil

When T'Challa fell victim to an illness disease, Shuri made it her top priority to recreate the Heart-Shaped Herb in order to save him. As time passed, T'Challa's condition became worse and Shuri's attempts were less than 30% eventually leading to T'Challa passing and further attempts of recreating the herb were halted. A year later when Queen Ramonda was killed, Shuri resumed recreating the herb using fibers from a bracelet given by Namor. After further attempts, she finally managed to recreate it with a confidence rate of 98.7%. Shuri consumed the herb becoming the next Black Panther and later created more of the herb to ensure the future of the mantle.[3]

Alternate Reality Versions[]

Given to Killmonger[]

Killmonger Consumes Heart-Shaped Herb

Killmonger consumes the Heart-Shaped Herb

"With this herb, you shall become the next Black Panther."
T'Chaka to Erik Killmonger[src]

After declaring his loyalty to Wakanda, Erik Killmonger was given the herb by T'Chaka and became the next Black Panther.[4]


T'Challa Regains Superpowers

T'Challa manifesting the power of the herb

"Once the flower's essence is ingested, the Black Panther is transported to the Ancestral Plane and granted the speed, resilience, agility, instinctive awareness, endurance, and strength of the panther."

The heart-shaped herb granted enhanced strength, speed, stamina, durability, reflexes, agility, and instincts to those who consume it. For example, T'Chaka was able to effortlessly lift a person with one hand and even run as fast as a zebra as stated by T'Challa himself. The user's physical attributes were greatly enhanced to levels comparable to a super soldier. There is a preparation able to negate the powers of the herb, used to allow fair combat trials for the mantles of both Black Panther and King of Wakanda. When ingested, the herbs have the power to allow the user to temporarily commune with the dead in the Ancestral Plane. While the herb also grants enhanced healing and recovery, it has a limit as T'Challa, despite being enhanced by the herb, became vulnerable to an incurable disease.

Behind the Scenes[]

  • While explaining the plant and the rituals, Kevin Feige said: "That’s partially spiritual. We certainly don’t call it magic, but there’s Vibranium that has been interwoven within that soil and that land for thousands of years, so there are other things going on with it."[5]


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