Nightshade bittersweet

Solanaceae – Solanaceae.

Parts Used: Upper part of the shoot.

Pharmacy name: nightshade stalks – Dulcamara stipes (formerly: Stipites Dulcamara).

Botanical description. It is a climbing semi-shrub, woody below, herbaceous above. Stem with a hollow core, branching, bears alternate leaves. Leaves usually with 2 lobes at the base, heart-shaped or ovoid, pointed at the end. Bittersweet nightshade is an elegant plant with striking purple flowers with yellow conical stamen anthers. Beautiful juicy red berries are egg-shaped. Blooms from June to August. It occurs mainly in shrubs, hedges, along river banks, more often in damp and shaded places. Although nightshade is not as poisonous as its relatives belladonna, henbane and dope, it does require careful handling. Therefore, there should be no self-treatment with this medicinal plant!

Active ingredients: glycosidic bitters, saponins, steroidal alkaloids and tannins.

Healing action and application. Like all medicinal plants, which cannot be considered non-poisonous and, moreover, insufficiently effective, nightshade is not used much. Nevertheless, the German National Health Service recommends the use of nightshade-based ointments for psoriasis, neurodermatitis and chronic eczema.

Application in folk medicine. It is not surprising that such a catchy plant has many adherents in traditional medicine. However, its medicinal effect is reduced only to improving metabolism. They drink tea from it – insufficiently justified – for catarrhs ​​of the upper respiratory tract, bronchitis, asthma, gout, rheumatism, dropsy, eczema and other skin diseases.

Side effects. Taking more than necessary, the amount of nightshade leads to overexcitation and speech disorder. Difficulty swallowing, nausea, and dizziness may occur. Carefully! Berries, especially unripe, are poisonous and can be a great danger to babies.

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