Solanum americanum 少花龍葵

Solanaceae 茄科

Shining-fruit Nightshade1



Whole plant, especially the immature fruits.5,6


  • Toxic Constituents
    Steroidal alkaloids such as solasonine, solamargine and solanine.7
  • Toxic Dose
    20 mg solanine (about 5 g of fruits) can be toxic.7,8
  • Mechanism
    Solasonine and solamargine bind to sterols, disrupt cell membrane integrity and cause tissue damage. Solanine has been reported to interfere with cholinesterase function; however, the evidence of cholinergic toxidrome in S. americanum poisoning is questionable.9–11
  • Poisoning Features
    Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, dizziness, delirium, slurring of speech and ataxia. Respiratory failure in severe cases.12–14
  • Poisoning Events
    Poisoning due to Solanum species with steroidal alkaloids are uncommon. Previous cases were mostly a result of ingestion of its berries due to misidentification as edible species, with clinical severity being dose-dependent. Most patients had mild symptoms. In over 200 incidents reported to the Berlin Toxicological Information Centre, ingestion of Black nightshade, a steroidal alkaloid-containing species from the genus Solanum, only resulted in mild symptoms in a few patients.12,14


Supportive treatment.


Annual herbs, 25–100 cm tall. Leaves simple; leaf blades 4–8 × 2–4 cm. Cymes 3–6(–10)‑flowered. Corolla white, with a yellow eye, less than 5 mm long, 5‑lobed, lobes 3–4 mm long. Anthers less than 1.5 mm. Berries less than 8 mm in diameter, crowned with strongly reflexed calyx‑lobes, black when ripe.15


Whole plant used in TCM: clear heat and remove toxin, drain dampness to alleviate oedema. Recommended dose: 10–30 g.2,16


In 2014, a 50-year-old man was admitted with dizziness and vomiting after consuming a dish prepared with leaves and fruits of a wild plant collected from the countryside. The plant was subsequently identified as S. americanum, and solamargine was detected in the plant specimen. The patient recovered uneventfully.17


Solasonine, solamargine and solanine can be detected by LC-MS/MS.18,19