Sweet-bitter nightshade – bittersweet nightshade

wormwood, nightshade, nightshade, viper berries; Solanaceae family; nightshade is bittersweet


Among the closest relatives of the potato, which also belongs to the Solanaceae family, there are many dangerous ones: blekota, dorman, black and bittersweet nightshades… And green tomatoes should not be eaten fresh. People are usually attracted to fruits: potatoes and tomatoes have “apples”, and nightshades have beautiful berries (in fact, potatoes and tomatoes also have a berry). Children especially often try the bright red fruits of the plant. This is dangerous and can lead to serious consequences. Bittersweet evening primrose was included in this book only because it has many healing properties.

It is a herbaceous lignified subshrub with a creeping rhizome, up to 3 m tall. The stems of the plant are ascending, climbing, sparsely pubescent. The leaves are entire, ovate or lanceolate. The flowers are purple, in drooping panicles (6-30 pcs. each). Nightshades bloom in June-September. The fruit is an egg-shaped, bright red, multi-seeded berry up to 12 mm long. Often, on the same plant, you can see both flowers and fruits of different stages of ripeness. Solanum bittersweet occurs more often in wet places and near water bodies, on the edges of forests, forest glades. Common in the European part of Russia and the Caucasus. It grows in similar places in Ukraine.

Evening primrose was used as a medicine back in the days of Hippocrates.

For medicinal purposes, young nightshade shoots (tops of stems with leaves) are collected at the beginning or during the flowering of the plant. The aerial part is used fresh or dried, spread out in a thin layer, in the air in the shade or in well-ventilated rooms. Dry in dryers at a temperature not higher than 40 °C. Ready raw materials are stored separately from other herbs, in tightly closed glass jars. All parts of the plant contain alkaloids and glycosides.

The plant is used only in folk medicine. Its products exhibit diaphoretic, expectorant, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and choleretic effects. Solanum bittersweet improves metabolism, relieves sexual tension and has the ability to drive out parasitic worms (worms). Folk healers have long used decoctions and infusions of the plant for gout, rheumatism, respiratory tract diseases (asthma, bronchitis, whooping cough). Nightshade products are also prescribed for neuralgia, dropsy, jaundice and irregular menstruation.

However, its most valuable use is for dermatitis: urticaria, eczema of various origins, ringworm, psoriasis, diathesis (jaundice), skin rashes and inflammations. To enhance the effect of treatment, the reception of decoctions and infusions is combined internally with their external use in the form of baths, lotions and compresses on the affected areas.

According to similar indications, the plant is also used in homeopathy.

Decoction of shoots. From g of raw materials per 200 ml of boiling water. Boil for 10-15 minutes. in a water bath, filtered, squeezed, brought to the original volume with boiled water. Take 1/3 cup three times a day after meals. The decoction is sweetened with sugar or honey.

Infusion of shoots. Pour 500 ml of boiling water over 1 teaspoon of the raw material, crushed into powder, and infuse for 1 hour. Take 30 ml (2 tablespoons) three times a day before meals.

Grass powder. Internally, 0.1 g three times a day for a week. With eczema and other skin diseases.

It is necessary to strictly adhere to the dosage of products, as an overdose can lead to poisoning.

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