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Solanum Nigrum

In the Philippines the entire plant is boiled and used for food

USES.—In the Philippines the entire plant is boiled and used for food, with the precaution of pouring off the first 2 or 3 waters in which it is cooked, which contain an active principle capable of causing such disagreeable symptoms as vertigo and nausea. A decoction of the leaves serves to cleanse chronic sores and in fact improves their condition; it is also used as a lotion for various forms of dermatitis, for erysipelas and old burns.

The plant is narcotic, antispasmodic and like belladonna it dilates the pupil.

In India the decoction is given internally, 200–250 grams, for hypertrophy of the liver, and it is considered a good diuretic and alterative. For such uses they heat the above dose in a clay vessel till the color changes from green to brown, when it is cooled and given next day. Its action is diuretic and hydragogue-cathartic.

Mooden Sheriff recommends this treatment highly, and for dropsy further advises the aqueous extract, 12 grams during the day divided into 3 or 4 doses.

Small doses of 30–60 grams of the decoction prepared as above described, are of use in some chronic skin diseases such as psoriasis.

In 1821 Defosses, of Besançon, obtained solanine from the fruit, previously isolated from the S. Dulcamara.

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—A plant about 2° high, stem straight, 3–4-angled, with white dots. Leaves lanceolate. Flowers white, in 2-ranked racemes. Calyx inferior, 5 persistent teeth. Corolla, 5 petals somewhat down-curved. Berry small, black when ripe.

HABITAT.—Universally common. Blooms in January.

Reference book: The Medicinal Plants of the Philippines

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