What Is Yidu’s Medicine In Vikings?

History Channel’s Vikings, released in 2013, is one of the best-acclaimed series because of its intense suspense, drama, and near-accurate representation of Vikings from the ancient period. It showcases the saga of Ragnar Lothbrok, a fearless Viking warrior from Anglo-Saxon England who rises to fame from being a farmer to becoming the king of the Vikings.

Everything seems to go well until Ragnar meets Yidu, an enslaved Chinese woman kidnapped by Frankia in the 4th season of the show. In the 4th episode, Ragnar suffers from severe abdominal pain due to kidney failure. Yidu offers Ragnar a Chinese herbal medicine to ease his pain. Many fans consider it a drug because Ragnar becomes addicted to the medication. His addiction to the drug causes his downfall and eventual death in the show’s fourth season.  

Among Viking fans, Yidu’s medicine is a hot topic of debate. Many believe it is an Asian betel nut or paan blend, and some believe it is a mixture of hallucinogenic plants and drugs or could be an opium drug. Let us explore all the theories related to Chinese medicine given by Yidu.

What Is the Medicine Yidu Gave to Ragnar?

Yidu gave Ragnar medicine to ease his severe abdomen pain. Although no clear proof exists to show what medicine Yidu gave to Ragnar, here are a few potential theories that could be true.

Bīnláng (Betel Nut)

Yidu’s medicine could be bīnláng (betel nut) because it seemed similar to betelnut. Consuming betel nut can cause the lips and saliva to become red in color and yields identical after-effects that Ragnar shows in the series after consuming the medicine. 

Betel nut paste is wrapped in a betel leaf to prepare a combination called Paan in Southeast Asia. The combination has stimulant and psychoactive effects and hallucination besides reddening of the mouth. It is why Ragnar was hallucinating and acting bizarrely after consuming the medicine. Due to its regular consumption, Ragnar becomes addicted to it, often losing his senses and acting bizarrely. The damaging consequences become a reason for his eventual downfall.

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Other Theories Which Could Be True

Another possibility might be that Yidu’s medicine is a blend of various mushrooms like Agaric and Psilocybin mixed with plants like Henbane, Datura, and Maogen found prominently in China during the 9th century. The Maogen (Ranunculus Japonicus) is a plant whose adverse effects sometimes include blood-spitting and is considered unduly poisonous. It also results in the temporary discoloration (red) of the mouth.

The medicine could not be cannabis as though it caused hallucinations, but its appearance in the show did not point to that possibility.

Yet another possibility could be that the medicine is a Kratom tree leaf from the Middle East. It is known for opiate-like qualities and has pain-relieving effects similar to opioid drugs such as morphine if consumed in powder form. It has side effects like dry mouth, hallucination, delusion, and dizziness. 

The medicine could also be Ayahuasca wrapped in a leaf because it gives the hallucination effect. The DMT (N, N-Dimethyltryptamine) also has a hallucination effect, but it is a harmless drug because our stomach acids can break the DMT into harmless protein. 

A fan theory suggests that medicine could be an opium drug because opium is primarily found in Asia and was a highly recognized drug in Asia during the 9th century. Ragnar’s symptoms, such as sweating, hallucinating, and euphoria, are comparable to those of the opium drug. However, opium is usually smoked rather than consumed, and Ragnar ate the medicine. So the medicine given to Ragnar could not be an opium drug. 

We hope we were able to clarify your doubts regarding Yidu’s medicine to some extent. Although these are just theories, they are very close to true since the show has never explicitly mentioned anything about the plant or medicine Yidu gave to Ragnar.