black nightshade



Solanum nigrum






Healing Challenges

  • For difficulties with breast-feeding and aversion to breastfeeding.
  • For mother-child issues.
  • For poor body image, particularly related to the breasts.
  • For discomfort with being a female.
  • For constant tiredness and overwhelm
  • For inability to nurture oneself or others.
  • For energetically supporting digestive problems including constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, stomach upsets, diabetes, liver problems, acne, skin blemishes and toxic skin conditions, breast cancer, mastitis and lowered immunity.

Healing Outcomes

  • Grants a sense of self-worth
  • Helps mother and child with feeding difficulties
  • Helps women to love their body, whatever the shape or size
  • Increases sexual enjoyment through enhanced self-image
  • Supports femininity and motherhood
  • Energetically supports the digestive system
  • Energetically assists with bowel problems and boosts immunity
  • Clarifies the skin, by energetically supporting detoxification of the liver, through the skin
  • Opens communication lines between mothers and children


Found in wooded areas as well as disturbed habitats, Black Nightshade is an annual plant of the tomato and potato family, Solanaceae. Its genus is Solanum and it is a native to Eurasia and introduced to the Americas and Australiasia. It grows to a height of 30–120 cm with leaves 4–7 cm ovate or heart-shaped with wavy or large-toothed edges.

It produces small, greenish to white star-like flowers, re-curved when aged that surround prominent yellow centres. The fruits are oval, dull, blackberries that hang in small clusters. The ripe seeds can be eaten, but the green or light purple immature berries contain the toxic alkaloid solanine, which is the poisonous principle in green potatoes.

The flavour of the ripe berry is sweet. Taken internally in small amounts, they will promote perspiration and purge the bowels. It is useful for diabetes. Black Nightshade is a highly effective tonic for the stomach and ulcers. Cooking destroys any trace of toxic substance in the berries and they are often used in pies and cakes. Black Nightshade is a highly valued herb for its nutritional support of the digestive system.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine Black Nightshade is used for breast tumours and to alleviate fevers.

The fruit is also used as a cosmetic — it removes freckles.

The juice is used for fever and to allay pain. Large doses can cause poisoning that is not fatal. The juice is also used for skin problems and tumours.

Decoctions of the stalks, leaves and roots are good for wounds and canker.

An infusion of the plant is used for infants with abdominal upsets. According to Mrs. Grieve in her book, A Modern Herbal, published in 1931, the leaves are placed in the cradles of infants to promote sleep in Bohemia.

Green berries are recommended for herpes simplex while the leaves can be used as a poultice for ulcers or skin conditions.

It also has application for the liver and is used to support its function.

Doctrine of Signatures

The tiny star-shaped flowers are shaped like a nipple and breast — the white pulled-back petals appear as the curve of the breast while the yellow stamens in the centre look like a large nipple.

The distinct yellow colour at the centre directly relates to the Solar Plexus chakra, the human energy centre that is concerned with nourishment and the ability to self-nurture.

This centre also relates to self-esteem, particularly in regard to how well we have been nourished as an infant and through childhood.


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For further discussion and case studies on Black Nightshade, please purchase the book, Spirit of Woman Australian Wild Flower Essences.

Annie Meredith's Australian Wild Flower Essences Dandelion Essence