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The Trouble With Nightshades November 19, 2011

Posted by acroanmph in Public Health.
Tags: , , , , ,
Nightshades, alternative health, arthritis

Beware of nightshades

Got aches and pain? Eliminating nightshades from your diet for a full 3 to 4 weeks is likely to provide total relief.

What are Nightshades?

Nightshades are part of the Solanaceae family of plants including tomatoes, tomatillos, hot and sweet peppers (not black pepper), potatoes (but not yams/sweet potatoes), eggplant, huckleberries, tobacco, pimento, paprika and cayenne, Tabasco sauce, and the poisonous belladonna and mandrake.

This ominous-sounding group of vegetables contains alkaloids, which can exacerbate arthritis, muscle tremors, paralysis and difficulty breathing. For especially sensitive people or those allergic to nightshades, these alkaloids can be fatal. For the rest of the population, it may encourage joint inflammation resulting in arthritis, of which there are about one hundred varieties, gout, or digestive problems and GERD, eczema and psoriasis. Alkaloids cause the bones to excrete calcium and other minerals and trace elements from the body.

Unless we are making a conscious effort, we are eating a much higher concentration of nightshades than we are aware. Nightshade spices are in most processed grocery store foods, including mayonnaise, salad dressings, salsa, and mixed spice packets just to name a few. But it’s also because we subconsciously seek them out because we crave them. They are high in potassium and counter the high sodium content in animal foods, i.e., meat and potatoes; cheese pizza with tomato sauce, etc. Unknowingly, we search for food combinations to make the appropriate balance.

The degree to which people can be affected by nightshades varies by individual and no medical research has definitively proven nightshades to cause or inflame arthritis, but testimonies and physician trials have shown enough relief that many medical practices recommend nightshade elimination from diets. Even a small amount ingested can cause minor irritations to death, depending on the individual.

Thousands of people who regularly received cortisone injections for arthritis pain relief have been able to discontinue the shots after three to four weeks without eating tomatoes, salsa, potatoes, eggplant and cayenne pepper.

Interesting Stats

  • Journal of Neurological and Orthopedic Medical Surgery: Of the 52% rigidly on the diet [without nightshades], 94% reported complete or substantial relief of arthritis.
  • Dr. Bruce Ames/Dr. Swirsky Gold: In a poisoning associated with a school lunch program, 61 of 109 school children and staff in Alberta, Canada, became ill, most within 5 minutes, after eating baked potato.
  • Potato neurotoxins have been shown to cause birth defects in rodents.
  • Positive correlation of appendicitis incidence rates with potato consumption.

Nightshades have been used and referenced in shamanism, witchcraft, and murder. They come with a history of both mystical danger and scientific caution. Some of the alkaloid properties have been used as anesthesia, and they are still a basis for potent narcotic medicine and sleeping pills.

It’s worth taking a nightshade-break in your diet for a few weeks to see if you feel better. I wouldn’t be surprised if you did! If you absolutely cannot, cooking the vegetables will reduce alkaloids by nearly half.

Related Reading:

Calcium For Bone Health: Not What You Thought

Tomatoes Are Evil


1. The Trouble With Nightshades by Amy Croan MPH « Health and Medical News and Resources - November 19, 2011

[…] The Trouble With Nightshades by Amy Croan MPH. […]

2. acroanmph - November 19, 2011

Thx for re-posting!

3. Janice Flahiff - November 20, 2011

You are welcome…at the risk of sounding like an alarmist…someone I met at a local Occupy site (OK..Occupy Toledo [OH]…says he had to get rid of his harvested tomatoes, spinach, and eggplants because of high readings from his geiger counter. He claims radioactive fallout from Fukushima is to blame, and this info is “all over” the blogs. Well, I couldn’t find anything…not that I searched well.
Stumbled upon contact info for a science writer at the American Chemical Society (former science editor of our local newspaper here in Toledo)…so I emailed him.. inquiring if he knew of any news on this radiation/nightshade connection…so, if I hear from Michael Woods (he is on twitter) I will let you know if you are interested..

acroanmph - November 20, 2011

Yes, I’d be interested to know what he has to say about that. I also have not heard about radiated foods-specifically nightshades?! Odd. Maybe owning a Geiger counter, one is more inclined to find what one is looking for. ;)

4. Janice Flahiff - November 21, 2011

The science writer emailed me back, said he didn’t know anything about this. I searched databases through our public library (newspapers, peer reviewed articles) and did not find anything related. There were a few items (found through Google)in the “alternative press”, but nothing substantial or well referenced.
So, good point about finding what one is looking for. And, of course, it is nearly impossible to prove a negative! Well, it was well worth searching. Thank you for replying. Will definitely be returning to this site again.

5. originalribenababy - January 17, 2012

Could never give up raw tomatoes, they just taste too good. And my family has a history of arthritis.

Tomatoes are also a great source of lycopene which benefits bone health (proven in medical studies where post menopausal women had tomatoes and other lycopene rich foods removed from their diet), and the removal of such foods can lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis. Fresh tomatoes and their extracts have been shown to help lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides – there has even been research to show they have ‘anti-cancer’ properties.

Tbh, I would try and make my diet a whole lot more varied, introducing lots of good new foods and mixing it up a little, before I considered cutting anything out.

acroanmph - January 17, 2012

I love tomatoes too and agree they have many health benefits. But for someone who has been suffering from arthritis, it may be worth taking a couple weeks without just to see whether there may be some improvement. Thanks for reading & commenting!

originalribenababy - January 18, 2012

Spoze I should think myself lucky I don’t really have a tolerance for cayenne ;)

rae - July 20, 2012

I’ve been pretty much tomato free for many years now. I didn’t believe my dr, who told me to try leaving nightshades off, but by chance hadn’t had any for a couple of weeks. I was tomato hungry and made up a batch of sauce, meatless, and had plenty on some noodles, about three cups of sauce. I woke up the next morning frozen in a fetal position, unable to move. I thought I must have had a stroke! But over the next hour I was able, slowly to get those joints moving again, though it hurt terribly. After this experience I avoid nightshades. My cholesterol and triglycerides are fine, and last check up, by another clinic, I was told to keep up whatever I was doing! Two other Dr.s, different types, told me to leave off black pepper completely. This is difficult as I work in a food industry and must taste my product, which varies and sometimes is coated with black pepper. Sometimes I cheat and don’t taste, sometimes I taste and spit it out. That’s not conducive to sales. Anyway, do try a nightshade free couple of weeks, you may be surprised by no pain.

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