Nightshade plant description
It is an annual or perennial plant can be seen as herbs or small tree. Its leaves are either simple, or pinnately compound. The entire plant is covered with prickles. The flowers are generally white, yellow or purple and the fruit is berry in nature. Nightshade comes under the family of solanaceae, which comprises of more than 2300 species. Nightshade is generally associated with deadly poisonous species, but many of its species are eatable like potato, tomato, egg plant, etc.
Medicinal uses of nightshade
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- Stomach irritation
- Skin inflammation
Side effects of nightshade
Because of the presence of solanin toxic substance, some precautions should be taken before taking doses.
- It should be strictly avoided in case of pregnancy
- Breast feeding mother should also avoid it.
- Breathing problem
- Irregular heart beat
- Legs and arms twitching
- Even one can go to coma.
Health benefits of nightshade
The entire nightshade plant including its leaves, roots and fruits are used for medicinal purposes and used in case of stomach related issues like stomach irritation, cramps, spasm, pain and nervousness. Black nightshade is also used in skin related problems like psoriasis, hemorrhoids and abscesses. The leaves are supposed to be beneficial in case of inflammation, burns and ulcers.
Doses of nightshade
As far as doses are concerned, it depends upon sex, age, health condition, etc. However, before taking any doses of the medicinal plant for a health condition, it is recommended that a physician should be consult.
Story behind deadly nightshade
Since centuries, deadly nightshade is known for its tale like beauty, life and death. In the past, the Venetian women like to use it as a beautifying agent to give their skin blush like appearance. It was also used as to dilate women’s pupil. But the other side of the plant is also its toxic and poisonous nature. The lethalness of the plant is because of the presence of bio-chemical substances like atropine and scopolamine. Even a small amount of it can lead to paralysis, hallucination, delirium, confusion, convulsion and death. It is also used to treat variety of illnesses viz. pain reliever, muscle relaxer, anti-inflammatory, whooping cough and hay fever.
Nightshade eatable food
Though, it has numerous species. But some of its list is eatable.
- Ground cherries
- Pepino melons
- Cayenne pepper
The tropane alkaloids present in Belladonna are used as poison. In the early times, people used the paste of it on the tip of arrow to target the enemy.