Synsepalum dulcificum, better known as the miracle fruit plant, produces berries that are known to cause a startling effect after consumed. A person who eats these berries will taste sour foods to be sweet upon subsequent consumption, with this effect lasting up to one hour. The evergreen bush that produces these small red berries is native to West Africa, where the explorer Chevalier des Marchais discovered it in 1725.
Synsepalum dulcificum seeds are widely available, especially on the Internet. One can acquire these seeds and grow their own miracle fruit. The plant requires an acidic soil and should be germinated in a small container, such as an egg carton. For the plant to thrive, it should be kept in moist soil away from direct sunlight. As it is a rain forest plant, it prefers very hot and humid environments. It may take up to two weeks for the seeds to germinate.
As of 2010, scientists are not entirely sure how Synsepalum dulcificum makes sour foods taste sweet, but many theories are tossed about. They do know, however, that this miracle fruit’s ability can have worrying side effects. For example, after eating a berry, a sour liquid like vinegar will taste unusually sweet, but drinking a glass of such an acidic liquid is not recommended. The same can be said for spicy foods and harmful chemicals. In rare cases, the taste buds of one’s tongue are altered for nearly an entire day instead of just one hour.