nightshade family

Humans are weird: diet edition

So I’ve seen a lot of posts going around in the tag about humans eating hot sauce and drinking alcohol, and those are super neat. But we can take it up a notch. Because the fact is, the diversity and tolerance of the human diet is OBNOXIOUS, even by Earth standards.

Building off of the fact that people eat hot sauce- we actually eat a lot of spices. Yes, that means pepper, cumin, paprika, and other things we consider “hot” and “spicy”. But this category also includes things like vanilla and nutmeg, which are sweet, and peppermint, which creates a cold sensation. If you expand your seasonings to include herbs, we can also consider things like lavender, rosemary, and sage. Now, most of these have something in common besides being popular seasonings. The compounds producing flavor are intended to be defensive mechanisms against herbivory. That’s right. We eat plants actively producing toxic and deterrent compounds all the time, plants that other animals won’t touch, not for sustenence, but for FLAVOR.

There are furthermore actual foods, including staple crops, that we do eat for sustenance that are toxic or deterrent to other animals. Read: tomatoes and potatoes. Along with eggplants and peppers, these are members of the nightshade family. You know what else is a member of the nightshade family? NIGHTSHADE, one of the deadliest plants on earth. Also, tobacco and belladonna. Nightshade plants invariably produce some form of alkaloid, which is usually bitter and can have metabolic or neurological effects on the body. Most animals that prey on members of the nightshade family are specialists adapted to tolerating whatever alkaloids are in their plant of choice. But humans? Nah, we can just eat anything.

We can tolerate an incredible range of acidity in our food, too. Do you know what citric acid is on the pH scale? 2. Of course, in the fruit or in juice the solution incorporating it is diluted closer to 3, but that’s still orders of magnitude more acidic than neutral water, which is a 7, and more acidic than our own stomach acid by a factor of 10.

Also, pineapple produces lysomic enzymes that literally digest you back. The enzymes break down the lining of your mouth as you eat them. That’s why pineapple makes your mouth tingly. But humans, we don’t care.

Let’s not forget, finally, that a sizable subset of the population is able to digest milk from an entirely different organism. And a good portion of the rest, the lactose intolerant humans, ingest milk products anyway because they taste good. We do this despite that fact that no other adult creature drinks milk, let alone from a source outside their own species.

Edit: It has come to my attention that stomach acid does not in fact have a pH of 4, it has a pH of 1.5-3.

“Potter’s Asthma Cigarettes - For the relief of Asthma Attacks and other Spasmatic affections of the repiratory tract.”

Asthma cigarettes didn’t contain tobacco, but crushed and dried herbs from the nightshade family of plants called solanaceae. Indian Hemp and Cannabis are similar herbs that were also included in some brands. These herbs typically contained an alkaloid called Atropine that causes mild bronchodilation, making breathing easier. The demand for these special cigarettes remained strong until the inhaler was introduced as an alternative.

Mandrake, mandragora autumnalis

The mandragora autumnalis is from the nightshade family solanaceae. It is a hardy perennial herb that can grow up to a height of 10 centimeters, and is native to the south-eastern Mediterranean region. This magical plant is highly useful but deadly, and has been cultivated by witches and wizards for hundreds of years.

When unearthed from the ground, the tuberous human like roots emit a high pitched wail that is fatal to all who hear it. The younger, less mature plants are less likely to cause death, and instead their scream can cause unconsciousness in the victim. When growing young mandrake, it is good to observe the plants growth closely. When the mandrake plants start acting secretive and moody, it is sign that the plants are close to full maturity. 


Last in the Harry Potter magical plants botanical illustrations that I’ve been working on. The others can be found in my herbology tag.

An Introduction to Growing Poisonous Plants

As a blog focused mostly on Witchcraft, I usually get asks and messages from people interested in that area of my knowledge. However I’m also a herbalist and a moderately keen gardener, and so I occasionally get people asking for that. In this instance, a user messaged me asking for advice on how to start growing plants, and she specified that she’s most interested in poisonous species. So here’s a post for you, and for all of the other beginner herbalists, Witches, gardeners or simply people who like poisonous things!

1) The key word is plants

All vascular plants, irrespective of their toxicity, habitat or traits, share between them traits that are common to all plants everywhere. These are mostly:

  1. They need sunlight.
  2. They need water.
  3. They need food.
  4. They need carbon dioxide and oxygen from the air
  5. They need to breed

The quantities of each, the proportion of each, and the types of each may vary wildly, but ALL plants need ALL five of them. Some plants have evolved some rather interesting mechanisms to obtain them, but if you don’t provide them with at least the first four (the last one is, in captivity, less important for most plants) they will not survive. Learn what requirements your chosen species require. Do they need dappled sun or full sun? Is tapwater acceptable or must they only be given rainwater? What foods do they need in their soil? Make sure you provide them!

2) Poisonous plants are poisonous!

I know, I know, it seems obvious but then again so did “don’t smoke in the fireworks factory” and some bright spark still went and did that. Remember that if you are specifically growing a species that is poisonous, it may well require specialist treatments to safely grow and tend. Oleander is a common ornamental species, but all parts of it are potentially very poisonous and so it should only be pruned wearing long sleeves and gloves. Foxgloves are beautiful biennials but they also contain the lethal poison digitalis, used as a heart medicine in very, VERY precise dosages, and so they must be kept away from fires of any kind. 

Research CAREFULLY what kind of poisons your plants produce and make very certain to familiarise yourself with:

  • Preventative methods to avoid exposure
  • Symptoms of accidental poisoning
  • Your local poisons hotline number
  • The first aid procedures for exposure
  • Methods to avoid pets or young children being exposed

Most poisonous plants are not lethal, but even non-lethal levels of poisoning can be potentially devastating to those with liver or kidney issues, or to young children or small animals. 

3) Practice on nontoxic plants first

Your first plants should never be any species that are potentially poisonous, purely because you’re unfamiliar with the care of potentially delicate plant species and you’re likely to make mistakes. Think of it like working in a chemistry lab - we don’t give beginners arsenic to work with in their first experiments, because we know they’re not aware of all the safety protocols and correct treatment of arsenic. Similarly, your first plants should never be belladonna or hemlock - instead, stick to plants that are well-known to be non-toxic. 

It may be a good idea to practice on plants related to your target species first, and then move on to more toxic examples later. For instance, instead of starting with belladonna, start out with tomatoes (a kind of nightshade), then move up to non-poisonous nightshades, and then try a more mildly toxic nightshade like woody nightshade, before finally planting deadly nightshade. Since many toxic plants are connected to the nightshade family, this is a good way to get used to that family before planting hensbane, deadly nightshade, and similar plants. 

Mandrakes (Mandragora officinalis) often grow in the same environments as wild beetroot and chicory, so these plants would be excellent starters although they’re not really related. 

Basically, look up plants that grow around your intended species, and practice on those before moving up to the more dangerous examples.

4) Prevent cross-pollination

All gardeners know the pain of growing two species together that are just a little TOO closely related, and ending up with weird hybrids all over the place. Plants are very big on “cross-pollination” - when one species pollinates a different species, causing the growth of an entirely new variety of plant. This is often beneficial: water-mint and spearmint hybridise to form the delicious but sterile peppermint, for example. However, with poisonous plants, cross-pollination could result in new varieties of poisonous plants being produced that could escape into the wild and become dangerous or invasive. So, manage cross-pollination!

5) Keep them away from bees

Many poisonous chemicals can be passed into honey through bees’ collection of nectar and pollen, or alternatively will simply kill bees who attempt to eat the nectar outright. For instance, the popular ornamental plant “Angel’s Trumpet” will cause brood-death in bees, and oleander poisons will concentrate in honey and potentially harm both bees and humans. However, not all plants are so dangerous - foxgloves are extremely toxic to humans, but bees adore them and the honey produced from foxgloves is pleasant and safe. As a general rule though, keep toxic plants away from anywhere with an interest in promoting bee health! 

Rhododendrons are apparently especially harmful to bees, and honey made from bog-rosemary (Andromeda polifolia, unrelated to true rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis) is very poisonous to humans who consume it, potentially causing paralysis, dizziness, nerve damage, diarrhoea and vomiting. Not fun!

6) Work out how you’re going to store the products

It’s always good to know how you’re going to keep your products safe and secure after production to prevent people getting them confused for more innocent substances. Also, remember that you should never burn poisonous plant matter!

I hope that helps you all!

– Juniper Wildwalk

Hex and Curse Breaking

Note, there are hundreds of other methods and ingredients. This is merely a selection I’ve used personally. Some come from sources and some I’ve just come up with on my own. The numbers denote which sources the item comes from (well, I tired. I’m sure I missed one or two but you get the idea)

Herbs and ingredients to help break curses:

  • Cayenne pepper (2, 3)
  • Black pepper (2, 3)
  • Chamomile (2)
  • West Indian Elm (2)
  • Salt (2, 3)
  • Ash (1, 2, 3)
  • Bamboo (2, 3)
  • Willow (1, 2, 3)
  • Rue (2, 3)
  • Oak (1, 2, 3)
  • Hazel (1, 2, 3)
  • Angelica root (2, 3)
  • Sweet flag/calamus (2, 3)
  • Licorice root (2, 3)
  • Peppermint (2, 3)
  • Vetiver (2, 3)
  • Sandalwood (2, 3)
  • Frankincense (2, 3)
  • Myrrh (2, 3)
  • Agrimony (2)
  • Deadly nightshade (poisonous) or related family (2, 3)
  • Dragon’s blood (2)
  • Ginseng (2)
  • Mullein (2, 3)
  • Citrus (lemon, limes, oranges, etc) (2, 3)
  • Bay leaves (2, 3)
  • Rosemary (3)
  • Basil (3)
  • Hydrangea (2, 3)
  • Cinquefoil / Five finger grass (2, 3)
  • Mandrake (2, 3)
  • Wisteria (2, 3)
  • Stinging nettle (2, 3) (caution)
  • Blackthorn (2, 3)
  • Mugwort (2, 3)
  • Wormwood (2, 3)
  • Broken chains (2, 3)
  • Iron (1, 2, 3, 4)
  • White candles (2, 3, 4)
  • Black candles (2, 3, 4)
  • Fire (1, 2, 3, 4)
  • Living bodies of water (2, 3, 4)
  • War Water (2, 3)

General non-specific methods to break hexes or curses

  • Take a bath with any of the above non-poisonous herbal ingredients (4)
  • Burn incense or herbs with any of the above non-poisonous herbal ingredients (4)
  • Infuse water with any of the above herbal ingredients and wash the home with it. (4)
  • Infuse oil with any of the above herbal ingredients and coat objects and areas of the home with it. (4)
  • Go to the ocean stand in the water while the sun rises. The waves should hit you as many times as you need to feel better and cleansed (3). Some sources say the waves should hit you seven times (2)
  • Make a poppet or sympathetic image of the curser

Sources: 1- Crone’s Book of Magical Words by Valerie Worth (page 89), 2- The Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells by Judika Illes (page 594-), 3-personal experience, 4- general advice that just makes sense and may appear in any and all sources but may not have been specifically seen in the above sources

Foodie Friday: Pasta al Pomodoro

Servings: 2-4

-¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
-1 medium onion, minced
-4 garlic cloves, minced
-Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
-28 oz. can peeled tomatoes, pureed
-Kosher or Sea salt
-3 large basil sprigs, plus basil leaves for garnish
-12 oz pasta of choice (spaghetti, linguine, rotini, or cavatappi recommended)
-2 tbsp unsalted butter
-¼ cup finely grated parmesan, pecorino, or romano cheese

1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until soft. In a separate pot, bring salted water to a boil.

2. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for about 2-4 minutes (remember to use your nose and keep close attention on fragrance; you don’t want the garlic to burn)

3. Add the pepper flakes and cook for about a minute to release flavor. Increase the heat to medium, add t he tomatoes, and season lightly with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce begins to thicken slightly and the flavors blend (roughly 20 minutes).

4. Remove the pan from heat, stir in the basil sprigs, and set aside.

5. In the pot, add pasta to the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally until it is close to al dente (but not quite there yet). Drain the pasta, reserving about ½ a cup of the pasta water.

6. Remove the basil from the sauce and heat the skillet over high heat. Stir in the reserved water to loosen the sauce and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring, until al dente. Remove the pan from the heat, add butter and cheese, and toss until the cheese and butter has melted.

7. Transfer to warm bowls, and garnish with grated cheese and basil leaves or parsley.

Magical Ingredient

When I get home from work, my boyfriend sometimes comments about how I smell. As I work in an Italian kitchen, this can either be a good thing or a bad thing for him. On a good day, I end up smelling like alfredo with a hint of garlic. On a bad day, I come home smelling strongly of tomatoes. Love them or hate them, it’s difficult to separate the tomato from Italian cooking. From savory to sweet, tomatoes have a wonderful range of flavor depending upon how they’re cooked, and they lend a vibrant red color to whatever dish they’re being made into.

Given how strong of an association tomatoes have to Italian cuisine, it’s sometimes easy to forget that historically, tomatoes are actually fairly new to European cooking, having been introduced as part of the Columbian Exchange and spurned because of its status as a member of the nightshade family of plants, much like potatoes and eggplant. It wouldn’t be for another 150 years before tomatoes would be considered safe for consumption, and even then, only in sauces.

Part of the fear of tomatoes was because of its link to deadly nightshade, but another aspect of this fear was due to its connection to lust. Its deep red color and use as a powerful aphrodisiac linked it rather strongly to the temptation of Eve in the Christian Genesis story, and some languages still associate tomatoes with lust and love (particularly French - pomme d’amore - and Hungarian - paradice appfel - which mean “apple of love” and “apple of paradise” respectively).

In terms of health, tomatoes are extremely beneficial for those who aren’t allergic or sensitive to their acidity. In particular, they’re useful in aiding liver function and are rich in potassium and citric acid. In addition, their high water content makes them useful in helping with hydration.

But in witchcraft, the tomato continues to embrace its status as an ingredient of lust, love, protection, and money-drawing - especially when paired with other ingredients with shared correspondences. When dried and added to sachets, tomatoes can be excellent in attracting love (or sex), or if added along with dried basil or rosemary can be a great money sachet or protection sachet respectively.

Consider pairing tomato varieties with your purpose. If attempting to attract money, consider using a golden variety or little green tomatillos. If working lust or love spells, plump red tomatoes are always a great choice. If looking for protection, consider fiery orange colors.

Many names for tomatoes have linked them to apples. As such, it’s not too great a leap to replace apples in other spells with tomatoes, if it seems appropriate or is more accessible. On the flip side, tomatoes can also be used in spells where nightshade may be an ingredient. While not poisonous, tomatoes are much more easily obtained and the family resemblance is rather uncanny.

For garden witchery, tomatoes are exceptional plants to grow for protection and wealth. Grow them to help banish negativity and invite positive energy to the property, as well as to encourage prosperity and love.

Consider different ways in which this delicious fruit can be used in your spells! Whether cooking up a sauce, roasting them, or setting them in the window to banish negative energy, tomatoes are useful and versatile ingredients for the every day witch!

May all your meals be blessed! )O(

Dollar Store Magick (Part 1)

I’m not going to pretend, being a witch can be pretty hard on the wallet, so here’s a few tips for those of us who are, to put it bluntly, poor. All of the tips here can either be bought at your average dollar store, thrift store, or around your house.

~Use shoe laces instead of chord. I can’t stress how much getting one of those dollar packs of 12 or so shoe laces at the dollar store can help you so much in magick. Bonus:They usually come in a mix of white and black and of varying length!

~Grab one of those 20 packs of birthday candles while you’re at it. Multicolored, burn quickly, and if you ever have a birthday you forgot about you already have them on hand!

~Those little box sewing kits that contain needle, thread, buttons, pins, etc are practically portable alters. Just take out the thimble and replace it with a stone and put a candle in there, then boom you’ve got a mini-altar. Plus, wardrobe malfunction? No problem. Hemming dresses and casting spells all while heading to that cocktail party.

~Use old clothes, those shoe laces, and that sewing kit and make your own sachets! They don’t have to be the prettiest or most well sewn, they just have to be able to hold your ingredients, plus now you get to choose if you want patterns! Reusing old clothes AND making your own sachets, I see no loss.

~Got a pillow you need to throw out? Save back some of the stuffing! Now you can take that sewing kit and some more old clothes and make poppets. Plus, if it’s one of those feather pillows you can use those lovely down feathers in so many spells I could write a whole other post about it!

~Need spell jars/bottles? Save back jars from things like pickles and peanut butter! A bit of soaking and scrubbing and that label comes right off. Saving the environment AND stocking up on supplies.

~Got old tomatoes? Plant them! Tomatoes are some of the easiest plants to grow and they do well in most climates. A little known fact about Tomato is that it is a member of the nightshade family, so it is great for any harmful magicks. Plus, free tomatoes!

~Work with sigils? Grab some of those little boxes of chalk, either multicolored or all white, and write your sigils with those then wipe away in one smooth motion. Plus, you can draw those little pictures of sunsets like you did in kindergarten.

~Need an athame? Use a kitchen knife, there are PLENTY of ones to choose from, including ones with a wooden handle you can inscribe with symbols and things of the like.

~Need a chalice? Grab one of those cheep wine glasses, or two so you can use one to hold offerings or to hold water if you work with the elements. Personally, I’ll use a wine glass to hold coins during money or prosperity spells, dirt with a seed for growth or new beginnings, salt water for purification, even incense in a pinch.

Part 2

Price of Freedom Ch 8

Here it is! Another chapter of “Price of Freedom”! Once again thank you so much for all the support and love you guys are giving this fanfic! I really cannot express how much this means to me! ^^

Here we go!

P.S: Ugh, writing Werner was so hard!

CH 8

It was fairly easy to find where Werner Werman lived after the visit to Rumor Honeybottoms. It was she who pointed out the way to his living area and Specter was surprised to find it very close, just a block away. Going up the front steps of the front door of the house, Specter knocked on the door and waited for someone to answer. After waiting a few minutes with no answer, Specter raised a fist to knock again when he heard a crash coming from the backyard.

Curious, Specter floated down the steps and headed over towards the direction of the noise which was coming from the backyard. Going over the fence Spec saw a rat with his back turned against him, leaning down and picking up several mechanical parts from the ground while simultaneously grumbling to himself. What caught Specter’s eye was the rat’s outfit of lederhosen and a metal helmet. This must be the rat.

Specter floated in closer and cleared his throat. “Mr. Werman?”

The rat suddenly flung himself on the ground and covered his head, yelling, “I VAS NEVER INSIDE ZE DEVIL’S CASINO!”  

Keep reading

i think i’ve mentioned before that there’s a line in the fo4 art book which makes a big deal about there being no plant life in the commonwealth that hasn’t been touched and changed by radiation which is like, fine, whatever

but god, tadd halvard, you fool, why did you decide that apples don’t exist.

they’re snacking on fresh apples and pears - pears! - over on the west coast and the ncr are dealing with recovering and rehabilitating a totally hosed water table and a skullfucked ecological balance all across california. meanwhile you’ve got your people scrabbling in the dirt for a nightshade family hybrid that the locals basically describe as completely inedible and some lumpy purple fruit that maccready rubbed his unfortunately shaped penis against.

it’s weird enough that there’s no domestic farm animals other than brahmin when, again, those west coast fuckers are wearing knitted ugly xmas sweaters made from the finest ornery bighorner wool.

my fav bit about jumping into a new bit of fallout media is looking at what people are cultivating in the game and extrapolating that into what kind of food they’re preserving, cooking and eating. like, after two hundo and change surly someone came back from a trading trip with some mealy old apples in the saddlebag, threw the seeds in the back mudpit and realised that they could get some tart granny smiths in a few years.

(also i’ll never forget the delightful time that a Canon Literalist said that it would be impossible to have butter, milk or cheese because there were no in-game consumables for them AND most home fridges don’t really work all that well without maintenance, despite the fact you can point to cultures all around the world stretching back lit thousands of pre-westinghouse years eating a whole bunch of various quick or aged cheeses, delicious butter, and chugging on milk).

Belladonna Farm (Part 1)

Yay! The first part of my new Nessian series! This will be a seven part fic and will have a couple aesthetic boards to go with it. 

Fun Fact: The setting for this fic is a real place that I have been to and took pictures of for the aesthetics. Everything about it is 100% true except for the mountains (which I added because Illyrians).

Please let me know what you guys think! 

Tagging: @aelinxfeyre @rowanismybae (let me know if you want to be added to this tag list!)

Aesthetic Board 1



1. also called deadly nightshade. a poisonous plant, Atropa belladonna, or the nightshade family, having purplish-red flowers and blackberries

2. Italian for ‘beautiful lady’


Nesta checks her phone again, squinting as she tries to understand the directions the stupid GPS app is telling her. She is pretty sure that it is completely wrong. After all, the last town is twenty miles back, and all around her are corn fields, with a small mountain range situated behind them. The road she is currently driving on is paved, but has many potholes, and the closest neighbors are several kilometers apart. Surely her late Aunt Ripleigh - who had loved to talk all day if she had an audience - wouldn’t want to live all the way out here in the middle of nowhere.

Of course, that may as well have been Nesta’s city heart talking. She could never imagine staying in a place like this for a long period of time, corn fields surrounding you, the sun beating down constantly. As it is, she has the air conditioning blasting in her car and the humidity is still getting to her hair. Not that she has anyone to impress. Nesta briefly feels a bit grateful for a week with no one around. Maybe she won’t even do her makeup while she’s staying here. Wherever here is.

As she continues to drive down the dull, straight road, Nesta once again curses the circumstances that put her here. Of course, she has no one to blame, because she can’t very well blame her dead great aunt for naming her in her will. Although Nesta fiercely wants to be angry that Aunt Ripleigh had decided that she should be the one given the farm house at the base of a mountain.

Keep reading

Tobacco and Witchcraft

🎆Hi lovelies! I hope your are all having a beautiful day/night!! Today I wanted to share with you some ways that I use tobacco in my witchy practice.

🎆Here are some basic facts about tobacco:

🌱 It is a member of the Nightshade family

🌱 Gender- masculine

🌱 Planet- Mars

🌱 Element- Fire

🌱 Most known for healing and purifying.

🎆Ways to use tobacco:

🌱 Vaping! I personally vape now, though I used to smoke cigarettes. I find this is much better for multiple reasons (smell being the main one). But for witchy reasons, it’s amazing because I can change the flavor of my vape juice to go with my intention! Want to bring something good into my life, smoke something sweet!!

🌱 Grounding! My therapist would not like me saying this, but it truly helps me. Smoking before meditation or during even, really helps me focus and stay present.

🌱 On that same note, I also smoke before and after divination to help ground myself

🌱 Cleansing! Tobacco smoke can be used to cleanse a space. I personally don’t do this, but have heard of some.

🌱 Setting aside! What I mean by this is kinda what I said about meditating and grounding. Set aside time out of your day just to smoke. Buy yourself that new juice you want. Be alone in nature and enjoy it’s fruits.

🌱 Use the plant!!! Use the plant itself in a spell jar or in a charm! It is great to bring about healing!

🎆I really hope this made sense and that this have you some ideas! My favorite ways are too match my intent and ground! What ways do you like to use tobacco in your practice!?


I am in no way shape or form saying you should use tobacco! There are many ways you can can similar effects from different things!! However, if you are like me and already use, I thought this would come in handy! Please do not use if underage!


I really hope y'all enjoyed and that y'all are having a beautiful day/night!

Love and light

Cait ✌️

Eat Your Veggies

In honor of my impending broke university student status, here are some vegetable etymologies from someone about to be too poor to buy meat. (Also too grossed out to cook it.) 

Tomato: I love tomatoes. Many people don’t, because all they have eaten are terrible mealy, watery specimens that fast food restaurants like to pass off as tomatoes, which is an insult to their good name. (Also, everyone currently whining about how tomatoes are a fruit, vegetables are an arbitrary category entirely made up of things that are other things but are grouped together for culinary reasons. This includes tomatoes.) The word comes from Spanish tomate, (it was originally “tomate” in English as well, the spelling and pronunciation were probably inspired by “potato”.) The Spanish word came from Nahuatl word tomatl. Tomatoes were initially regarded solely as an ornamental plant in England and the US because their membership in the nightshade family made people fear they were poisonous. 

Potato: The name comes from Carib batata, referring to the sweet potato, which quickly spread to Europe and Africa through the Colombian Exchange. A few decades later, after the European discovery of the white potato in Peru, the name was applied to those as well. Incidentally, the German word for potato, kartoffel, comes from an Italian word meaning “truffle.” Similarly, the French word, pomme de terrre, means “earth apple.” (Everything is apples.) 

Cucumber: From Latin cucumis, the original root is probably a pre-Italic Mediterranean language. The Old English word for cucumbers was eorthaeppla, or “earth apple” (Everything is apples.) Fun Fact: the saying “cool as a cucumber” comes from the fact that the inside of a cucumber is generally about 30 degrees F cooler than the outside. This phenomenon has been observed for millennia and has subsequently been confirmed by modern scientific testing. 

Carrot: Carrot came into English from Middle French carrotte, from Latin carota. The PIE root is likely -ker, meaning “horn”, probably in reference to their shape. (While most modern-day carrots are single, straight tubers, any amateur gardener will tell you that carrots often grow into all sorts of funky shapes, sometimes with multiple prongs that resemble horns or antlers.) In ancient times, the word referred to both carrots and parsnips (European carrots were white and strongly resembled parsnips in look if not in taste.) The now-ubiquitous orange carrot probably began as a mutation of the Asian purple carrot, which was introduced to Europe by Arabs around the 11th century. In 16- and 1700′s England, the word was often used to refer to people with red hair, usually as part of the nickname “carrot top.”