The nightshade is a plant from the Solanaceae family that has over 2000 species including plants such as tomatoes and potatoes. The plant is incredibly beautiful, but behind its beauty there’s a dark tale – it’s actually very poisonous. All nightshade varieties contain a compound known as solanine that can irritate your stomach and more importantly, destroy your red blood cells.
Solanine is actually an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor which works by preventing the breakdown of acetylcholine and causes buildup of ACh in the nerve receptor sites. This overstimulates the receptors in the nervous system and may do the same to the parasympathetic nervous system. Solanine is not a water-soluble compound, so cooking wouldn’t be able to destroy it.
It won’t be broken down in the body as well, and is excreted in the form of alpha-solanine. This is a highly dangerous neurotoxin which can do serious harm to your central nervous system. Due to these dangers, eating some of the members of the nightshade family could make you feel sick and make you existing pains worse.
Nightshades may be the reason behind your arthritis flare-ups
Arthritis is one of the main problems associated with nightshades. Some experts believe that the condition is misdiagnosed in people who consume nightshade plants and are sensitive to them. The alkaloids in the plants can affect the calcium metabolism in our bodies, although scientists aren’t exactly sure how.
By removing calcium from the bones, the risk of arthritis and other problems such as osteoarthritis goes up. This is why doctors don’t recommend consuming nightshade foods if you’re suffering from gout or arthritis.
According to Dr. Norman F. Childers from the Arthritis Nightshade Research Foundation, an alkaloid known as tropane is responsible for the arthritis flare-ups. Many people have experienced a decrease in their symptoms after removing nightshades from their diet.
Asthmatic sufferers will feel the improvement almost immediately, while those suffering from rheumatism and gout will notice the pain go away in just a couple of days. If you’re suspecting that your flare-ups are caused by the consumption of nightshades, we suggest removing the foods from your diet and see how it goes for you.
The most popular nightshade foods
- Pepino melon
- Goji berries
- Cayenne pepper
In the USA, most of the soy and soy sauce are genetically engineered and cut with the Petunia plant, a variety of nightshade. Braggs Amino Acids is a far safer choice, and tastes just like the popular say sauce brands, but is not GMO.
Most homeopathic remedies which contain Belladonna should be avoided, just like most medications containing potato starch. You should also skip capsicum-based topical ointments, baking powders with potato starch, vodka and sleeping pills which contain scopolamine and atropine. Don’t lick envelopes as well, as the sticky strip often contains potato starch.
When buying something from the market, read its label carefully. Don’t get foods with a generic term for seasoning as you might not know what’s in it.
If you want to see if nightshades are ruining your health, we suggest taking the 3-month challenge. Get off all nightshades for 3 months, and you will see how the plants are affecting your health. This includes prescription pills and over-the-counter medications as well, but as they’re important for your health, we suggest consulting a doctor first. After 3 months, start reintroducing nightshades in your diet one at a time. As soon you experience muscle and joint pain and stiffness or asthma flare-ups, you can be sure what’s causing the problem.
The cost of pain
According to a 2011 report, more than 115 million Americans suffer some kind of pain every day. This is more than the sufferers of heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined. Pain costs the USA $635 billion a year, which come from disability, lost wages and reduced productivity at work.