What Are Some Plants in the Nightshade Family?


Quick Answer

Plants such as the tobacco, belladonna and eggplant are part of the nightshade family. Nightshades, also known as Solanaceae, thrive in temperate conditions, such as those found in tropical regions.

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What Are Some Plants in the Nightshade Family?
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Full Answer

Potatoes, peppers, goji berries and tomatoes are plants that belong to the nightshade family. Vegetables belonging to the nightshade family of plants have a chemical called solanine that can be deadly. Symptoms of dangerous doses include headaches, vomiting and diarrhea. In 1925, a family of seven ingested green potatoes that poisoned them. Only five of the family members survived after exhibiting solanine poisoning symptoms.

Another nightshade plant, belladonna, is known for being poisonous. It is also called deadly nightshade, felonwort and fever twig. It can cause problems with vision, even blindness. It is used as a recreational drug because of its delirium-inducing qualities. However, the hallucinations produced have been described as unpleasant. Its poses a threat of accidental overdose and can cause memory disruption.

Belladonna also has medicinal qualities. Its leaves are used to manufacture atropine and scopolamine in the United States. It has been used to remedy skin conditions, such as skin abrasions, inflammation and chronic eczema. As a pharmaceutical ingredient, its added to drugs that treat irritable bowel syndrome, Parkinson's disease and acute enterocolitis.

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