Reply To: Foraging 20: Nightshades in your area

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Hi Mana,
Just wanted to share that I am getting all excited about the green parts of potatoes and tomatoes at the moment. Your tomatoe growing is great!

In writing about flying ointments (which usually contain some Solanaceae/Nightshades for a narcotic effect – some are hideously potent/ poisonous so recipes containing them should be very cautiously considered!), I found how some cultures eat some potato and tomato leaves – cooked. Now Potatoes have Solanine in all green plant parts (very potent, toxic and used in flying ointments of old) however Tomatoes don’t contain that chemical, they contain a similar but different alkaloid, I think it’s called Tomatidine, it contains a few. That is traditionally seen here as an antinutrient however there’s some interesting research about the medicinal actions (mainly in animal feed research circles).

So I’m going to try substituting a little tomato leaf for another Solanine containing herb into my recipe (it gets heated).

Tomatoes are easy to grow (even if not to pro standards) in small urban spaces so I’m interested to see the effects. The leaf scent is ideally pretty intoxicating too. There’s something very Nightshade about them and yet different. They make their presence known!