‘Solanaceae’ comes from the Latin word ‘solumen’ which refers to solace, consolation, or comfort.
The Solanaceae are a plant family that is referred to as the ‘deadly nightshades’. On account of the intensive scent that these plants release, solely at night, and that gives humans headaches, they have acquired this name. Not all plants of this species are poisonous; some are even edible and are in daily use in our kitchen.
Paracelsus (1493 – 1541) said of poisonous plants:
Does there exist a thing of God created,
which has not been bestowed with a gift?
Which cannot be used for the benefit of man-kind?
Who despises the poison does not know what lies within.
Does there exist a thing that is not poison?
All things are poison – and nothing is without poison.
Alone the dosage is what makes the poison!
Common features of the poisonous plants of this family are the instigation of an inappropriate cheerfulness. They cause delirium, and heightened sensitivity of the auditory and at times the visual senses. Diverse fears are a great feature of such poisoning. On a physical level there can be severe forms of convulsion. The pupils’ become dilated, speech may become erratic, and there is dryness of mucous membranes.
The Solanaceae are a group of plants from which some great homeopathic remedies have been produced. The following gives an insight into some of the properties of some of the most common homeopathic remedies from this family.
Frenzied excitement, mania. Vertigo on turning head. Heat on head. Bright spots, flashes before eyes. Stomach area very sensitive. Accelerated pulse. Numbness and heaviness in limbs. Hyperaesthesia of nerves.
Frenzy, madness, violent delirium. Congestion of head, dilated pupils. Redness, burning heat, congestion, convulsion, excessive hyperaesthesia of senses. Hallucinations, acuteness of senses. Palpitations. Restlessness. Anxiety.
Dullness of senses. Timidity. Stiffness, cracking of joints. Aversion to motion. Great sensitivity to cold. Phlegmatic. Lazy, unclean, fat.
Delirium. Restlessness from within, impatience. Quarrelsome. Congestion of head with impaired hearing. Great emaciation. Plethoric, sluggish. Acts on mucous membranes. Burning pains. General chilliness. Peevishness, Exhaustion.
Peevish and taciturn. Dullness of senses. Heaviness of head, vertigo. Burning and aching pains. Dryness of eyes with burning, dim-sightedness. Jerking, pulling and tearing in limbs. Paraplegia.
Delirium. Vertigo with headaches, dullness and heaviness. Pupils dilated. Trembling. Tonic and clonic spasms. Great sensitivity of eyes to light. Stomach with disagreeable sensation, emptiness and faintness.
Languor and weakness of muscles. Paralysis of face. Stiffness of limbs. Stabbing sensation in chest. Enuresis and marked urinary symptoms.
Delirium. Raving mania. Trembling, twitching and crawling of limbs. Convulsion. Insensitivity. Sensation of separated-ness of limbs and body. Suppression of secretions and excretions. Delirium tremens. Parkinson. Loquaciousness, stammering.
Imbecility and irrationality. Shamelessness and lasciviousness. Melancholy. Quarrelsome and obscene. Nervous agitation. Restlessness, twitching of muscles.
- Boericke, W. (2004) Pocket manual of homeopathic materia medica and repertory New Delhi: B.Jain publishers Ltd.
- Boger, C. (2008) Boger Boennighausen’s Characteristics & Repertory New Delhi: B.Jain publishers Ltd.
- Clarke, J. (1994) A Dictionary of practical materia medica New Delhi: B.Jain publishers Ltd.
- McElroy, M. & Mittelstadt, U. (2010) The Solanaceae – Presentation [unpublished]