Bitter Vetch, Heath Pea Technology / Science in Caledonia | World Anvil
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Bitter Vetch, Heath Pea

In times of hunger and famine the clans of Albion turn to a curious plant to stave off hunger pangs and thirst. The bitter vetch or heath pea is a common pulse typically found growing along hedgerows, grassland and forest margins.    The plant is gathered up whenever found and prepared by extracting the tubers and drying them out for storage. When the annual grain harvest is poor or winter supplies run short the clansfolk turn to the heath pea as an appetite suppressant. Just a tiny amount of this plant will suffice to make anyone who had eaten it feel as though they had feasted on a large meal, some even claiming it's effects lasting for days. Although they derive very little nutrition from the heath pea it tricks the mind into thinking it has had its fill of sustenance and prevents the hunger that can often lead to drastic actions to satiate the appetite. The heath pea is more often than not taken on campaign when the clans go raiding or off on long hunts in case of emergency.    Bitter vetch is a perennial plant characterized by its deep purple flowers that turn blue with age. Flowering early in the summer producing seed pods of up to ten seeds. Although it is the tubers that are harvested and dried for preservation and consumption it is these seed pods that gives the Bitter Vetch its coloquial  name "Heath Pea"   Heath Pea is often sought after to be sumggled into prisions as a source of sustenance for those who have been taken captive. Being small and easily concealed it's thought to be the perfect gift for those held captive for prolonged periods or being forced to hunger as a form of interrogation. That much so with regards to the remarkable medicinal properties of the Bitter Vetch.

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