"A Private Little War" is a second-season episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, first broadcast February 2, 1968 and repeated on August 23, 1968. It is episode #48, production #45, with the screenplay written by Gene Roddenberry, based on a story by Jud Crucis, and directed by Marc Daniels.
Overview: The crew of the Enterprise discovers Klingon interference in the development of a formerly peaceful planet and joins them in what becomes an arms race.
The mahko root is a plant native to the planet Neural. It is the only known cure for the poisonous bite of the deadly Mugato, and then only when properly administered by a female shaman of Neural's Hill People known as the Kahn-ut-tu. The treatment is highly ritualized.
The ritual involves the beating of drums and chanting of certain incantations as the shaman creates a wound in her own hand, takes hold of the mahko root against the wound, then presses it against the victim's wound. The root then seems to move of its own power as it draws the toxin out. It may act as a filter between the two circulatory systems to help screen out the poison. It is unknown if the ritual itself has anything to do with the healing processes, but the root certainly has an effect of cleansing the body.The episode suggest that this is more just simply,in that moves by itself and more than just a normal plant-more like an animal and thats why it can do what it can do,because smarter than normal roots.
Incidentally, the ritual also acts as a pseudo-marriage ceremony between the victim and the administering Kahn-ut-tu shaman, as the victim now owes the shaman his or her life. (Template:TOS)