You may have heard of the term “deadly nightshade” referring to a plant called belladonna, which was used as a poison in ancient times.
The Latin name for this family of plants is Solanaceae, because all of them produce an alkaloid compound called solanine.

Solanine is concentrated in the leaves and stems, and that’s one of the reasons we don’t eat those parts of the plants, it is a chemical which can cause symptoms of poisoning in humans if ingested in large quantities.

A big salad of tomato or potato leaves might actually contain enough solanine to give you an upset stomach.

Perhaps you’ve also heard that potatoes with sprouting eyes are poisonous. That’s because potatoes that have started to sprout or have developed a greenish tint to their skins are often higher in solanine.  It’s best not to eat them.

Did you know they are inflammatory? Lesser known are the commonly eaten vegetables in the same nightshade family.
They aren’t deadly, but they contain enough toxins to cause inflammation in some people, particularly those with an autoimmune disease.
According to the Arthritis Foundation  the belief that eating nightshade vegetables worsens arthritis is a myth. They claim people with arthritis may benefit from the high nutrition content in nightshades.
View research paper : “Pigmented potato consumption alters oxidative stress and inflammatory damage in men.”
Problems with nightshades are mostly seen in Caucasians and is mostly genetic.
Often, we don’t realize just how much, until we stop eating them:

Which vegetables are night shades?

* Tomatoes
* Tomatillos
* Potatoes
* Eggplants
* Peppers (bell peppers, banana peppers, chili peppers, etc.)
* Red pepper seasonings (paprika, chili powder, cayenne, curry, etc.)
* Pimentos
* Pepinos
* Tamarillos
* Goji berries
* Cape gooseberries/ground cherries (similar to tomatoes, they have no relationship to fruit despite their name)
* Ashwagandha (an ayurvedic herb)
* Tobacco
* Read labels: terms like “spices” and “natural flavours” often contain the above seasonings, and “starch” often comes from potatoes.

Similar sounding foods that are NOT nightshades:

* Sweet Potatoes
* Peppercorns (black, white or mixed)

Symptoms of Nightshade Intolerance

digestive distress (heartburn, nausea, diarrhea, gas,bloating, gurgling, IBS, leaky gut),

mood swings,



joint pain or stiffness,

muscle aches,


malabsorption (iron, calcium, minerals).



Can you really be poisoned by green or sprouting potatoes?

But what about when they turn green? Most of us are aware that we shouldn’t eat green potatoes. But why?

Exposure to light triggers certain physiological reactions within the tuber. The production of chlorophyll triggers the green colour – this is not at all harmful and indeed contains high quantities of beneficial minerals such as iron. It is also what creates the deep green colour found in all edible leafy green vegetables.


But light and warmth also triggers the production of Solanine –  This chemical tends to be concentrated under the skin of the potatoes alongside the chlorophyll and also in the newly developing shoots. So it may be advisable not to eat green potatoes or those that have begun to grow shoots.

Click to view Anti-Inflammatory Diet