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In the 4th season of Vikings there is a new character named Yidu that is presented as a Chinese slave. In the 4th episode of Season 4, for the first time she gives Ragnar a plant that she says is a medicine, but that obviously would be considered a drug in modern terms, because Ragnar gets highly addicted to it.

First I thought it was opium. It would make sense, because opium is mainly produced in Asia (the girl is Chinese), and by that time, 9th century, opium was already well known in Asia as a type of medical plant. Furthermore, Ragnar represents some of the typical symptoms of opium like sweating and the euphoric state.

But, this post here suggests that most likely the plant is Betel Nuts or a Paan blend and it lists a number of arguments why it can be so.

Is there anything definitive that answers this question?

  • inquisitr.com claim looks more legit then anything util show makers say anything. – Ankit Sharma Dec 17 '18 at 6:44
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I argree with @ankrit-sharma, the linked article from inquisitr.com holds weight as the ingredients were available during the appropriate era.

  1. Wild limes probably originated in the Indonesian archipelago or the nearby mainland of Asia. date back to 1AD, which confirms that they would have been plentiful.

  2. The Betel Plant comes from South/Southeast Asia possibly the area that Yidu was from.

  3. The Silk Road (or Routes) were used between 130BC and the 15th century. (see image), and

  4. Rollo's treaty was during the 10th century, which establishes the Viking age betwen the 9th and 10th centuries (see image).

Combining this data makes "quid" the most logical substance for the "medicine" Yidu was preparing and backs up the article from inquisitr.com. hmmm... I wonder if that's how Brittan's "Quid" currency evolved.

"The Silk Road" trade routes

Rollo's Treaty of 911AD

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