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Wonder Berry

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S. nigrum S. nigrum

45.00 HRK

Solanum nigrum (European Black Nightshade or just Black nightshade, Duscle, Garden Nightshade, Hound's Berry, Petty Morel, Wonder Berry, Small-fruited black nightshade or Popolo) is a species in the Solanum genus, native to Eurasia. Parts of this plant can be highly toxic to livestock and humans. Nonetheless, ripe berries and cooked leaves of edible strains are used as food in some locales and plant parts are used as a traditional medicine. Black nightshade is a fairly common herb or short-lived perennial shrub, found in many wooded areas, as well as disturbed habitats. It has a height of 30 to 120 cm, leaves 4 to 7.5 cm long and 2 to 5 cm wide. The flowers have petals greenish to whitish, recurved when aged and surround prominent bright yellow anthers. The berry is mostly 6 to 8 mm, dull black or purple-black. The toxicity of Solanum nigrum varies widely depending on the variety, and poisonous plant experts advise to avoid eating the berries unless they are a known edible strain. Toxin levels may also be affected by the plant's growing conditions.

All parts of the plant can be poisonous, containing toxic glycoalkaloids, including solamargine, solasonine and solanine. The toxins are most concentrated in the unripe green berries, but also occur in ripe berries. Solanine levels in S. nigrum can be extremely toxic and potentially fatal. Poisoning symptoms are typically delayed for 6 to 12 hours after ingestion. Initial symptoms of toxicity include fever, sweating, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, confusion, and drowsiness. Although numerous texts state that the cooked ripe fruit of black nightshade is safe to eat, detoxification can not be attributed to normal cooking temperatures because the decomposition temperature of solanine is much higher at about 243 C. There are ethnobotanical accounts of S. nigrum leaves and shoots being boiled as a vegetable with the cooking water being discarded and replaced several times to remove toxins. The thoroughly boiled leaves — although strong and slightly bitter flavoured — are used like spinach as horta, in fataya pies and quiches. The ripe black berries are described as sweet and salty, with hints of liquorice and melon.

In India, the berries are casually grown and eaten, but not cultivated for commercial use. In South India, the leaves and berries are routinely consumed as food after cooking with tamarind, onion, and cumin seeds. S. nigrum is an important ingredient in traditional Indian medicines. Infusions are used in dysentery, stomach complaints and fever. The juice of the plant is used on ulcers and other skin diseases. The fruits are used as a tonic, laxative, appetite stimulant and also for treating asthma and "excessive thirst". Traditionally the plant was used to treat tuberculosis. This plant's leaves are used to treat mouth ulcers that happen during winter periods in India. In North India, the boiled extracts of leaves and berries are also used to alleviate liver-related ailments, including jaundice. S. nigrum is a widely used plant in oriental medicine where it is considered to be antitumorigenic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, diuretic, and antipyretic. Chinese experiments confirm that the plant inhibits growth of cervical carcinoma in mice.

100 berries (5000 seeds)
Read 10711 times Last modified on Tuesday, 26 January 2016 16:47
45.00 HRK
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