Solanum virginianum, also called Surattense nightshade, yellow-fruit nightshade, yellow-berried nightshade, Thai green eggplant, Thai striped eggplant (from the unripe fruit), is also known as Indian night shade or yellow berried night shade plant, the common name is Kantakari, Solanumsurattense Brum. f. and Solanum xanthocarpum Schrad. and Wendl. are synonyms of Solanum virginianum L. (Sharma et al., 2010). It is also a medicinal plant used mostly in India. Some part of the plant is poisonous ex. the fruit which is poisonous.
Thorny Nightshade is a herb which is erect, sometimes woody at base, 50–70 cm tall, copiously armed with sturdy, needlelike, broad-based prickles 0.5–2 cm × 0.5–1.5 mm.
Leaves are unequal paired; stalk[a] 2–3.5 cm, prickly; leaf blade ovate-oblong, 4–9 × 2–4.5 cm, prickly along veins, margin usually 5–9-lobed or pinnately parted, lobes unequal, sinuate, apex acute.
Inflorescence elongate racemes 4–7 cm. Sepal tube is bell-shaped 1 cm in diameter.
Flowers blue-purple, 1.4–1.6 × 2.5 cm; petals ovate-deltate, 6–8 mm, densely pubescent with stellate hairs. Filaments 1 mm; anthers 8 mm. Style 1 cm.
Fruiting pedicel 2–3.6 cm, with prickles and sparse stellate hairs. Fruiting sepals prickly, sparsely pubescent. Berry pale yellow, 1.3–2.2 cm in diameter.The ripe yellow fruits are around 3 cm in diameter. Flowering normally appears around November to May.
This plant is cultivated in Himalayas, South-East Malaysia, Australia, and Polynesia region. The plant is found well versed in India, often in waste places, on roadsides and in open space.
The plant has many medical properties. In the tribes of Nilgiris, the plant is used to treat a whitlow (finger abscess): the finger is inserted into a ripe fruit for a few minutes. In Nepal, a decoction of root is taken twice a day for seven days to treat cough, asthma and chest pain.
Ayurvedic Physicians commonly used the drugs of Dashmula in their private practice. Dashmula comprises root of five trees (brihat panchmula) and root of five small herbs (laghu panchmula). Deep study in Ayurveda indicate that out of 33 species of Solanum from family Solanaceae, two species are used in “Dashmula” such as Solanum anguivi Lam. (Bruhati) and Solanum virginianum L. (Kantkari) (Sharma, 2006). The tribals and villagers also used the drugs of Dashmula group for their common ailments. It is estimated that about 8000 metric tons of roots of Dashmula are used annually by Ayurvedic industry in Maharashtra.:26
Heble et al., (1968) chemically isolated, crystallized, diosgenin and beta cytosterol constituents from Solanum virginianumL. Further they reported the presence of triterpenes like Tupeol. Heble et al., (1971) noted the presence of coumarins, scopolin, scopoletin, esculin and esculetin from plant parts of Solanum virginianum through column chromatography. Hussain et al., (2010) in addition to alkaloids content also determined the presence of flavoinoids and saponin apart from the presence of tolerable level of heavy metals like Cu, Fe, Pb, Cd and Zn. Shankaret al., (2011) reported and quantified bioactive steroidal glycoalkaloid khasianine in addition to solanine and solasomargine through HPTLC. Apigenin showed antiallergic while diosgenin exhibited anti – inflammatory effects (Singh et al., 2010). The leaf extract inhibit the growth of pathogenic organisms. (Seeba, 2009). Tanusak Changbanjong et al., (2010) reported the effect of crude extract of Solanum verginianum against snails and mosquito larvae.:28
Solanum virginianum L. (Kantkari) is useful in bronchial asthama (Govindan et al., 1999). Krayer and Briggs (1950) reported the antiaccelerator cardiac action of solasodine and some of its derivatives. The plant possesses antiurolthiatic and natriuretic activities. (Patel et al., 2010). A decoction of the fruits of the plant is used for treatment of diabetes (Nadkarni, 1954). Solanum virginianum L. herb is useful in cough, chest pain, against vomiting, hair fall, leprosy, itching scabies, skin diseases and cardiac diseases associated with edema (Kumar et al., 2010).:28
Roots decoction is used as fabrige, effective diuretic and expectorant. It is diuretic useful in the treatment of catarrhal, fever, cough, asthma, and chest pain (Ghani, 1996). Root paste is utilized by the Mukundara tribals of Rajasthan for the treatment of hernia as well as in flatulence and constipation. Stem, flower and fruits are prescribed for relief in burning sensation in the feed. Leaves are applied locally to relieve body or muscle pains, while its juice mixed with black pepper is advised for rheumatism (Nadkarni, 1954). Fruit juice is useful in sore throats and rheumatism. A decoction of the fruits of the plant is used by tribal and rural people of Orissa for the treatment of diabetes (Nadkarni, 1954).:28
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- Asian eggplants:
- Thai eggplant, common cultivar types in Thailand are 'Thai Purple', 'Thai Green', 'Thai Yellow', and 'Thai White' (cultivars of Solanum melongena).
- Lao eggplant for common cultivar types in Laos such as 'Lao Green Stripe', 'Lao Purple Stripe', 'Lao Lavender', and 'Lao White' (cultivars of Solanum melongena).
- African eggplant, gboma, or gboma eggplant (Solanum macrocarpon): Cà pháo is used too in Vietnamese cuisine (Vietnamese eggplant?)
- The main stem of a herbaceous plant
- "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". Retrieved 10 January 2015.
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- Michel H. Porcher, Know your eggplants - Part 4:The related Nightshades
- Gokhale, Mahesh &, S.S.Shaikh & Chavan, Niranjana &, S.V.Toro. (2013). Floral wealth of Achara- A sacred village on central west coast of India.
- Rémi Tournebize, Points on the ethno-ecological knowledge and practices among four Scheduled Tribes of the Nilgiris: Toda, Kota, Alu Kurumba and Irula, with emphasis on Toda ethnobotany, Institute of Research for Development (Marseille), Thesis 2013, p. 103
- RB Mahato, RP Chaudhary, Ethnomedicinal study and antibacterial activities of selected plants of Palpa district, Nepal, Scientific World, Vol. 3, No. 3, July 2005, p. 29
- "Solanum virginianum L." Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
- "Solanum virginianum L." National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
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