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Family Solanaceae
Solanum sodomeum Linn.

Ci tian qie

Other scientific names  Common names 
Solanum sisymbrifolium Lam. Solanum (Tag.)
  Dead sea apple (Engl.)
  Apple of Sodom (Engl.)
  Poison berry (Engl.)
  Vine of Sodom (Engl.)
  Ci tian qie (Chin.)


Hairy and spiny shrub, growing to a height of 1.5 meters. Leaves are ovate, dark green with 2-3 serrate lobes. Flowers are violet. Fruit is orange, globose, up to 3 cm and many-seeded.

Native to the Mediterranean. Cultivated in Baguio and Manila gardens. Propagated by seeds.

Properties and constituents
Fruit is deemed poisonous.
A water soluble extract consists of 60-90% solamargine and solasonine, being studied as components in pharmaceutical compostions for inhibiting tumor growth in liver, breast and lung cancer. http://www.freepatentsonline.com/7078063.html

Not known folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
Ongoing studies in other countries.
Used for cystitis, dermatitis, ringworn, pleurisy, sorethroat, toothaches and infertility.
In the Congo, used for hypertension.
In the Easter Cape, South Africa, poultice of fruit and leaves in oil or fat applied to skin rashes.
In Paraguay, used for its diuretic and antihypertensive properties.

Caution !
Livestock / Pasture Nightshades:Since 1900s, reports of chronic and crippling arthritis in livestock in Brazil, USA, Australia and other places, associated with arteriosclerosis, hypercalcemic, osteopetrosis and early death  have identified the culprits as belonging to the Solanacea family (Nightshade family), including S malacoxylon and S sodomeum, C diurnum and N veitchii. Solanaceae which contain cholinesterase inhibiting glycoalkaloids and steroids and its vitamin D3 metabolite and other unknown factors and deficiencies – may cumulatively cause the disabling arthrtic condition.

Hypotensive / Cardiovascular Effects: Extract from the plant has been reported to exert hypotensive effects in rats. Nuatigenosido, isolated as one of the prospective active compounds, was shown to lower blood pressure and augment the contractile force in the right atrium.


Last Update November 2010

Photo © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
An Apparent Relation of Nightshades (Solanaceae) to Arthritis / Journal of Neurological and Orthopedic Medical Surgery (1993) 12:227-231
The arthritis and nightshades story

An ethnobotanical study of plants used for the treatment of wounds in the Eastern Cape, South Africa / Grierson D S and A J Afolayan / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 67, pp. 327- 332, (1999)Prelude Medicinal Plants Database
Cardiovascular Action of Nuatigenosido from Solanum sisymbriifolium / Derlis A Ibarrola et al / Summary
Pharmaceutical Biology / 2006, Vol. 44, No. 5, Pages 378-381

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