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UPDATE 2013: Solanine poisoning (POTATOES/TOMATOES): nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, burning of the throat, cardiac dysrhythmia, nightmare, headache, dizziness, hallucinations, loss of sensation, paralysis, fever, jaundice, dilated pupils, hypothermia and death have been reported. In large quantities, solanine poisoning can cause death.
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"solanine" wikipedia
Solanine is a glycoalkaloid poison found in species of the nightshade family (Solanaceae), such as the POTATO (Solanum tuberosum) and the TOMATO (Solanum lycopersicum). It can occur naturally in any part of the plant, including the leaves, fruit, and tubers.

Symptoms
Solanine poisoning is primarily displayed by gastrointestinal and neurological disorders. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, burning of the throat, cardiac dysrhythmia, nightmare, headache and dizziness. In more severe cases, hallucinations, loss of sensation, paralysis, fever, jaundice, dilated pupils, hypothermia and death have been reported.
In large quantities, solanine poisoning can cause death. One study suggests that doses of 2 to 5 mg per kilogram of body weight can cause toxic symptoms, and doses of 3 to 6 mg per kilogram of body weight can be fatal.[2]
Symptoms usually occur 8 to 12 hours after ingestion, but may occur as rapidly as 30 minutes after eating high-solanine foods.
The lowest dose to cause symptoms of nausea is about 25 mg solanine for adults, a life-threatening dose for a regular-weight adult ranges about 400 mg solanine.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solanine

WHAT ARE NIGHT SHADE VEGETABLES? "all the stuff I love, wouldn't you just like to fry up this list?" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_Shade
Tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, red and green peppers and paprika,
Peppers of all kinds green, red, chili, paprika, cayenne, hot and sweet,
Bell peppers (green, red, yellow, cherry)
Paprika, Cayenne pepper (capsicum), Pimento, Chili peppers
Hot peppers (long & red, red cluster)
Tobacco is a Nightshade and any part of the plant can affect you
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solanum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobacco
Tobacco in all forms carries toxic solanine and nicotine substances into the blood and tissues. These are especially damaging to the muscles and nerves, The Desert Arthritis Medical Clinic, Desert Hot Springs, CA.

Coffee and Nightshades are both Asterids, the are cousins
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffea_arabica
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asterids


Jimsonweed is a nightshade. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimsonweed


PARDON MY ERROR, NOW CORRECTING, A SWEET POTATO, it is a Astirds also and the next step closer, a cousin to nightshade plants, Order: "Solanales" cousin to the rest of the nightshade list, closer than coffee, but by the definition wiki Sweet Potato "The sweet potato is only distantly related to the potato (Solanum tuberosum) and does not belong to the nightshade family"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solanales
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_potato


So as far as "solanine" wikipedia quote "Solanine occurs naturally in many species of the genus Solanum, including the potato (Solanum tuberosum), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), eggplant (Solanum melongena), and bittersweet nightshade (Solanum dulcamara)." IT DOES NOT MENTION SWEET POTATO, HOWEVER, YOU MIGHT BE CAUTIOUS? (I have heard this debate all my life and hope to get some better info on it, Solanine is related to nightshade, but its cousin the sweet potato? it does not say that it does produce solanine, but it does not say that it doesn't produce solanine; a serious question. Do sweet potatoes produce solanine?). Reading up this question on the internet, many articles say no, but a couple say yes, in fact one article says sweet potatoes can produce solanine without showing the green color (wiki says the color is not directly related anyway, but usually happens at the same time and same conditions so is a sign to beware of), so who knows? I will read more....

Do sweet potatoes produce solanine?

This article says not, and also says "solanine is not destroyed when green potatoes are cooked"
"Sweet potatoes are botanically unrelated to the common potato. Potatoes are part of the nightshade family while Sweet Potatoes are cousins of the morning-glory. They do not produce the toxic solanine. Nevertheless it is recommended to store them in a cool and dry place for up to one month, or use within one week if stored at room temperature. If refrigerated, their natural sugar will turn to starch and ruin the flavour. The common potato is a member of the nightshade family (Solanaceae) and should always be stored in a dark cool place and kept away from light. Potatoes may turn green when exposed to light. To be safe, any green part on the potato, including any growths, should be cut away before using. Do not eat green potatoes or the leaves or stems, they contain solanine, a toxic alkaloidal glycoside. Besides, solanine is not destroyed when green potatoes are cooked." http://www.eufic.org/page/en/page/FAQ/faqid/sweet-potatoes-green-sprouts-safe-to-eat/

in sensitive patients, solanine can: "act as an endocrine disruptor especially to the thyroid" but the link says this is a bogus claim by someone else and links to them http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/killer-tomatoes-and-poisonous-potatoes/
This is the so called bogus doctor? (looks half way coherent to me, but see the link above too) http://www.michaellebowitzdc.com/html/Solanine.html



Black and white pepper do not fall into the nightshade category but are related to Avocados and Magnolias and Cinnamon
"Magnoliids (or Magnoliidae) are a group of about 9,000[1] species of flowering plants, including magnolias, nutmeg, bay laurel, cinnamon, avocado, black pepper, tulip tree and many others. They are characterized by trimerous flowers, pollen with one pore, and usually branching-veined leaves." wiki Magnoliids




UPDATED 2014.07.25 from the top to this point (below is the original article and may need updating with the above new info, some of its is new)




NIGHTSHADE PLANTS in a Nutshell
Solanaceae OR Solanum

Nightshade plants cause ARTHITIS and other medical problems (pains & stiffness).

Limiting nightshades can be helpful to persons with or without Arthritis

SUMMARY: It has come to my attention, that NIGHT SHADE PLANTS cause all sorts of problems, including Arthritis, stomach pains, etc. Night Shade plants deplete the bodies Calcium (and puts it in other areas of the body where it does not belong). Those who do not consume dairy products, especially should not consume Nightshade planets. Discontinuing the consumption of Nightshade plants for as short as A FEW WEEKS, can drastically Improve the condition, of people who have suffered from Arthritis for many years. The medical profession including Dr Andrew Weil MD claim otherwise and even http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solanaceae does not contain the word Arthritis, but there is enough evidence in the "Chaconine" wikipedia link below, with proof enough to show the turning a blind eye by the medical profession

GREEN NIGHTSHADES are WORSE: Green Potatoes, Green Tomatoes, Green Bell Peppers are the worst for you. AND most nightshade vegetables are harvested when green (not good). (Green tomatoes turn red after harvesting). WARNING: Green Potatoes, if they get sunlight, they turn green (not due to ripeness) the green is a poision which can kill, even if its cooked, like potato chips, so beware http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaconine Chaconine From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"α-Chaconine is a steroidal glycoalkaloid chemical compound that occurs in plants of the Solanaceae family. It is a natural toxicant produced in green potatoes and gives the potato a bitter taste.[1] Tubers produce this glycoalkaloid in response to stress, providing the plant with insecticidal and fungicidal properties."


WAIT A MINUTE, did I get that right? "occurs in plants of the Solanaceae family" thats the night shade family, all of them I think. I always wondered why they call them night shade, it means no sunlight for those plants, or they can kill you, or certainly put you in great pain

....Chlorophyll itself is not toxic; however, another response of the potato tuber to light exposure is increased production of a colorless alkaloid called solanine. The amount of solanine increases with the length of exposure and the intensity of light.
Consuming a large quantity of solanine can cause illness, or even death in extreme cases. However, most people are not likely to eat enough of the affected tissue to cause illness, because of solanine's bitter taste.
The highest concentration of solanine is in the skin of the potato; removing the green portion will also remove most of the toxin. Sprouts of the eyes are also high in solanine and should be removed before cooking.
Potatoes will turn green when growing too close to the soil surface, as well as when stored under even low light conditions -- thus, the recommendations to mound potato plants in the garden and store harvested potatoes in complete darkness.
The next time you see a green potato, be thankful for that color change. It's warning you of the presence of toxic solanine.
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/potatoesgreen.html
"solanine" wikipedia
Solanine is a glycoalkaloid poison found in species of the nightshade family (Solanaceae), such as the potato (Solanum tuberosum) and the tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). It can occur naturally in any part of the plant, including the leaves, fruit, and tubers.

Symptoms
Solanine poisoning is primarily displayed by gastrointestinal and neurological disorders. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, burning of the throat, cardiac dysrhythmia, nightmare, headache and dizziness. In more severe cases, hallucinations, loss of sensation, paralysis, fever, jaundice, dilated pupils, hypothermia and death have been reported.
In large quantities, solanine poisoning can cause death. One study suggests that doses of 2 to 5 mg per kilogram of body weight can cause toxic symptoms, and doses of 3 to 6 mg per kilogram of body weight can be fatal.[2]
Symptoms usually occur 8 to 12 hours after ingestion, but may occur as rapidly as 30 minutes after eating high-solanine foods.
The lowest dose to cause symptoms of nausea is about 25 mg solanine for adults, a life-threatening dose for a regular-weight adult ranges about 400 mg solanine. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solanine
Avocados are not a night shade; Avocados are high in essential, prefered amino acids, and healthy fats. I have found spicy tasty "Miso" (soy) products without night shade spices you might want to check on the label.

UPDATE 2006.02.08 (a week after writing this): I have strongly limited my intake of Nightshade plants, with the result, that I now have a much greater ability to move my body, in ways that I would not have been able to before (really helps with yoga), and do highly recommend limiting nightshade plants from your diet, for those who like to Dance (including professional dancers), and to everyone in general. (Note to Dancers: being a Vegetarian "Vegan" is to be a natural born dancer, veganism brings about good dancers, excellent singers, good monetary abilities, and people involved in law and/or medicine; just tendencies observed by those who have known vegans. There are lots of vegetarian vegans working in hospitals, due to warding off diseases, and due to medical knowledge of what is best for your body). I do realize that Tomatoes do have anti-cancer properties (and are high in Vitamin A), so if your going to have any nightshade, it would probably be best to make it tomatoes (but I did not like tomatoes as a kid, still they are not my favorite, and I do miss eggplant, which I rarely had anyway). I am beginning to think that Nightshade plants mildly poison the body, causing a paralysis of the muscular skeletal functions. (and vaguely recall good doctors talking about this when I was a kid, my current doctor thinks I should not entirely limit nightshades, but I have for now, currently one week into it).

SELECTED DETAILED HIGHLIGHTS FROM LINKS FOUND ON THE NET
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http://arthritis.about.com/b/2006/09/25/nightshade-vegetables-should-people-with-arthritis-avoid-nightshade-foods.htm


Aug 13th 2009 I visited my Doctor, and asked if she knew anything about night shade plants causing Arthritis, but she said she knew nothing of it??? (I have a good doctor, who has done me lots of good, but most doctors only get around 33 hours of study in nutrition). So searching at Wikipedia, still no corolation, but at Yahoo Search "night-shade, arthritis" the first link had all sorts of Testimonials from people who say there is a real corolation, postings from real people. YOU should try it out, offically it takes only a couple of weeks, but I think the effets work sooner. Give it a try.

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http://www.noarthritis.com/research.htm


This link is a very descriptive testimonial, in medical terms

Diet appears to be a factor in the etiology of arthritis based on surveys of over 1400 volunteers during a 20-year period. Plants in the drug family, Solanaceae (nightshades) are an important causative factor in arthritis in sensitive people. This family includes potato (Solanum tuberosum L.), tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.), eggplant (Solanum melongena L.), tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.), and peppers (Capsicum sp.) of all kinds except the black pepper (family, Piperaceae). A buildup of cholinesterase inhibiting glycoalkaloids and steroids from consumption and/or use (tobacco) of the nightshades and from other sources such as caffeine and some pesticides (organophosphates and carbamates) may cause inflammation, muscle spasms, pain, and stiffness. Osteoarthritis appears to be a result of long-term consumption and/or use of the Solanaceae which contain naturally the active metabolite, vitamin D3, which in excess causes crippling and early disability (as seen in livestock). Rigid omission of Solanaceae, with other minor diet adjustments, has resulted in positive to marked improvement in arthritis and general health

Further on in the article:

In 1979, a post-card-return survey of 2453 book holders was made [1] with 763 (30%) volunteers responding: there was a 72.7% positive response to the "No Nightshades" Diet (Table 1). The replies varied from a positive (44%) to a marked positive (28%) response: immobile joints became mobile, and canes, walkers, and wheelchairs were discarded. About 20% of the volunteers were judged as being not on the diet, based on indefinite replies, not fully understanding the diet, or inability to avoid completely the addicting foods and/or tobacco. There were 7.5% negative replies

Further on in the article:

In 1985-1986, another survey was made of over 5000 new book (1981) holders with a detailed 4-page questionnaire that drew only 434 (8.6%) replies, but did provide broader information [10]. The survey of over 5000 new diet book (1981) holders canvassed provided the following information
Of the 5000 readers canvassed,
434 returned a questionnaire (8.6%);
Arthritis had been diagnosed by a physician in 85% of respondents;
79% had been treated with drugs, with 80% receiving some degree of temporary relief;
52% indicated they were rigidly on the diet,
48% had "slipped" occasionally;
Rigidly on the diet, 94% had complete or substantial relief from symptoms;
Of dieters with an occasional "slip" 50% had complete or substantial relief;
Overall, 68% had complete or substantial relief
Tobacco inquiry was inadvertently omitted from questionnaire, which could have had some impact on data.



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http://www.breining.edu/ce1306p1.pdf


Tobacco is a Night Shade (and causes aches & pains)

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http://www.remedyfind.com/rem.asp?ID=3740

Nightshade family vegetables include tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, red and green peppers and paprika.

The theory that nightshades might exacerbate RA symptoms was developed by an American horticulturist, Norman F. Childers, in the 1940's. Childers found that eliminating foods of the nightshade family cured his own arthritis. His theory was that eating nightshade foods results in "a buildup of cholinesterase inhibiting glycoalkaloids and steroidsÖand may cause inflammation, muscle spasms, pain, and stiffness."

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http://www.vegparadise.com/highestperch67.html#Medicinal

For people with arthritis and related problems of the bones and joints, some physicians suggest patients eliminate foods of the nightshade family. Because this food group contains solanine, a calcium inhibitor, consuming it can further enhance mineral imbalance and add to joint pain and swelling. Doctors suggest eliminating nightshade vegetables from the diet for six weeks, then adding them back one at a time to see if the body is able to tolerate them.

Members of the nightshade family include eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, and all peppers with the exception of black pepper. These foods contain a toxin called solanine, an alkaloid that may cause diarrhea, heart failure, headache, and vomiting in some sensitive people.

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http://www.crystalyouth.co.za/Documents/Nightshade%20Vegetables%20and%20Arthritis.htm

What are nightshades? As a botanical family, the Solanaceae comprise some ninety-two genera with over two thousand species. Its members include many stimulating, medicinal, or poisonous plants, such as tobacco, henbane, mandrake, and belladonna (also known as the deadly nightshade). The food plants of the nightshade family include some of our most popular vegetables: tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and peppers of all kinds (green, red, chili, paprika, cayenne, hot and sweet, except for black and white pepper.)

Research has found that when people with joint pains stopped consuming all varieties of nightshades, their condition improved dramatically.

It turns out that nightshades are high in alkaloids, chemical substances with a strong physiological effects. In the case of potatoes, storage conditions after harvest that include light and heat, may over time increase the content of the alkaloid solanine to toxic limits. Improperly stored old potatoes have been know to cause symptoms severe enough to require hospitalization, including gastrointestinal inflammation, nausea, diarrhea, and dizziness.

Earl Mindell in his book, Unsafe at Any Meal, stated the following concerning potatoes, "Solanine, present in and around these green patches and in the eyes that have sprouted, can interfere with the transmission of nerve impulses, and cause jaundice, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea."

These alkaloids act a little like a variation of Vitamin D, in that they appear to affect the metabolism of calcium. Nightshade foods may, through a mechanism not yet understood, remove calcium from the bones and deposit it in joints, kidneys, arteries, and other areas of the body where it does not belong. Thus, they may contribute to arthritis.

Nightshades are consumed in appreciable quantities mostly in dietary systems that also include milk products. These foods often show up in pairs: tomato sauce and cheese, potatoes and sour cream, spicy Indian foods, yogurt, and eggplant parmigiana.

NO DAIRY? = NO NIGHTSHADE

If you are avoiding dairy foods and eating a low fat diet, you may want to eliminate the nightshade vegetables from your diet.

Nightshades, with their calcium-disturbing alkaloids, have something to do with the digestion or assimilation of milk products, which have an excessively high calcium content. Cow's milk contains four times more calcium than human mother's milk, and that may turn out to be too much for the human metabolism to handle.

In other words, when the nightshades are consumed in calcium-rich diets, they help keep the calcium from depositing in the wrong places, as long as the body is functioning properly. If it is not, then either the nightshades pull out calcium from the wrong places or the dairy calcium is improperly used by the body and collects in the joints and tissues. Symptoms of improper storage include bone loss, tooth decay, and what is called the "naked tooth feeling" (a sensation of rawness or brittleness in the teeth). If you are avoiding dairy foods and eating a low fat diet, you may want to eliminate the nightshade vegetables from your diet.







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DEACTIVATED LINK http://www.nopotato.com/What%20are%20Nightshade%20Plants.htm

What are Nightshade Plants :
White Potato (the common potato) not sweet potatoes or yams
Tomato
Eggplant
Peppers( pimentos, paprika, cayenne, chili peppers, red, green, basically all peppers, except, white and black pepper)
Tobacco
Henbane
Mandrake
Jimson weed


These plants contain: Solanaceae, atropine , chaconine and scopolamine this are all the bases for very powerful medicinal drugs, which at the right time can save lives. They also can kill very easily.

Solanaceae plants, have a long history as being a favored plant in witchcraft. They are used to create poisons and drugs:

The scientific name of Deadly Nightshade is Atropa Belladonna. This comes from the various uses of the plant as Atropa is a derivative of the Greek word Atropos, which is one of the three Greek fates, and means "to cut the thread of life". Belladonna comes from the Italian word to mean 'beautiful lady' as Italian ladies used to use the sap of the deadly nightshade to dilate their pupils as they thought this made them more beautiful and hence the name. Other names are dwale, devil's herb, love apple, sorcerer's cherry, witches berry, divale, banewort, death's herb, or poison black cherry. and dwayberry.

The reports of deadly nightshade, range from pupils dilation, to pain killing, pain control during birth and a hallucinogen. It is reported that deadly nightshade was use by the cult of Baccaccus which was a phallus worshiping cult of the pagans. They would mix deadly nightshade in with wine. More than likely to overcome a woman's natural modesty. It is still used to this day as the perfect ďdate rapeĒ drug , because it completely reduces a persons ability to resist and they can not remember what happened after taking this drug. See scopolamine .

The ancient Greeks used to drink it when they visited the Oracle of Delphi

It was used to poison Mark Anthony's troops, was in a liquor which McBeth gave to a party of Danes during a truce.

Belladonna today is the source for the drug atropine, which is used to treat asthma, to dilate pupils, and even by the United States government as an antidote for Nerve gas.

Nightshades contain high levels of alkaloids that remove calcium from the bones and may result in the excretion of calcium from the body

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DEACTIVATED LINK http://www.cybermacro.com/Macrobiotic_Articles/CyberMacro/Nightshade_Vegetables

Nightshade Vegetables
Based on various postings from our discussion forum

I am new to macrobiotic living, and have found the transition encouraging, enjoyable, and almost effortless. One thing that I'm unclear about is nightshade vegetables. When I was vegetarian, spinach, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes were often my staples. What is it that makes these veggies unfavorable in macrobiotics?

Nightshades are very yin because of how fast, when and where they grow, structure, and the time of their activity. They contain toxins that destroy red blood cells and have been connected with a long laundry list of other problems; kidney stones, ulcers, rheumatoid arthritis, breathing problems, digestive problems, skin problems, nerve problems/paralysis, and energy problems are some of the negatives.

Macrobiotics also looks at what we eat in terms of its energy/activity because this energy is transferred to us when we eat it. This is why microwave cooking is not recommended or mechanical processing or cooking when youíre in a bad or fearful mood....it all transfers. Meat carries with it a lot of qualities that are not conducive to human behavior. Herd mentality, for example. People who eat a lot of chicken tend to act like chickens.

Same thing goes for plants. The nightshades are antisocial, hang out together exclusively and are loners. In other words, there are also emotional implications. And there are more of the same type of characteristics. Extreme, out of balance eating greatly accentuates these effects. Under balanced conditions, the body can handle this within the scope of moderation. Itís better to stay away from nightshades during the healing phase of macrobiotics and then, as you widen your diet, you can gradually incorporate anything you want, testing to see how it makes you feel and making the adjustments accordingly. Tobacco is also a nightshade.

The following information was posted by Bruce Paine on the main cybermacro Forum 1/24/99: The word nightshade is the common name for the family Solanaceae. Products include potato and eggplant (Solanum spp.), and tomato (Lycopersicon). Other edible fruits from Physalis (cape gooseberry, strawberry tomato, jamberberry, sugar cherry, Chinese lantern etc., according to the species and variety), Cymphomandra (tamarillo), Capsicum (sweet and chili peppers), etc. Most produce poisonous alkaloids, and some are commercially important in this connection (Nicotiana, Hyoscyamus, Datura). Many cultivated ornamentals, e.g. Petunia, Lycium, Solanum, Cestrum, Solandra.

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DEACTIVATED LINK http://www.deliciousorganics.com/Controversies/nightshade.htm

Naturally Occurring Toxins in Foods

Natural toxins are normal. However, we can consume the fruit or vegetable safely when proper precautions are taken.

There are superstitious beliefs about the nightshade family (Potatoes, Tomatoes, Peppers, and Eggplant) and how they may harm the immune system or be unfit to eat. Actually, many of the vegetables in the nightshade family are staples in one's diet, particularly in the Middle East where Eggplant, Peppers and Tomatoes are eaten in abundance. These vegetables are also known for their great medicinal qualities. People following the macrobiotic diet donít eat fruits, they are actually all fruits, in the nightshade family.

The nightshade family of foods do indeed have a potential toxin. This is mother natureís way of protecting themselves from insect damage. The toxin is found in the green part of these vegetables. Proper choosing and storage can cut down these risks.

Potatoes should always be stored in a dark cool place and kept away from light. To be safe, any green part on the potato, including any growths, should be cut away before using. Donít ever eat green potatoes , they contain the toxin solanine. Potatoes may turn green when exposed to light and youíll see a green skin. Never eat the leaves or stems from a potato either.

Green Tomatoes have this toxin, glycoalkaloids. These toxins cause them to have a bitter taste to be unappealing for consumption. Although a delicious southern food (fried green Tomatoes), we should not consume green Tomatoes. And never eat the leaves or stems of Tomatoes.

Eggplant and Peppers should be ripe to avoid the toxin. That means no green Peppers and no green Eggplant. Green Peppers, though common, are actually just immature. When allowed to ripen they will turn a glorious red or yellow or orange or even purple. Green Peppers have a distinctive and strong flavor not at all like the mature fruit which is sweet. Again, avoid the leaves and stems.

This toxin can cause nausea, vomiting, and headaches, but you have to eat a whole lot of it for this to occur. In super great quantities, they can cause convulsions and unconsciousness so it can be serious.

People with arthritis sometimes avoid these foods because they may aid in inflammatory conditions, but the reports are conflicting on this advice.

Sweet Potatoes arenít in nightshade family, they are part of the morning glory family.

Personally, after researching this, I find nothing that leads me to believe the nightshade family is unsafe in average quantities and there is plenty of research on the great antioxidant value and nutritional value of this group, not to mention tasty and versatile!

Fun Fact:

Nightshade vegetables are actually all fruit! We eat them as vegetables (like in salads, side dishes, and not generally snacking out of hand or in desserts) so we consider them vegetables but they are indeed all fruit! What makes a fruit? It's all in the seeds and germination - fruits have seeds that develop from the "ovaries" of flowers. You'll also note that fruit get picked or snipped and leave the plant alive while vegetables, well, we're eating the entire plant there so there's nothing left. Other popular vegetables that are really fruit include okra, cucumber, summer squash and hard squash. Fruitarians do eat these "vegetables" as well as nightshade "vegetables" because of that.

Cherries, Apples, Peaches and Pears all contain toxic seeds, leaves and bark but the fruit is perfectly fine and quite delicious!

The green leaves of the Rhubarb are very poisonous, but the red fruit itself is fine.

In addition, Corn can harbor a mold that is toxic. That toxin is a carcinogen. Because of this, Delicious Organics will not offer any products with corn syrup. Corn is also now the single most genetically modified organism modified organism, next to soybeans. Corn is also a grain and can raise insulin levels. Personally, we avoid corn in products, we read labels and don't eat processed foods with corn (except the occasional non-GMO corn chip) though we do indulge in organic fresh corn when itís in season a couple times a year.

Broccoli, Lentils, and Grapefruit contain naturally occurring pesticides that can cause mutations if eaten in large enough quantities.

Peanuts and peanut butter often have traces of aflatoxin, a substance found in a mold that grows on the nuts. This toxin is known to cause cancer in high enough amounts. Delicious Organics only offers products with peanuts that are grown in arid climates like Arizona because that toxin is not found to grow there.

Celery harbors toxins that at high enough levels damage the human immune system and causes photosensitivity. (Highest levels occur in celery that has brownish patches.) Celery also contains naturally occurring nitrates. Spinach, Eggplant, Beets, Lettuce, Turnip Greens, Green Beans, Radishes, and Collards absorb nitrates from the ground fertilizers. The nitrogen in the ground oxidizes into nitrates. These nitrates cause the bitter flavor we associate with some greens like Collards. Organic vegetables have far less, minimal levels of nitrates because of the natural compost used to fertilize the soil as compared with the conventional cousins. While these naturally occurring nitrates are fine in these quantities for adults (although they may trigger migraines in some people), babies should not be given these foods until their detoxification system is more mature, at least 9 months of age.

Spinach, Chard, Beets and Beet Greens, Mustard Greens, Sweet Potatoes , Peanuts, Almonds, Cashews, (most nuts), Beans, Soybeans, Rhubarb, Plantains, Ginger, Pumpkin, Cabbage, Green Beans, Mango, Eggplant, Tomatoes and Tomatillos, Lentils, Parsnips, Bell Peppers, Black Pepper, Parsley, Rhubarb, Summer Squash, Star Fruit, Berries (especially Strawberries and Cranberries), Oats, Coffee, Tea, Chocolate and Cocoa, and contain oxalic acid which while limiting the absorption of calcium also cleans the intestinal tract. Eat these things 2-3 hours before eating dairy or taking calcium supplements to maximize calcium absorption. Debate exists whether it is more beneficial to cook these things, like spinach and chard, or eat it raw (juice it). Cooking turns the oxalic acid into crystals that are sharp and in large quantities can damage the stomach, kidneys and limit the absorption of iron, but cooking also breaks down cell walls and allow us to absorb more nutrients. The answer? Moderation and variety. Very large amounts could cause calcium and other nutritional deficiencies. People with kidney or gallbladder problems may want to avoid these foods.

Raw beans, legumes, and peas, including soybeans, lentils, black-eyed peas, peanuts and mung beans contain trypsin inhibitors that block important digestive enzymes and should therefore be used sparingly.

Alfalfa Sprouts can harbor e-coli bacteria and listeria. This can be uncomfortable for an adult who will get sick, but can be deadly to an unborn baby so pregnant women should avoid these sprouts. Alfalfa sprouts also contain the amino acid canavanine which is an anti-nutrient that can inhibit the natural immune system. Therefore, we would all do well to avoid alfalfa sprouts. Mature alfalfa does not contain this amino acid.

White Button Mushrooms also contain a toxin that in sufficient quantities is carcinogenic.

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http://www.cybermacro.com/articles25.html

Nightshade Vegetables

Based on various postings from our discussion forum

I am new to macrobiotic living, and have found the transition encouraging, enjoyable, and almost effortless. One thing that I'm unclear about is nightshade vegetables. When I was vegetarian, spinach, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes were often my staples. What is it that makes these veggies unfavorable in macrobiotics?

Nightshades are very yin because of how fast, when and where they grow, structure, and the time of their activity. They contain toxins that destroy red blood cells and have been connected with a long laundry list of other problems; kidney stones, ulcers, rheumatoid arthritis, breathing problems, digestive problems, skin problems, nerve problems/paralysis, and energy problems are some of the negatives. Macrobiotics also looks at what we eat in terms of its energy/activity because this energy is transferred to us when we eat it. This is why microwave cooking is not recommended or mechanical processing or cooking when youíre in a bad or fearful mood....it all transfers. Meat carries with it a lot of qualities that are not conducive to human behavior. Herd mentality, for example. People who eat a lot of chicken tend to act like chickens. Same thing goes for plants. The nightshades are antisocial, hang out together exclusively and are loners. In other words, there are also emotional implications. And there are more of the same type of characteristics. Extreme, out of balance eating greatly accentuates these effects. Under balanced conditions, the body can handle this within the scope of moderation. Itís better to stay away from nightshades during the healing phase of macrobiotics and then, as you widen your diet, you can gradually incorporate anything you want, testing to see how it makes you feel and making the adjustments accordingly. Tobacco is also a nightshade.

The following information was posted by Bruce Paine on the main cybermacro Forum 1/24/99: The word nightshade is the common name for the family Solanaceae. Products include potato and eggplant (Solanum spp.), and tomato (Lycopersicon). Other edible fruits from Physalis (cape gooseberry, strawberry tomato, jamberberry, sugar cherry, Chinese lantern etc., according to the species and variety), Cymphomandra (tamarillo), Capsicum (sweet and chili peppers), etc. Most produce poisonous alkaloids, and some are commercially important in this connection (Nicotiana, Hyoscyamus, Datura). Many cultivated ornamentals, e.g. Petunia, Lycium, Solanum, Cestrum, Solandra.

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http://waynesword.palomar.edu/chemid1.htm

Tomato, Tomatillo, Eggplant, Nipplefruit & Chayote

Nightshade Family (Solanaceae)

The nightshade family (Solanaceae) includes several species of fruits which are better-known as vegetables to most people. Since they are typically eaten with a main entree or in a salad (and not as a dessert), they are usually called vegetables. Botanically speaking, these "vegetables" are technically botanical fruits because they are seed-bearing structures that develop from the ripened ovaries of flowers. The cultivated tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) is native to South America, although archaeological evidence suggests that it was domesticated in Mexico and Central America. The Maya called the fruit tomatl, a name that was corrupted by the Spanish into tomate, and by the English into tomato. Because of its flower structure, the tomato is obviously closely related to the genus Solanum which includes the potato (S. tuberosum), eggplant (S. melongena), and a number of species called nightshades. In fact, the scientific and common names for this family (Solanaceae: Nightshade Family) are derived from the type genus Solanum. Recent studies using chloroplast DNA corroborate this genetic affinity between nightshades (Solanum) and tomatoes (Lycopersicon). Since some species of Solanum (those referred to as nightshades) contain some very toxic alkaloids, the tomato was considered inedible and poisonous in the United States until the 1800s. In fact, the Old World ornamental Jerusalem cherry (S. pseudocapsicum) produces small tomatolike fruits that contain the poisonous alkaloid solanocapsine. Tomatoes are grown extensively in California's Central Valley for tomato juice, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, catsup, and for the various salsas used in popular Mexican dishes.

The tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) is a true botanical fruit. Because the entire fruit wall or pericarp is fleshy, it is technically called a berry.

The nightshade family (Solanaceae) contains many species with poisonous alkaloids, including tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum), deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna), mandrake (Mandragora officinarum) and the deadly datura species (Datura and Brugmansia). Some of the toxic alkaloids include nicotine, atropine, hyoscyamine, scopolamine and solanine. In addition, the chile peppers (Capsicum) contain the alkaloid capsaicin which is used to enhance the flavor of foods and in self defense sprays. Because of all the poisonous members of the nightshade family, it is not surprising that people were once afraid to eat tomatoes. Although the jimsonweed (Datura wrightii) contains several toxic alkaloids, its foliage provides the natural food supply for several species of large caterpillars called tomato hornworms (Manduca sexta and M. quinquemaculata). These same larvae also are fond of tomatoes, and can literally devour the leaves of tomato plants. The larvae undergo metamorphosis under the ground and change into magnificent night-flying hawkmoths the size of hummingbirds.

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