Solanum nigrum, commonly known as Black Nightshade or Makoy, is a plant species native to Eurasia and North Africa but found worldwide. The plant has a long history of traditional medicinal use for a variety of ailments such as inflammation, pain, fever, and skin disorders.
In recent years, the plant has gained attention for its potential health benefits, including its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may have a protective effect against chronic diseases. However, the plant also has some potential side effects and toxicity concerns, particularly if consumed in large amounts or in certain populations.
This article will provide an overview of the potential benefits of Solanum nigrum, how to use it, and its potential side effects, to help readers make informed decisions about its use.
What is Solanum Nigrum?
Makoy botanical name is Solanum Nigrum, and other common names are black nightshade, sunberry, wonder cherry, poison berry, Kaamani, Ghati, and Makoi, it is a small erect, delicate annual herb, it is a flowering plant.
Solanum Nigrum Leaves
The leaves of the black nightshade are simple, solitary, and alternate or in unequal pairs or triplets, ovate to lanceolate in shape. the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes. They are green or purplish-green when young.
The black nightshade 100 grams leaves have 82.1% of moisture, 5.9% protein, 1.0% fat, 2.1 % minerals, and 8.9 % carbohydrates. The minerals and vitamins present include calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin C. Its caloric value is 68.
Solanum Nigrum Flower
The flower of the plant is in a star-like shape and is borne in several-flowered clusters in the leaf fork. It has five white or purple-tinged petals that are fused together at the base and a yellow central cone.
Solanum Nigrum Fruit
The fruit is rounded and turns from green to dull black or purplish-black in color when mature. They contain numerous small seeds. The fruits are borne pointing downward.
The black nightshade is native to West Africa and dry parts of India up to an elevation of 2,100 m. It is harvested in the autumn when both flowers and fruit are upon the plant and is dried for later use
The whole plant is antiperiodic, antiphlogistic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emollient, febrifuge, narcotic, purgative, and sedative. The plant has been used in Ayurveda to cure various health problems. Leaves stem, and roots are used for external treatment, and fruit is used internally.
What are the Benefits of Makoy?
The black nightshade or makoy is used as an important ingredient in Indian Ayurveda medicine, it is a valuable cardiac tonic. It corrects disordered processes of nutrition by which the organism ingests, digest, absorb, transport, utilize, and excretes food substance and restore the normal function of the system. It also reduces irritation and pain.
The makoy has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, expectorant, anti-diabetic, laxative, anti-allergic, diuretic, and antioxidant properties. The leaves of the plant are mildly bitter in taste, and they reduce when cooked. The fruits of the plant are of tonic value and serve as an effective laxative and they improve appetite.
Here are some major health benefits of Makoy.
The fruit of the plant is beneficial to remove catarrhal matter and phlegm from the bronchial tubes. It can also be beneficial in the treatment of Asthma.
The leaves of the plant are beneficial in the treatment of dropsy, it increases the secretion and discharge of urine. It can be used as a decoction or as a vegetable in the treatment of this disease.
The leaves and fruit of the plant are beneficial in the treatment of fever, leaves can be used to induce copious perspiration.
For Skin Diseases
It is beneficial in chronic skin disease, it is used to cure acne, eczema, and psoriasis. As it has pain reliever properties it is used for washing inflamed, irritated, and painful parts of the body.
A paste of the plant serves as a useful applicant over corrosive ulcers, pustules, suppurating syphilitic ulcers, severe burns, herpes, and rheumatic joints.
Green fruits of the plant can be used for ringworm, gratifying results, eruptive skin, and burns.
For Stomach Disorders
The leaves are effective in treating digestive disorders. Raw juice of the leaves used alone or mixed with other juices is beneficial in stomach disorders like flatulence, peptic ulcers, and colitis.
An infusion of the plant is useful in dysentery and other stomach ailments.
Leaves are beneficial over swollen and painful scrotum and testicles with the gratifying result. Juice of the leaves is an efficacious application over rheumatic and gouty joints, corrosive, ulcers, and tumors.
It can be used to wash tumors and inflames, irritated and painful parts of the body.
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How to Use Black Nightshade?
Dosage and uses depend upon the health problems and conditions or as recommended by an Ayurvedic doctor. The general recommended dosage is 5-10 grams of Black Nightshade of leaves and fruit twice a day before an hour of a meal. A decoction of the leaf with honey and water can also be used.
Here are the uses of the Black Nightshade
- Take 5 grams of fresh leaves of Black Nightshade and cook with vegetables or lentils/pulses.
- Take 1 tsp of leaf juice and mix with any of these, coconut milk, cow milk, coconut water, fruit juice, and butter.
- Take 5 grams of makoy fruit powder, boiled with 2 cups of water. Helps to cure fever.
- Take 5 grams of root powder and boiled with water to make a decoction, which helps to treat insomnia.
- Take 1 tsp of makoy fruit powder with water, helps to treat the respiratory problem.
- Take 5 grams of each makoy fruit and leaves powder, mix them, and take with water, helps to treat splenomegaly.
- Black Nightshade fruit and leave decoction helps to treat fever and nausea.
- Take 1 tsp of Black Nightshade fruit powder and mix with honey, take twice a day, helps to treat cough and cold.
- The fresh juice of leaves applies to burns and pains.
Side Effects of Makoy
All Ayurveda herbs are plant-based, and they don’t have any side effects but they may react with some allopathy or homeopathy medicine. It is better to consult the doctor if you are on any medications or have special health issues.
Some side effects are mentioned below.
- Consult the doctor if you are breastfeeding.
- Do not take without a doctor’s prescription if you are pregnant.
- If you are on diabetes or on hypertension medication. Consult first the doctor before consuming.
- If you are suffering from kidney disease, consult the doctor first before consuming Solanum Nigrum.
- Do not take Solanum Nigrum with liquor, it may interact with it and cause drowsiness.
- Do not take Solanum Nigrum unripe fruit, it may be harmful, and it can cause nausea, headache, and vomiting.
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Frequently Asked Question
Q - What is Solanum nigrum called in India?