The Heart Shaped Herb gifts those who are allowed to use it with "super-normal" abilities granted by the Panther god. The user gains enhanced speed, agility, strength, endurance, healing and senses. All of these attributes are raised to enhanced-human/slightly-superhuman levels. With the enhanced senses provided by the Heart Shaped Herb, a person can see in complete and total darkness, can track someone across a continent by smell, and can hear the breathing and heartbeats of enemies. The Heart Shaped Herb also creates a connection between the person and the Panther God, the deity worshiped in Wakanda.
The only people allowed to have the power of the Heart Shaped Herb are those chosen to be the Black Panther. To become the Black Panther, a warrior must defeat the current Black Panther and after that, fight 6 of Wakanda's best warriors (each more than a man for any normal man) all at once. After this they must complete several other tasks to prove their worthiness and increase their physical prowess and spiritual strength. After all these tasks have been completed, the warrior is allowed to undergo the ritual a ritual where they have the juices of the Heart Shaped Herb applied to his body. It is said that anyone not worthy or of noble blood would not survive the process.
How It Works
After T'Challa (the current Black Panther) had some of his scientists study the Herb to tell him how it worked. This is what they said: "The poultice stimulated and accentuated the human being's kinesthetic sense. The kinesthetic sense is the subliminal perception that allows human beings to close their eyes, yet know where the different parts of their bodies are. If you didn't have this sense, you couldn't pick your nose or wash your hair if your eyes weren't open. The poultice, plus the stimuli of rigorous theological and physical training, heightened your kinesthetic sense. It heightens the proprioceptors (the proprioceptive system processes the orientation sense to the brain) and perceptions in your body. That is how you sense where a tree limb or a building edge is, know exactly where it is and never have a moment's doubt that your fingers will close about it...The sacred anointment poultice has a second effect on your muscles and ligaments, specifically on the joints where bones connect and swivel, mesh and respond. There are receptors in these joints called the Pacinian corpuscles that carry the signal to the brain to fulfill proper movement. Somehow the poultice is absorbed into those receptors and makes them especially sensitive...This is what enables you to twist and dodge with unparalelled grace."