Manathakkali or Black Nightshade has excellent medicinal properties and health benefits. All the parts of this plant can be consumed by anyone, including babies and pregnant women.
The plant is native to Tropical Indian and Pacific Oceans, including Africa, Indochina, Hawai, and Madagascar.
In India, manathakkali keerai (Nightshade leaves) are commonly used to treat stomach and mouth ulcer, cold, upset stomach, and piles.
They make delicious and healthy recipes using manathakkali leaves and fruits like curries, manathakkali gravies, smashed manathakkali leaves, and various side dishes using its fruits and leaves.
Manathakkali fruits can be eaten raw, people use dried manathakkali fruits in various vegan recipes. Let’s take a closer look at the health benefits of black nightshade.
Common Names of Black Nightshade (Manathakkali | Solanum Nigrum)
- Botanicl Name: Solanum Nigrum
- English Name: Black Nightshade
- Tamil Name: மணத்தக்காளி / Manathakkali
- Malayalam Name: മാനതക്കാളി / mānatakkāḷi
- Telugu Name: కసక / Kasaka
- Kannada Name: ಕಾಕಿ ಸೊಪ್ಪು / Kakki Soppu, ಕಾಗೆ ಸೊಪ್ಪು / Kage Soppu
- Hindi Name: मोकोय / Mokoi
- Marathi Name: लघुकावली / Laghukavali
- Urdu Name: مکویا
Other common names of Black Nightshade are American black nightshade, Glossy nightshade, Small-flowered nightshade, Large-fruited black nightshade, White nightshade, Black berried nightshade, Common purple nightshade, Garden Nightshade, Apple of Sodom, Hound’s berry, Popolo-kikania, and Petty morel.
26 Possible and Proven Health Benefits of Black Nightshade (Manathakkali | Solanum Nigrum)
1. Antioxidant Properties
Manathakkali keerai or Black Nightshade consists of rich antioxidant properties. These antioxidants in the food you consume can improve immunity and fight against the free radicals that become the reasons for premature aging of hair and skin. Antioxidant-rich foods can reduce oxidative stress; thus, it eliminates the chances of many illnesses.
2. Anti Cancer Properties
Manathakkali can fight against cancer-causing cells also. Chemotherapy is being used to treat recurrent cancers, but natural herbs like manathakkali can prevent recurrent cancers. Manathakkali can be consumed for breast cancer and mouth cancer. It stops cancer-causing cells’ growth because the plant has solamargine, solasonine, solanine, and solasodine.
Solasodine in manathakkali helps relieve cancer pains, reduce body temperature, treat inflammation, and it posses anti-shock property also.
Solamargine and solanine have anti-bacterial properties, whereas Solanine has anti-mitosis properties. These healthy compounds in manathakkali can handle kinds of cancers such as the cervix, stomach, breast, and respiratory tract cancer.
Read also: Best Herbs to Treat Cancer
3. Anti Diabetic Properties
Scientifically, the manathakkali plant has proved to be the best natural medicine for diabetic patients. Most of the diabetic patients in India have suggested adding manathakkali to their food.
In an animal study done on rats for 21 days, consumption manathakkali reduced the blood sugar levels. The water decoction of the plant was the main reason identified. Manathakkali is an excellent natural remedy to stabilize blood sugar levels.
Read also: 10 Scientifically Proven Herbs for Diabetes
4. Anti Inflammatory Properties
Manathakkali or Black Nightshade has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the burning effect on swollen fingers and joint pains. The plant can either be consumed or applied as a paste on affected areas. The presence of alkaloids in the plant is the reason for this. The Solanin A compound isolated from Black nightshade is highly helpful in reducing inflammation. Regular consumption of manathakkali will show significant improvement in pain and inflammation.
5. Anti Asthma Properties
The ripe berries from the Manathakkali plant have traditionally been used for asthma treatment for a long time. Based on research, petroleum ether extract contains rich anti-asthma properties. The active β-sitosterol compound in these berries can treat asthma. In Hawaii, black nightshade has been used as a natural medicine for treating asthma.
Read also: 10 Best Herbs for Asthma- An Overview
6. Anti Ulcer Properties
One of the significant health benefits of manathakkali keerai or black nightshade is curing ulcers. The anti-ulcer properties in the plant can help anyone with an ulcer. Boil manathakkali in coconut milk and add a pinch of salt and have this soup. You will quickly see the difference in treating ulcer pain. Scientific research showed that manathakkali prevents acid secretion that causes ulcers.
People who have mouth and stomach ulcers can consume manathakkali daily.
Read also: 10 Best Herbs to Cure Ulcer
7. Anti Seizure Properties
In countries like Nigeria, black nightshade is used as medicine for epileptic seizures, but in India, this is not a common practice. This fact surely surprises anyone as most of us know black nightshade can reduce blood sugar and treat ulcers. But, being medicine for seizures shows the effectiveness of the plant. Its anti-seizure property has been proved by a study on rats.
8. Anti Viral Properties
The antiviral properties of manathakkali are effective in curing hepatitis C, which is the primary reason for most liver problems such as hepatocellular carcinoma and liver cirrhosis. The methanol and chloroform extracts work great against liver problems found in a study, but we can consume water extract of black nightshade also for liver-related issues.
The black nightshade’s medicinal properties help improve liver function, neutralize and remove the toxins in the body.
9. Mosquito Larvicidal Properties
The black nightshade fruit extract works excellent repellent for Culex Quinquefasciatus variety mosquitoes. The extract from green berries and ripe berries of black nightshade have larvicidal properties that act as natural remedies to repel mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are indeed the primary reason for deaths around the world. So, we should not be careless about it. Use natural repellents like black nightshade to get rid of them.
10. Hepato Protective Properties
Black nightshade helps prevent liver damage. In a medical study on rats, the black nightshade’s water extract significantly reduces the cell damage caused by carbon tetrachloride ingestion. The hepatoprotective properties of black nightshade are effective because of antioxidants and free radical scavenging properties in the plant.
11. Prevents Jaundice
The organic medicine for Jaundice includes manathakkali or black nightshade. The clinical properties of the plant strengthen the liver muscles and prevent them from Jaundice. People who have Jaundice can add black nightshade to their diet. The plant extract from leaves and fruits can treat liver diseases and Jaundice.
12. Cures Loss of Appetite and Distastes
The homemade medicines and drinks prepared using manathakkali or black nightshade have the power to reduce the feel of distastes and cures loss of appetite.
13. Prevents Hypertension
Those who have been dealing with high blood sugar risks can consume manathakkali regularly. Fresh plants and their fruits can treat hypertension and lower blood pressure.
Read also: Best Herbs to Treat Hypertension
14. Helps Digestion
Manathakkali has all the essential supplements and nutrients your body requires. When you consume it regularly, it provides better digestion and keeps you healthy.
Read also: Best herbs for digestive systems
15. Cures Fever
Black nightshade contains phosphorus, Vitamin A, B, C, Iron, Calcium, and micronutrients. Living in polluted areas, a bad diet, and unhealthy foods can increase body heat. You can eat cooked manathakkali leaves, which will reduce body heat and prevent skin allergies due to pollution.
The plant extract can cure body pain and joint pain due to fever.
16. Relief from Back Pain
Manathakkali consumption offers better relief from soreness, muscle pain, back pain, stiffness in the waist, and gout. Black nightshade is also helpful in curing rheumatism and all its symptoms. In Nigeria, they use black nightshade as a herbal to treat uric acid and rheumatism.
17. Prevents Scurvy
Scurvy is a mouth disorder caused by a deficiency of Vitamin C. As Solanum Nigrum consists of the required amount of vitamin C, the plant is beneficial as scurvy preventive medicine. Regular intake of manathakkali leaves and fruits can cure various mouth infections.
18. Cures Herpes
Solanum Nigrum can offer an effective cure for herpes. The contents of Solanum Nigrum showed its effectiveness against herpes and symptoms.
19. For Sore Throat
Solanum Nigrum soothes a sore throat. If you are a singer or public speaker or even teachers can include black nightshade in their diet to prevent throat infections and sore throat.
20. Works as Natural Laxative Agent
Solanum Nigrum has an abundant amount of fibers, and so it works as a natural laxative agent and cures constipation problems.
21. Regulates Kidney Function
Black nightshade is the best herb to stimulate kidney functions and helps in filtering urine from the kidney.
Read also: 10 Best Effective Herbs for Kidney Stones
22. Cures Skin Diseases
Irritation, boil, allergy, and heat boil in the skin can be treated by applying black nightshade paste on the affected areas. The paste of this plant works as a natural medicine and can be utilized as a protecting agent for skin treatment.
Read also: 10 Best Herbs for Skin: The Full Review
23. Offers Good Sleep
Seeds of Solanum fruits provide good sleep and relax the muscles and offer relief from tiredness. The seeds are dried in the air, powdered, and mixed with a cup of milk. Have this mixture at night before going to bed.
Tuberculosis patients can add Solanum to their daily diet.
Read also: Natural Herbs To Boost Quality Sleep
24. Cures Spleen Diseases
Solanum Nigrum is a perfect medicine for spleen diseases also. The anti-bacterial properties of Solanum Nigrum kill the bacteria in the body that causes illness and diseases.
The plant works on your body to improve the immune system and fight microorganisms. The herb plant strengthens spleen muscles and calms down the stomach ulcer. Black nightshade leaves, turmeric powder, cumin seeds, a pinch of salt with gingerly oil can reduce the body heat.
How to do?
- Heat the pan.
- Add gingerly oil and let it heat.
- Add cumin seeds and fry it.
- Add black nightshade greens and fry until it cooks.
- Add a tsp of turmeric powder and a pinch of salt.
- Add a glass of water and cook it.
Have this drink after every meal to strengthen the spleen, liver, and it is suitable for stomach ulcer patients also.
25. For Dry Eyes
Not as a main course, but Solanum Nigrum fruits can be the supportive medicine to treat dry eyes when you have it in the right dose every day.
Solanum Nigrum is a cytoprotective that prevents and cures kidney diseases. There is an anti-ulcerogenic activity in black nightshade linked to the stomach, central nerve system, and antineoplastic.
After knowing the health benefits of black nightshade, we are going to discuss its traditional uses.
Traditional Uses and Benefits of Black Nightshade (Manathakkali)
1. Leaf Juice:
- In Tanzania – Used for eye problems like conjunctivitis.
- Cure Mouth Ulcers and Fever.
- They are used in the ringworm treatment.
2. Pounded Leaves:
In Cameroon and Brazil – Used for sores and skin-related issues.
- In Nigeria – Used for worms in poultry.
- In West Java – Berries used as an aphrodisiac.
- They are used as a facial cosmetic.
- Rub fruit seeds on the cheeks to remove freckles.
- Laxative and diuretic properties of black nightshade treat eye problems in chickens and fruit juice applied for dropsy.
- In Hawaii – Used for asthma.
- In Guatemala – Used for dermatophytoses and protozoal infections.
- In Puerto Rico – Used for curing gastrointestinal disorders and as a molluscicide.
- In Brazil – Used for treating Cutaneous leishmaniasis
- Natural remedy for Asthma and Bronchitis.
- It cures stomach ache, stomach cramps, and flatulence.
- It is used to treat Hemorrhoid.
- They are used in the treatment of measles.
- It is consumed as a tonic for anorexia.
- It purifies the blood.
- It helps in curing night blindness.
- Boosts immune and prevent leucoderma.
- Helpful in treating leprosy.
- It acts against skin problems such as itching or eczema.
- They are used as an enema for infants with abdominal upsets.
- The plant root decoction with lime juice and salt is consumed for malaria.
- It reduces earache.
5. A decoction of the Leave
- Traditional medicines use a decoction of black nightshade leaves to cure yaws and neuralgic pains.
- A herbal cure for Diuresis.
25 Ayurvedic Usage of Black Nightshade (Solanum Nigrum)
1. Abdominal Diseases
- Take the whole black nightshade plant and grind it.
- Mix four teaspoons of powder in one-liter water and leave it for 2 hours.
- Drink frequently.
- Take 5 to 6 black nightshade berries.
- Fry in Ghee.
- Eat once a day.
- Prepare an infusion of the whole black nightshade plant.
- Drink frequently.
- Soak the cleaned black nightshade plant in water.
- Drink it every 2 hours.
- Extract juice from black nightshade leaves.
- Mix one teaspoon juice with lukewarm water.
- Consume a day thrice.
6. Urinary Tract Infection
- Slightly mix one teaspoonblack nightshade leaf juice in warm water.
- Drink twice a day.
7. Gum Diseases
- Clean the black nightshade leaves.
- Chew 4 to 5 leaves daily.
8. Bad Breath
- Take 50 gram dried black nightshade berries.
- Soak in water.
- Drink it lukewarm twice a day.
9. Heart Disease
- Take 15 black nightshade leaves and shoots.
- Boil and eat once a day.
- Take 15 to 20 black nightshade berries.
- Fry in Ghee.
- Eat with meals of the day for 15 days.
11. Aphthous Ulcers
- Take 10-gram black nightshade leaves.
- Boil it in a cup of water.
- Have it as lukewarm twice a day.
- Take the stem and leaves of black nightshade in equal quantity.
- Prepare a decoction.
- Drink two teaspoons twice a day.
Take one teaspoon of black nightshade leaf juice twice a day.
14. Peptic Ulcer
Have one teaspoon of black nightshade leaf juice twice a day.
- Make a paste of black nightshade with little water.
- Apply it on affected areas twice a day.
Apply a poultice of the black nightshade plant on the affected areas.
18. Skin Diseases
Apply a poultice of the black nightshade plant on affected areas.
Apply a paste of black nightshade on the affected areas and leave it for 20 minutes.
Heat black nightshade leaves and applies it to affected areas twice a day.
Take one tablespoon dried black nightshade leaves powder with water twice a day.
22. Spleen Enlargement
Take two teaspoons of black nightshade syrup twice a day.
Eat Black Nightshade berries.
- Prepare a decoction of black nightshade leaves with one cup of water.
- Strain and drink.
- Squeeze fresh juice out of Black Nightshade.
- Add an equal amount of Sesame oil, two tablespoons Mustard oil, and Ginger powder.
- Mix well and Boil.
- Apply it to the affected areas twice a day.
Nutritional Values of Manathakkali | Solanum Nigrum | Black Nightshade
The various nutritions and their values in 100 grams of Manathakkali or Black Nightshade.
Chemical Constituents of Black Nightshade
Manathakkali or Black Nightshade contains a high amount of Vitamin C,
- Beta solanigrine
The essential chemical compound found in fresh and ripe fruits of Solanum is solasodine. The oil extracted from the plant has an abundant amount of linoleic acid.
Black Nightshade Plant Description
Black Nightshade/Solanum Nigrum is a short-lived perennial herb plant that widely spread and grows up to 1-1.5 meters (39-59 inches) tall.
The plant stem is narrowly winged or rounded, sometimes it is glabrous or sparsely pubescent, and the young stem is sometimes covered with simple curved hairs.
The leaves are spirally arranged, and alternate, and the size vary and reach up to 10 cm long and 7 cm broad.
The petiole is about 4-9 centimeters long and has a coarsely wavy margin. Leaf-blade is,
- Entire or sinuately lobed
- Base truncate to wedge-shaped
- Decurrent along the petiole
- Apex acuminate.
Flowering from October to April.
Flowers are nodding and bisexual and 1-3 mm long, 5-lobed, and ended in fruit.
- Pedicel is long up to 8-20 mm.
- Corolla diameter is 8 to 9mm, 1.5 mm wide, 5-stellate, and has yellow, green star.
- Filaments often have a hairy inner side and are 1-2 mm long. Anthers are yellowish, 1.5-2 mm long, yellow, and terminal pores opening.
- The ovary diameter is 1 mm, and the length is 2.5 to 4 mm. It is globular and has hairy lower half.
The plant bears shiny and globular berries 5 to 10 mm in diameter and many small seeds. Fruits turn from fresh green color to glossy purplish-black or black-bluish when matured, and shed when ripe.
- The flesh has 40 to 100 seeds and 0 to 4(8) sclerotic granules.
- Seeds are 1.5 to 2 mm long, discoid, and creamy in color, often purple.
How to Grow Black Nightshade/Manathakkali?
The black nightshade needs plenty of sunlight. But it is very simple to maintain.
You can either buy baby plants from nurseries, plant them in separate pots, or use ripe berries. Squeeze the berry seeds onto a planting pot and water daily until it sprouts.
Once the seeds sprouted and plants started growing, just water it regularly and check for infections. That’s it.
Delicious Recipes using Black Nightshade
1. Manathakkali/Black Nightshade Soup:
- 1/4 cup Black nightshade leaves
- 1/4 tsp black peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- Two big garlic cloves
- Five small onions
- Unrefined sesame oil
Step i: Take black nightshade leaves, clean them, and cut them into small pieces.
Step ii: Grind peppercorns and cumin seeds.
Step iii: Chop garlic and onions finely.
Step iv: Heat an iron pan with unrefined sesame oil.
Step v: Put the ground spices, chopped garlic, and onions, and fry well. After the onions are cooked, add black nightshade leaves, and fry till it dries.
Step vi: Add water till leaves are immersed and a pinch of salt. Cover the pan and boil the leaves till it cooked.
Step vii: Now, add 1/4 cup thick coconut milk. Keep it on low flame, wait for tiny bubbles to start appearing on the sides, switch off, and then serve it in a bowl.
2. Manathakkali/Black Nightshade Jam:
- 500 grams of fresh ripe Black Nightshade berries
- 400 grams of raw sugar
- One tablespoon of lemon juice
Step i: Pluck the berries gently and wash with clean water to remove any leaf and stalk.
Step ii: Take a pan. Gently mash the fruits using a potato masher or using hand squeeze it. We have to extract the juices.
Step iii: Turn the pan on and put it on low flame. Add sugar and lemon juice. Boil it for 5 minutes. Stir the mixture continuously so that the jam will not stick at the bottom.
Step iv: Cook the jam for 20 minutes. While simmering, wait for 5 minutes for bubbles to come.
Step v: Store the jam in jars. Keep it in the dark, cool place for one year. After opening, keep in the refrigerator.
Precautions of Black Nightshade
After all the health benefits of black nightshade, you have to consider the side effects.
Manathakkali or Black nightshade is healthy and safe for everyone, including pregnant women and children.
If you had manathakkali in moderation, it would not cause problems. But you add it with any other greens, or if you eat it excessively or if you did not cook it properly can create upset stomach, stomach pain, and diarrhea.
Hope our article about the health benefits of black nightshade was helpful. If we miss anything, comment on them in the below box.