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List of Nightshade Veggies and Fruits

February 9, 2013

To all who do not agree that there could be such a ‘beast’ as ‘night shade’ sensitivity.

A little bit about Nightshades:

A large family of plants grown in the shade of night called Solanaceae. These vegetables and fruits contain a substance, called alkaloids, which may be responsible for some health problems including muscle pain, morning stiffness, poor healing, acid reflux, insomnia,  gallbladder problems, arthritis and other inflammatory problems.

These alkaloids are produced by the plants to protect them from harmful insects.

However, these substances can act like chemical substances and have strong physiological effects in humans.

There are four basic types of alkaloids found in nightshade plants. These types are:

(1) Steroid alkaloids, which contain a fairly complicated fused ring structure and are found in most food nightshades including potato and tomato.
(2) Tropane alkaloids, all originating from the simple amino acid ornithine and found in fewer of the overall nightshades, but more extensively researched due to their strong drug-like properties
(3) Pyrrolizidine alkaloid.*
(4) Indole alkaloids.*
*Both important groups from a drug standpoint.

Solanine is the toxin (Glycoalkaloid Poison) contained in all nightshade plants such as tomatoes, potatoes, and goji berries. It can occur naturally in any part of the plant, including the leaves, fruit, and tubers. Solanine has fungicidal and pesticidal properties. Again, it is one of the plant’s natural defenses.

[As it turns out, the healthy divine little blueberry fruits are not a nightshade plant, but they do contain solanine. Other non-nightshade plants that contain solanine include huckleberries, okra, artichokes and ground cherries.]

*This is about as in-depth about why nightshades can cause trouble for folks that I intend to get into. You can find a ton of information online if you search for information about:

  • nightshades
  • no nightshade diet
  • solanine
  • solanine toxcity syndrome

Nightshade Vegetables:

  • Banana Peppers
  • Cayenne
  • Chili Peppers
  • Datil
  • Eggplant
  • Habanero
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Paprika
  • Pimentos
  • Potatoes (sweet potatoes are okay)
  • Sweet Peppers (black pepper is okay)
  • Thai Peppers
  • Tomatillos
  • Potatoes
  • Wax Peppers

Nightshade Fruits:

  • Goji Berries/Wolfberry
  • Gooseberry/Cape Gooseberry/Ground Cherry
  • Jerusalem Cherries
  • Pepino
  • Tamarillo
  • Tomatoes

Herbs / Plants:

  • Ashwagandha
  • Banewort (another name for nightshade)
  • Belladonna / Atropa Belladonna (used in Homeopathy, found in Viagra)
  • Bittersweet (Atropine Belladonna)
  • Brugmansia
  • Datura
  • Devil’s Cherries (another name for nightshade)
  • Devil’s Herb (another name for nightshade)
  • Divale (another name for nightshade)
  • Dubiosia
  • Dwale (another name for nightshade)
  • Dwayberry (another name for nightshade)
  • Great Morel (another name for nightshade)
  • Henbane
  • Hyoscyamus
  • Jimson Weed
  • Mandrake
  • Mandragore
  • Nightshade / Deadly Nightshade
  • Petunias (yes, the flower)
  • Solanum
  • Tobacco

*I may have a few of the above on the ‘wrong’ lists…but the point of putting this all down in list form is to help you sort out what in your diet might be causing you to suffer from muscle pain, morning stiffness, poor healing, acid reflux, insomnia,  gallbladder problems, arthritis and other inflammatory problems.

Other forms of ‘food’ that can contain solanine:

  • Modified Food Starch (Be cautious of starch if it doesn’t say where it’s derived from.)
  • Starch (*If it doesn’t say where it’s derived from, check with the manufacturer)
  • Yeast (*Most yeast contains potato, both baking yeast and beer yeast. **Red Star yeast does not contain potato.)
  • Shellac Wax (comes from Lac beetle that feeds on Wolfberry plants, found on shiny fruit and veggies, commonly not listed in ingredients)
  • Palmitate Vitamin A (In margarine and milk, it’s derived from potatoes.)

Medicines and Chemicals:

  • Acrylamide
  • Atropine
  • Chaconine
  • Hyoscine (another name for scopolamine)
  • Nicotine
  • Scopolamine (common in motion sickness meds)
  • Solanine
  • Viagra (contains belladonna)

Not to be mistaken for Nightshades:

  • Black Pepper
  • White Pepper
  • Green Peppercorns
  • Sichuan Pepper
  • Tasmannia
  • Long Pepper

Another note on starch:
Shredded Cheese often contains potato starch, food manufacturers add it so the cheese will not clump. I now buy my cheese in blocks and shred it myself. I often pre-shred small amounts from the block.  A little extra work yes, but avoiding the muscle pain and belly aches are worth the work.

As a last note:
I’ve known for a long time that I have to be very careful eating nightshade plants. It is probably not a coincidence that I had to have my gall bladder removed in my late 30’s.

Solanine cannot be destroyed by cooking at high temps – other than in one case: deep frying is the only way it can be destroyed in potatoes. And since I don’t usually like deep fried foods of any sort I rarely eat fries anyhow.

So you will notice that I will be very cautious about adding nightshades into my diet. When I do it will be in small amounts.


Due to a recent complaint from a reader, who believes that I have not stated clearly enough that this list and journal is based on my experience – I want to once again state that:

This journal is based on my experience. It is meant to provoke thought. I want you, the reader, to question everything you are told, especially if you, like me, have battled debilitating pain and illness most of your life.

Question everything. Including this ‘list’. As I believe I mentioned before, there is no ‘official’ list out there. That is why I worked to compile this list and share it with others. It may by no means be complete, and I have stated that on some of the items on the list that I myself am not even sure how accurate their place on the list is. I have even added, deleted, and amended this list with the help of my readers.

When something one needs is not ‘out there’…one creates it! Hence this list!

I am not a medical professional. I have never claimed to be such. I have stated over and over: “what worked for me – may not work for you.” And just in case I have not stated this clearly enough for the reader that decided to take me to task – this is based on my experience, and my experience was extreme.





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  1. Autumn permalink

    I think this is a great list and it was very thoughtful of you to put it together and share it. Thank you.

  2. Your entire article is insightful, highly intelligent, and informative. Kudos to you for sharing. I have been diagnosed with Lyme’s twice in my life, wake every day ache-full in all of my joints plus a headache. I am now 66 years young, and don’t see things changing a whole lot in the future. I have been sensitive to nightshade plants and have avoided them for years. But, I think the Lyme’s critter is an invasive sort of spirochete….probably will be with me all of the rest of my life!
    Little do we know about other, more miniscule ‘bugs’, and the havoc that they may do if we are bitten. I guess that is LIFE!

  3. Ian permalink

    Thank you, I just found out that I am intollerant of potatos and your list is a great help on what to avoid, shame the medical profession can not be as helpful.

  4. Ian permalink

    Thank you, just found out i am intollerant of potatos so your list is very helpful about what to avoid, shame the medical profession can not be as helpful.

  5. Chrissy permalink

    Thanks for the helpful info!! –hopeful asthmatic

  6. After many years, I found out tomatoes have been the culprit for irritating my skin to the point of bleeding when scratching, I never had eggplant until one evening my friend made me taste hers and my tongue instantly felt like needles were on it – I appreciate your hard work and sharing this so much and I continue to determine all that I am affected by – thank you 🙂

  7. And once again NT – you shot off your mouth.

    YOU are the one that posted to my pages originally. I kept copies of all your dialog – on my external hard-drive. I went through and deleted ALL of your baloney, all your posts, all your e-mail, and social media links. All of it. YOU inadvertently ‘subscribed’ to my journal when you posted your initial obnoxious post.

    You are getting alerts because YOU posted to MY pages. You need to check into your account and unsubscribe to my pages…

    Once again, I will not delete this page, nor will I delete my other page. The content on both pages is appropriate to this journal. As I said earlier…my viewpoint opposes your viewpoint and my viewpoint represents an often overlooked viewpoint – both pages will remain.

    We are done. And yet again…your baloney is gone. Do NOT post here again, as it will be deleted immediately and will not garner a response. And do yourself a favor if you cannot figure out how to unsubscribe on your end of things…delete any notices.

    **My apologies for those that are reading this comment that seems so ‘out of context’. I have a person that initially posted to my journal, got into a very heated disagreement with myself and another poster – and keeps coming back to bother me because they managed to ‘subscribe’ to my journal when they posted to it. I have (and had) deleted all of their content, link backs and the like – the above is my answer to that person’s last dialog with me. It once again turned into foolishness.**

  8. mollie nickle permalink

    are you sure that ashwagandha is in the nightshade family?

  9. San permalink

    I never knew any of this….but then a few months back started garden with eggplants, chiles, and tomatoes. My eggplant was beyond abundant, so I decided I could melt them down into soups along with tomatoes and chiles. That is when my health troubles started to take place. I thought I would be feeling healthy and wonderful, but instead I had stomach pains each time after eating the soup. Horrible menstrual cramps for first time in years, headaches, dizziness, confusion, extreme lethargy, muscle weakness, and finally culminating in recurring boils on my face. After about 2-3 months of this and not feeling right mentally I thought to google eggplants and toxins. It made perfect sense to me that I was suffering from this. It has only been a week now but I am so grateful for all the info on the net and websites such as yours….by the way, a great way to cure boils is turmeric by topically making a paste w/honey and warm watet covering boil and surrounding area. Ingest a teaspoon of it in a cup of warm water 3x/day or you can add it to Fage yoghurt (don’t use non-fat, fat helps to assimilate) and honey w/ a squeeze of lemon or lime. And a helpful website is is where I got that remedy. It’s a very helpful site that I strongly recommend. Turmeric is great for MRSA too.

  10. JoAnn GASTON permalink

    Thanks Amy. Good info.

  11. Della permalink

    Some people have trouble with the nightshade family I’m one of them ! I so love tomatoes and eggplant ! My doctor advised me against them years ago ! Ayurvedic medicine for vata ! Thank you ! It’s good to be reminded! I can eat deep fried Okra Lol!

  12. Bonnie Lo Johnstone permalink

    Finding out that nightshade made me sick was the first step in unwinding the mystery of food allergies that suddenly became part of my life in my late 50’s.
    Often a person with nightshade allergies is also sensitive or allergic to soy…but I am allergic to ALL legumes (every pea, bean, peanut, licorice, stringent…all of them!). Then flax and seeds kicked in.
    So far, that’s the extent of my food allergies.
    I’ve never been sickly or had any allergies before in my life!
    I’ve completely switched to eating organic, locally sourced food. Even on a lower income I’m able to control what I eat and know where it comes from and how it’s produced.

  13. Carolyn Paseneaux permalink

    I have been told that the problem with nightshade vegetables and fruits is the lectin, the plant protein, as it allows penetration of the wall of the stomach.

  14. Merav Chen permalink

    Great info! I actually healed myself from crhons when I stopped eating nightshade in conjunction with being gluten free, dairy free and sugar free. Good luck to you!

  15. Thank you so much! I have ulcerative colitis and foods from the nightshade family are very, very problematic and other foods with solanine. Also any veg from cruciferous family I.e. Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, cabbage just to name 3. Hope this helps other sufferers. Keep up the good work!

  16. Nicholas permalink

    Thank you for the information, I will see what I react to.

  17. Margaret permalink

    Thank u

  18. Wanda permalink

    Thank you this List has been very helpful to i’ve been battling pain for many years due to fibromyalgia and I realize that I’ve been eating a lot of those foods so thank you

  19. wendy permalink

    Thank you, I’m starting today to eliminate nightshade for 3 months. At first thought Lymes was the culprit, maybe still to blame, but now after reading tons about nightshade and your story I convinced that this could be the answer. Thanks again for sharing!

  20. Amy,

    I just wanted to thank you for posting this information. Please do not be dissuaded by criticisms that this is not a scientific, experiment-based compilation of information, but rather a journal of knowledge you have acquired through experience. There’s nothing wrong with a personal journal, and I have found this site to be very useful.

    Personally, I demand a high level of quality from any resource I use. I graduated from college summa cum laude, so I am quite capable of determining the value of a source of information. If people are unable to draw useful information from what you have posted it’s their fault, not yours.

    You have done a very good job with this site, and are providing a great service to your readers.
    Thank you.

  21. Mary McKay permalink

    Thank you for this list. And sometimes things are best from personal knowledge! I have been doctoring for 2 years, i have finally found my reaction to nightshades are the reason for my lower abdomen pain. After many tests, and agonizing over wether or not i was crazy. I found my answer. This list is def right on! Now i can share it with my family, just in case somebody else has these sensitivities.

  22. Patriziana permalink

    Dear Amy,
    Thanks a bunch for sharing your journey.
    All the info it’s been very helpful.

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