Nightshade is bittersweet

Solanum dulcamara L.

The nightshade family is Solanaceae


What does it look like? Perennial subshrub with long, twisted stems. The leaves are petiolate, ovate-oblong, upper, at the base, with two small lobes (ears). The flowers are purple, on long peduncles, collected in panicles. Blooms in June – September. Berries are ovoid, bright red.

Where does it grow? Throughout the territory of Ukraine, on peaty, moist soils, among shrubs, along the banks of rivers.

What is prepared? Herbaceous stems, biennial, with leaves and green berries, during flowering.

When is it used? The leaves and berries of nightshade contain the poisonous glycoalkaloid solanine and the poisonous glycoside dulcamarin. Similar in action to saponins, solanine, solanidine and solanein in small doses strengthen the work of the heart, increase the amplitude and slow down the rate of heart contractions. In joint disease, chronic bronchitis, exudative diathesis, various skin rashes, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, pemphigus, age-related changes in the body (effect of steroid saponins); in case of protein metabolism disorder, some types of leukemia; with bronchial asthma, whooping cough; gout, jaundice, with diarrhea and against worms – use a decoction of 1 teaspoon of crushed grass (3 g) in 1 glass of water, which is drunk in sips throughout the day.

For itchy rashes on the skin, urticaria, inflammation of the urinary bladder, flu, bronchial asthma, diarrhea, excessive menstruation, inflammation of the tonsils, middle ear, neuralgia, use 10% alcohol tincture 10 drops 2-3 times a day or powder 0, 5 g 2 times a day.

As an expectorant, diuretic, somewhat narcotic agent that improves metabolism, and also to reduce sexual arousal, a decoction of 1 tablespoon of crushed stems with leaves of bittersweet nightshade (15-22 g) in 2 glasses of water, tablespoons, 2-3 times a day

Externally, a decoction of stems with leaves and young berries of bittersweet nightshade is also used for washing, lotions, baths for ringworm and other skin diseases.

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