Scientific name: Solanum nigrum. Name in different languages:- English: Black nightshade, Blackberry Nightshade, European Black Nightshade, Garden nightshade, Hound’s-berry, Sunberry, Wonderberry. French: Morelle poilue, Morelle de Schultes, Morelle d’Amérique, Morelle noire. Italian: solano nero. Romanian: zirna, umbra noptii. Portuguese: Erva-moura. German: Schwarzer Nachtschatten. Hindi: Mokoi. Russian: paslen černyj, паслен черный Swedish: nattskatta.Urdu: Makoya. Marathi: Laghukavali. Telugu: Kasaka. Tamil: Manatakkali. Manathallaki, Milaguthakkali. Malayalam:Mulaku-thakkali.
Black nightshade (Manithakkali) is a plant that grows up to a height of 1 meter. The name black nightshade (Manithakkali) is given due to the resemblance of the fruit with tomatoes. It grows very fast and the leaves have parrot green color. The leaves are 8 cm long and are wide too. The fruits are found in bunches. The fruits are blue in color, and turn yellow when ripe. Black nightshade (manithakkali) fruits are favourites of crows are they also are the carriers of seeds. Black nightshade (Manithakkali) belongs to the solanaceae family and the botanical name is solanum nigrum. This plant bears flowers and fruits throughout the year. All parts of it are highly nutritious. The leaves of this plant are rich in proteins, fats, vitamins C & B, iron, potassium, calcium, beta carotene etc. The seeds contain fatty acids like stearic, palmitic, linoleic, oleic etc. The pulp of the fruits contain alkaloids like diosgenin, tijogenin, etc.
Now let us consider the medicinal properties of it. This should be taken as medicine only under medical supervision. Over dose of black nightshade (manithakkali) is toxic. This is good medicine for rheumatism, biliousness, phlegm, blood purification etc. It is also used as an ingredient in medicines to cure gonorrhoea, eye disease, liver disorders etc. To remove the toxic effect of rat bite, the whole black nightshade (manithakkali) plant is ground and applied on the affected area. For inflammation of heart or liver, and swelling of eyelids or calf of the legs, the decoction made from it is a good medicine. The extract of black nightshade (manithakkali) purifies the urinary system