Solanum belfort Vand.
Solanum belfortianum Dunal
Solanum botelho Vand.
Solanum chloroleucum Dunal
Solanum dictyoticum Roem. & Schult.
Solanum jubeba Vell.
Solanum macronema Sendtn.
Solanum manoelii Moric.
Common Name: Jurubeba
Solanum paniculatum is a shrub growing 1 - 2.5 metres tall, occasionally forming a tree up to 3.5 metres[
]. The stems sometimes have a few prickles 3 - 9mm long[
The plant is listed as an official drug in the Brazilian Pharmacopoeia, where it is a specific treatment for anaemia and liver disorders[
]. The root is an ingredient of many patent medicines in Brazil[
Although providing many well-known foods for people, including the potato, tomato, pepper and aubergine, most species in this genus also contain toxic alkaloids. Whilst these alkaloids can make the plant useful in treaing a range of medical conditions, they can also cause problems such as nausea, vomiting, salivation, drowsiness, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, weakness and respiratory depression[
Unless there are specific entries with information on edible uses, it would be unwise to ingest any part of this plant[
S. America - Argentina, Paraguay, southern, central, eastern and northern Brazil.
Found in a wide variety of habitats; in disturbed forests; secondary growth; dunes; restingas; disturbed cerrado; rocky soils and roadsides at elevations from sea level to 1,100 metres[
Given its wide adaptability to various disturbed habitats and weedy nature, Solanum paniculatum would probably become naturalized in other parts of the world if introduced[
The plant is commonly used in Brazil, especially to treat digestive problems and a sluggish liver. Modern research has borne out these traditional uses.
The plant contains a number of active compounds including steroids, saponins, glycosides, and alkaloids in the root, stem, and leaves. The alkaloids are found more abundantly in the root, although they are also present in the stem and leaves. The steroids and saponins are found in higher quantities in the root, while the leaves have the greatest amount of glycosides. The plant also has been found to contain a large proportion of bitter properties, which were thought to contribute to its ability to stimulate digestion[
Solanidine and solasodine were discovered in the leaves and fruit, which probably accounts for its liver-protective properties[
The compound solanin, also found in the plant, has been documented in clinical research to possess analgesic activity (possibly through its ability to block pain impulses in the nervous system)[
One study has shown that the root, stem, flower, leaf, and fruit of the plant have anti-ulcer activity[
The plant also has been documented to have cardiotonic activity, possibly due to the alkaloid solanidine, which has been documented to have this activity[
The leaves and roots are used as a tonic and for treating fevers, anaemia, erysipelas, hepatitis, liver and spleen disorders, uterine tumours, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic gastritis, and other such digestive problems as sluggish digestion, bloating, and flatulence. Jurubeba leaf tea is a very common household remedy throughout Brazil for hangovers, especially when combined with indigestion and bloating from overeating[
The plant is sometimes employed externally in poultices to heal wounds and ulcers[
An extract of the plant is used as an ingredient in commercial cosmetic preparations as a hair and skin conditioner[
Seed - sow in trays in a nursery. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on fast. Plant them out when 10cm or more tall.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood. Very easy, the cuttings root within a couple of weeks.
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