Solanum nigrum is used for both culinary and medicinal purposes. It is a common herb found in wooded areas, and has many health benefits. The plant bears white flowers. The fruits are green when raw and turn purple black when they ripen. Another strain consists of berries that turn red when they ripen. The fruits grow in bunches. The leaves, stem and fruit are used for various ailments.
Botanical name - Solanum nigrum
Common name - Black nightshade; wonder berry
Hindi - Makoi
Tamil - Manathakkali
Health benefits of Solanum nigrum
Solanum nigrum is used as both food and medicine. It has a history of medicinal usage. In oriental medicine, it is considered to be anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, diuretic and antipyretic. The Chinese believe that it is an anti cancer agent and is good for cancers of the digestive system. It was a traditional European medicine for infirmities that needed cooling. It was considered good for cooling hot inflammation, ringworm, ulcers, testicular swelling, gout and ear pain. It was also used for treating convulsions. The Arabs used the bruised fresh leaves to erase pain and reduce inflammation. They also applied the poultice of the leaves to burns and considered it good for ulcers. In India the plant is noted for its antiseptic and anti-dysentric properties. Solanum nigrum's health benefits are many. The leaves are used in the treatment of fever and diarrhoea. It is also used to get quick relief from cough, cold and mouth ulcers. The fruits are used as a tonic and laxative. The boiled extracts of leaves and berries are used to alleviate liver related ailments. The juice from its roots is used for asthma and whooping cough.
Home remedies with Solanum nigrum
It is very good for mouth sores and ulcers. Make a juice with the leaves and gargle with it. Also chewing some leaves and keeping it in your mouth for sometime helps to heal mouth ulcers.
It is a diuretic and hence helps in the discharge of urine. A decoction made from the leaves and stem of the plant helps this purpose.
The leaves of the Solanum nigrum is a natural home remedy to treat digestive propblems. The juice of the leaves is good for flatulence, peptic ulcers and dysentry. An infusion of the plant is good for abdominal upsets.
The leaves and fruits are said to cure fever. A decoction made from fresh or dried leaves helps to reduce fever.
A paste made from the plant can be applied on burns to get relief.
It can also be applied as a poultice over rheumatic joints and for eruptive skin disorders.
The green berries can be mashed and massaged locally to treat ringworms.
Heat the leaves. This is an effective home remedy to get relief from inflamed scrotum and testicles.
A quarter cup of the juice of the leaf taken thrice a day for the duration of the period, relieves painful periods. This should be continued for a couple of cycles
A decoction of the berries and flowers of the Solanum nigrum is good for cough and cold.
Preserving the berries
Solanum nigrum flowers
The raw berries can be treated and preserved to be used when wanted. The following recipe is considered to be effective for acidity and gastric complaints. Pluck the raw berries. Mix curd/yogurt with salt to taste. Drop the berries in the curd mixture. Take the berries out of the curd and dry in the sun. At the end of the day, put it back in the curd mixture. Continue doing this till all the curd is absorbed and the berries are dry. These dry berries stay for long and can be used in recipes. To overcome acidity, fry these berries in clarified butter and mix in cooked rice and consume.
Disclaimer: The content found in this website is for informational purposes only, and is in no way intended as medical advice or as a substitute for medical counseling. Consult a doctor or naturopath before making any changes to your diet.