Solanum nigrum also known as Black Nightshade plant or Makoi, is an annual herb of the potato family. It has an erect stem and grows 20 – 80 cm tall. The stem is glabrous, smoothly haired, or sparsely bristly.
Leaves are alternate and stalked. The fruit when ripe is 5-10 mm long, either black or green in colour. The flower is regular, with a white corolla. It has a deeply 5-lobed calyx that is fused and campanulate. The arrangement of the flowers and berries is umbelliform.
The 5-lobed corolla is fused and wheel-shaped. It has 5 stamen. The anthers form a conical group, and 2 fused carpels make up the gynoecium. The inflorescence is lax with 3-8 flowered cyme. It flowers from July to October.
It has the common name black nightshade. Other names include Small-fruited Black Nightshade, Wonder Berry, Petty Morel, garden huckleberry, Popolo, Makoi and Duscle.
Botanical Name or Family
The botanical name of this plant is Solanum nigrum. It belongs to the Solanaceae family.
Geological Area Where Black Nightshade Plant Grows
It grows natively in Eurasia. You can find it in Australia, Africa, America, and Asia. In India, it grows in Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Shimla. This common herb grows in the wild and is considered a weed for many crops such as cotton.
Solanum nigrum Medicinal Uses
People have used this plant in Greece back in the 1400s for medicinal purposes. In European medicine, it was used due to its powerful narcotic and sedative properties. It is also an analgesic, but due to its varying toxicity, western herbalism stopped its active use.
- Pain and inflammation: It has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that prove useful in the treatment of wounds and cuts. You can use it for cardiac pain.
- Testicular swelling: Heat the leaves and eat it. This will help you get relief from swelling of the testicles and inflamed scrotum.
- Ringworm: To remove the infestation, black nightshade berries and apply locally on the place where you see the ringworm.
- Gout: Since the Nightshade has good anti-inflammatory properties, people with gout will find relief by eating cooked or boiled nightshade.
- Ear pain: By having a decoction of the plant in water, one can get relief from ear pain.
- Liver complaints: In North India, people boil the leaves and have it to cure liver complaints. It helps flush the toxins out of the body. People with jaundice can be cured by eating the cooked leaves of the plant.
- Convulsions: For those who get convulsions often, inclusion of Solanum nigrum will help.
- Menstrual pain: During the times when women have menstrual pain, they must drink the juice of the plant three times a day. Once must continue to do this for one or two months at least.
- Burns: Make a paste of the plant and apply on the burns to get relief.
- Ulcers: The plant has good ulcer healing property. By consuming the plant in the form of a vegetable side dish, you get rid of the ulcers in the stomach. If you have ulcers in the mouth, make a paste of the leaves of the plant and keep it in your mouth for some time.
- Treat skin diseases: The plant proves useful in treating many diseases of the skin. If you have eruptions on the skin, you can use the paste of the plant as a salve. One can treat leprosy using the paste of Solanum nigrum.
- Diuretic: You can prepare a decoction by boiling the leaves and stem of the Solanum nigrum plant in water. If you drink this, it removes your problems with passing urine.
- Blood purifier: Have Nightshade regularly and see the enhancement in the quality of the blood.
- Anti-pyretic nature: This is one of the most popular use for this plant. It brings the fever down fast. You need to use it as a juice or cook the leaves and eat it. The sudorific effect helps by increasing the amount of sweat.
- Improve strength and vigour: To improve your physical stamina and vigour, you need to have Solanum nigrum continuously for a month.
- Narcotic property: Due to this, people have a liking for the plant. The sleep-inducing property proves useful for the older generation and those undergoing treatment for various ailments.
- Treat dropsy: One must have Solanum nigrum with Horehound. To improve the effectiveness, have this with wine.
- Good for canker: This has been used for a long time to treat canker sores. Just make a poultice and keep it on the sores.
- Use for herpes zoster: The poultice of the plant and its juice are used in the treatment of herpes zoster. It provides a soothing effect while reducing the inflammations and fever.
- Health tonic: It stimulates the appetite and adds to the strength of the person. One can add the leaves to the salads to prepare dishes.
- Treat asthma: This is an effective way to treat asthma. Boil the leaves and stem of the plant in water and have it twice a day. This will alleviate symptoms of asthma soon.
- Anti-cancer properties: Studies conducted in China on mice show that the plant has anti-cancer property. It stopped the progress of cervical carcinoma. This is because it has good anti-oxidant properties.
- Good for whooping cough: To treat whooping cough, one must have the decoction of the leaves twice a day.
- Removes excessive thirst: Many people remain afflicted by excessive thirst. Having cooked Nightshade will remove this symptom.
- Improve digestion: The plant improves the digestion and strengthen the stomach. You can cure many digestive problems by including Solanum nigrum in the diet.
- Relief from rheumatic pain: Applying the paste of the plant on the joints where one has pain will give you relief soon.
- Leucodermia treatment: People who exhibit leucodermia should use the paste of the leaves on the patches. This will help to alleviate the symptoms.
- Relief from flatulence: One may use the solanum nigrum to get relief from flatulence. Just drink the juice of the plant morning and night for two days.
- Relief from cough: Make a decoction from the black nightshade berries and flowers. This will help you get rid of coughs and colds.
- Cool infirmities: In European medicine, Solanum nigrum found a use for cooling infirmities.
Solanum nigrum is used for treatment in veterinary medicine. Some varieties of plants that resemble the Solanum nigrum are toxic and can kill cattle. So, care should be taken when collecting the plant.