Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Solanum nigrum L.

Family : Solanaceae

Synonym(s) : Solanum americanum sensu Trimen

English Name : Black Nightshade

Origin :Eurasia


It grows about a foot and much branched, generally making a bushy-looking mass. It varies much according to the conditions of its growth, both as to the amount of its dull green foliage and the size of its individual leaves, which are egg-shaped and stalked, the outlines bluntly notched or waved. The stem is green and hollow. The flowers are arranged in clusters at the end of stalks springing from the main stems at the intervals between the leaves, not, as in the Bittersweet, opposite the leaves. They are small and white, resembling those of Bittersweet in form, and are succeeded by small round berries, green at first, but black when ripe.


Cultivated fields and wastelands of the more arid parts of India; also. it has been reported in tropical parts of India and can be found all over the world (it is common in southern Great Britain).

Parts Used : Root, leaf, fruit, flower, stem and plant

Herb Effects

Antiperiodic, analgesic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatoryantiphlogistic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emollient, febrifuge, narcotic, purgative, sedative, vasodilator (plant); diuretic (leaf).

Active Ingredients

Solanine (fruit); alpha and beta-solamargine, beta-sitosterol, riboflavin, solamargine, solasonine, tannin, tigogenin (plant); furostanol, spirostanol and glycosides (root and stem); diosgenin, solasodine (fruit); ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, citric acid, thiamin (leaf); linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid (seed).

Medicinal Use

Hemorrhoids, liver problems (including cirrhosis), as an emollient, eye-diseases, rat poisoning, skin diseases, oedema, cough, urticarial patches, for achieving conception and to relieve from difficult labour and as a rejuvinative(plant); used externally ease pain and abate inflammation, and are applied to burns and ulcers (fresh leaves); for ringworm, gout and earache, and mixed with vinegar, is said to be good as a gargle and mouthwash (leaf juice); used externally as a poultice, wash etc in the treatment of cancerous sores, boils, leucoderma and wounds (leaves, stem and root); as an analgesic for toothaches (fruit juice).


Infusion of 1-2 grains


  1. Alexander RF, Forbes GB, Hawkins ES (1948-09-11). "A Fatal Case of Solanine Poisoning". Br Med J. 2 (4575): 518.
  2. Chandel et al., Biodiversity in Medicinal and Aromatic Plants in India.
  3. Nancy J Turner, Adam F Szczawinski, "Common Poisonous Plants and Mushrooms of North America" p.128.
  4. The Himalaya Drug Company.
  5. Uniyal et al., Medicinal Flora of Garhwal Himalayas.

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