Blue-Tongue Madness

A harmful condition caused by the phototoxic plant, mintonleaf, that leaves people blue-tongued and craving more.

If you see mint with leaves bigger than three fingers wide, don't ever eat from it - it could be the worst mistake of your life.
— Cautionary tale from a father to their child.

Overview

Blue-tongue madness (sometimes abbreviated as BTM or simply known as blue-tongue) is a harmful condition caused by the consumption of the aromatic yet highly phototoxic mintonleaf plant. The affliction develops from a chemically induced irritation in the mouth that requires light to manifest symptoms.   The tongue's response resembles an exaggerated sunburn; it causes uncomfortable tingling sensations as it blisters followed by involuntary reactions to sneeze or inhale air to cool the mouth. If exposed to light, the phototoxins present in the affected area will intensify the reaction, causing moderate pain and an intense blue or purle pigmentation that will begin to develop on the tongue.   Over the course of a few hours the discomfort can become so extreme that a destructive addiction cycle emerges: the desire to cool the mouth down becomes so overwhelming that people will eat more of the mintonleaf plant to experience the fragrant burst of cooling sensation when the leaves are first chewed. Whilst this relieves the uncomfortable tingling sensations for a while, the pain resumes a few hours later.   When the cycle of consuming mintonleaf is broken, the symptoms take up to two weeks to heal on their own, but the pigmentation of the tongue and addiction to mintonleaf permanently remains.  


 

A Light Reaction

The first symptom can be hard to notice if tasting the flavour for the first time, which unfortunately makes this condition more likely to be experienced as a child than in adulthood.   A light and pleasant tingling occurs on the tongue that gradually builds in intensity until it becomes so strong that the natural reaction is to open the mouth to suck in (or exhale) air, as if consuming hot or spicy food.   When the tongue is even slightly exposed to daylight, the phototoxic reaction of mintonleaf slowly begins.
 
If ever you accidentally eat mintonleaf, cover your mouth immediately and go indoors. Get as far away from the plant as possible and don't open your mouth uncovered unless it's night time.
— Advice given to prevent severe symptoms
 
Symptoms
  • Tingling sensation in the tongue.
  • Sneezing or anticipating sensations of sneezing.
  • Blue tongue that does not revert to its normal colour.
  • Craving to consume mint or mintonleaf for its cooling effects.
  • Extreme tingling sensation in the tongue with further consumption of mintonleaf.
  • Craving of mint-like cooling sensations.
  • Addiction to experiencing the taste and tingling sensation from mintonleaf.
Development
  1. The tongue starts tingling and blisters begin to develop that make it uncomfortable to keep the mouth closed.
  2. Further exposure of the affected area to daylight worsens the reaction and the tongue develops a noticeable blue colour.
  3. Tingling sensations spread from the back of the tongue up to the nasal cavity, which causes sneezing.
  4. The symptoms can feel uncomfortably hot and painful, lingering without much change for four to five days.
  5. Cravings emerge in the form of wanting to experience the further cooling effect of mint flavour by consuming more leaves.
 


 

Recovery

The painful symptoms of blue-tongue begin to noticeably heal after five to six days and are often completely healed within two weeks. The bluish-purple colour of the tongue is permanent and there is no known cure to revert the colouration.   Folks who have consumed mintonleaf are advised to take precautions and find support for managing the cravings of addiction; the desire to consume something that has once caused pain or trauma can lead to confusing feelings and poor mental health if left unmanaged.
Managing Addiction
There are many different techniques available for managing addiction and the majority of folks are not impacted by it at all and have even reduced their cravings and desires of mintonleaf to nothing.   Methods that can help people include:
  • consumption of normal safe-to-eat mint
  • slow and moderated reduction in consumption of mint or mintonleaf
  • community based group therapy and accountability support groups
Dangerous Delights
A small number of folk view their addiction as more akin to thrillseeking and have turned it into a form of "culinary challenge" or rite of passage to see who can handle the most mintonleaf.   Self proclaimed 'blue-tongues' are groups (or sometimes gangs) of individuals who take great pride in their ability to endure such pain. Scarred, dark blue tongues are admired and respected among these groups, but are often deeply disdained by the rest of society as foolish masochists. This reuptation has unfortunately caused many recovering folks to feel deep shame about their blue tongue.
 

Prevention

Mintonleaf is not native to Melior and arrived from another realm through numerous rifts scattered across the world. The earliest reportings of any incident came from Devonia, on the central aurward coast of Anvil, where it has now spread both across the continent and potentially overseas.   With curious young minds often being those who are most affected by the long term effects of the condition, parents and communities have made mintonleaf identification and elimination a high priority.  
For the safety of our children it is of the utmost importance that invasions of mintonleaf are kept in check and iradicated from Melior. We must not let its roots take hold in our land!   The best cure for this awful blue-tongue is to prevent it from ever happening in the first place.
— A teacher campaigning for action
Alternative Names
Blue-tongue
Minton-mouth
Type
Chemical Compound
Origin
Natural
Cycle
Short-term
Rarity
Uncommon
Affected Species
Anvil
Geographic Location | Nov 30, 2022

The continent of Anvil, unsurprisingly, is named after its shape on the Auricentric map. It has a diverse range of climates that are home to many different folks, fauna, and flora.



Comments

Author's Notes

This article was inspired by the fourth list of symptoms generated in Catoblepon's Condition Collaboration   Here's a link to the original article, where you can find further inspiration for condition articles and see what other folks in the community created using the same symptoms!  

Unofficial collaboration for conditions
Generic article | Jan 18, 2023

Using same symptoms, each shall write their own conditions... How much will they differ? [CLOSED]


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2 Dec, 2022 17:02

Kids would absolutely end up with this a lot. My kids love putting all sorts of random things in their mouths.   I'm glad the addiction can be treated long term. That must be so difficult especially for the kids - and their parents.

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
2 Dec, 2022 17:32

Thank you! Your comment has inspired me to add an extra section that I can expand on for the prevention of further incidents.


Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
Latest Work:
Gauntlet - my shiniest article this year!
2 Dec, 2022 18:13

Love this idea of a dangerous plant coming from a different plane and people organizing to deal with it! The condition itself is rather devious, glad its not real!

Check out my world World Behind the Veil!
2 Dec, 2022 20:13

Thank youuu! Haha yeah I'm glad, too - though the phototoxic part was inspired by the giant hogweed that can be found in the UK and parts of Europe. It's sap can cause some absolutely horrific burns, it's pretty scary stuff!


Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
Latest Work:
Gauntlet - my shiniest article this year!
2 Dec, 2022 19:43

You're stating off WE'22 with a super strong article! This one intrigued me from the start and now I feel like I need to have a look at this unofficial collaborations challenge :D

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2 Dec, 2022 20:09

Thanks! I'd love to see what you create if you decide to go for the same prompt :D feel free to link the statblock here if/when you do


Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
Latest Work:
Gauntlet - my shiniest article this year!
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
3 Dec, 2022 16:27

This is a really interesting condition! I'm impressed with how realistic you made it from the initial symptom list and I really love the final results :D The social aspects are also very nice - though now I'm wondering how often people just randomly pick up wild plants while outdoor and start to eat them XD

To see what I am up to:WE list of articles and goals.
4 Dec, 2022 00:44

If it smelt like mint and looked like it (but big), probably a few unfortunately! Thanks for the comment :D I'll make sure to clarify that a bit more when I make the species article for it


Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
Latest Work:
Gauntlet - my shiniest article this year!
6 Dec, 2022 19:51

I like the echo of the real world, with recovering addicts being demonised because of the actions of others. It also reminds me of the crazy people who eat hot peppers for fun. XD

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
7 Dec, 2022 22:53

Thanks, I was definitely inspired by spicy pepper enthusiasts! :D


Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
Latest Work:
Gauntlet - my shiniest article this year!
Starfarertheta
Starfarer Theta
10 Dec, 2022 00:55

Well that explains why I was tackled picking up that plant. I thought it was just a large variety of mint until that villager told me what it was and what it could do to people who consumed them. She did more than explain it too, her companion showed me his scarred blue tongue which was quickly closed again. The villagers have resolved to eradicate the plant from these woods I was told later. She's taken the plant I picked away and has thrown it into the fire with the others.   I am left wondering how many other innocuous looking but dangerous plants there are waiting in this world. - Nemo, World Traveler

10 Dec, 2022 21:02

Wow! thanks for the snippet, traveller! :D


Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
Latest Work:
Gauntlet - my shiniest article this year!
7 Jan, 2023 18:49

I've returned to stop by and say thank you for always inspiring me to do better!   P.s. I've featured this article in my New Year's Resolutions article <3

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7 Jan, 2023 22:06

Thanks so much!! :D


Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
Latest Work:
Gauntlet - my shiniest article this year!
8 Jan, 2023 01:38

Thank you for letting me share your article on stream!   Like I mentioned, I really love the way you tie your articles in with the cultures of your world. The whole article depicting this plant as, "avoid this at all costs," followed by the introduction of the, "we'll do this like it's an extreme sport" culture is such a fun detail! Almost makes me think of people in real life who will eat gut-meltingly hot peppers just to prove they can. Wonderful article! :D


Seek a new dawn, in Malkora!
Check out Antecedents, my entry for On the Shoulders of Giants!
8 Jan, 2023 13:18

Thanks so much, your stream was great! :D


Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
Latest Work:
Gauntlet - my shiniest article this year!
11 Jan, 2023 22:07

New Year's Resolution challenge Constructive Feedback: Although the rules said only constructive feedback, I'd like to do a little of both.   I loved the initial image as the header of the article as well as the image of what a tongue would look like under this condition. These images really help me as a viewer get into the lore of what is written. I really enjoyed the section for symptoms and development. This section really helps me as a creator to think of the condition from the viewpoint of creating unique characters who may use this product for nefarious reasons. Overall, great job with the cadence of information, it was a great read   For a piece of constructive feedback, when you first introduced the cautionary tale from a father to a child, I would have loved to see a more flushed out tale (as in a linked page to a larger book. an example being like Little Red Riding Hood). As I was reading this cautionary tale, I felt compelled to read a book talking about this tale. (Hope this makes sense :D) Adding this additional lore, will keep me even more invested in the condition.   Hope this feedback helps! Great Job creating this condition, it was fun to read!

11 Jan, 2023 22:17

Thanks for the feedback :D I'll expand it when I next revise the article!


Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
Latest Work:
Gauntlet - my shiniest article this year!
18 Jan, 2023 01:15

I think Blue-Tongue Madness is actually fairly sinister especially since the method of identification seems kinda of inconsistent. How big is three fingers? A child's hand? An adult's hand? Someone who is 6ft tall or 4ft. There's about a half foot of height difference in myself and my partner and three fingers for him is a good bit bigger than for me.   I don't think it's a negative to be clear especially since the way it's phrased makes it sound like this is still something fairly new in the lifetime of the world's existence. It could even be that mintonleaf is dangerous at all stages of growth and looks like normal mint in early stages and is as big as three average adult fingers wide in maturity. Overall super interesting!

18 Jan, 2023 12:52

Indeed! Very open to interpretation - I'm sure some folks will just avoid all mint-looking things entirely just to be safe!   Thanks for reading :D


Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
Latest Work:
Gauntlet - my shiniest article this year!
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