Marvel Database



The Heart-Shaped Herb is a plant that only grows in the nation of Wakanda. In legend it was said to have been a gift from the Panther God, the local deity they worshiped, but in reality the plant had been mutated by a giant meteorite of Vibranium crashing into the Earth.[1]

To become the Black Panther, the chieftain of Wakanda, a warrior must defeat the current Black Panther and fight six of Wakanda's greatest warriors all at once. After this they must complete several other tasks to prove their worthiness. If they are successful and gain the role of leadership they have the juices of the Heart-Shaped Herb applied to their body. It is said that anyone not worthy or of noble blood would not survive the process.[2]


Scientists who studied the Heart-Shaped Herb came to this conclusion regarding its process;[3]

"The poultice stimulated and accentuated the human being's kinaesthetic sense. The kinaesthetic 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 kinaesthetic sense. It heightens 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 fulfil 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."[3]

Synthetic Version

When Erik Killmonger used the Heart-Shaped Herb his body reacted badly and poisoned him. After he barely recovered he used his scientific knowledge to create a synthetic version that would grant anyone the abilities of the Black Panther. He later allowed Kasper Cole to use the synthetic version to gain powers similar to the Panther.[4]


The user gains enhanced speed, agility, strength, endurance, durability, healing, and senses to Super-Soldier levels. The user's senses are enhanced so they can now see in total darkness, track any scent, and hear an enemy's heartbeat.[1]


  • There also exists a Soul-Shaped Herb that can be ingested for spiritual journeys.[5]

See Also

Links and References


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