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Konark Herbal and Health Care


Solanum nigrum is a species in the Solanum genus, native to Eurasia and introduced in the Americas, Australasia and South Africa. It is generally termed as Black nightshade is a fairly common herb or short-lived perennial shrub, found in many wooded areas, as well as disturbed habitats. It has a height of 30–120 cm, leaves 4-7.5 cm and 2–5 cm wide ovate to heart-shaped, with wavy or large-toothed edges; both surfaces hairy or hairless. The flowers have petals greenish to whitish. The berry is mostly 6–8 mm diam., dull black or purple-black. The plant has a long history of medicinal usage, dating back to ancient Greece.

Listing Details

Botanical Names
Solanum nigrum
Indian Names
Sanskrit : Kakamachi Hindi : Makoi Telugu : Kachchipandu, Kamanchi chettu Tamil : Munatakali Gujarati : Piludi Marathi : Kamuni Bengali : Tit Begun, Phuti Begun, Kakmachi Kannada : Ganikayeagida, Ganikegida, ganike, Ganikesopu
Chemical Constituents
The major active components documented are glycoalkaloids (solamargine, solasonine and solanine), glycoproteins and polysaccharides apart from polyphenols (gallic acid, catechin, protocatechuic acid, caffeic acid, epicatecin, rutin and naringenin). Several phytochemicals have been identified and isolated from Solanum nigrum, which contain alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, tannins, phytic acid and hydrocyanic acid Ikeda et al., identified saponins (nigrumin I and II) as active compounds that showed hepatoprotective effects. Several compounds have been isolated from different fractions of Solanum nigrum which have shown pharmacological relevance to the observed effects of whole plant preparation. Sun et al. reported the variability of the concentration of organic acids between seedlings of Solanum nigrum and the mature plants. Acetic acid, tartaric acid, malic acid and citric acid were identified as the major organic acids in S. nigrum. High concentrations of solanine, a glycoalkaloid is found in most parts of S. nigrum, but highest levels are found in unripe berries of Solanum nigrum. However, when ripe, the berries are the least toxic part of the plant and are sometimes eaten without ill effects. Similarly, the solanine increases in the leaves as the plant matures. Also, five non-saponin namely 6-methoyhydroxycoumarin, syringaresinol-4-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside, pinoresinol-4-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside, 3, 4-dihydroxhbenzoic acid (IV), p-hydroxybenzoic acid and 3- methoxy-4-hydroxyienzoic acid were isolated for studies. (1)
Pesticide Limits
A limit for pesticide is one of the major issues in standardization of medicinal plants and products in view of the worldwide widespread use of pesticides in cultivated plants. The presence of pesticides in extracts increase the health risk by many folds. The pesticides can be extremely irritant on skin as well as in the internal organs hence it is essential to monitor its concentration as a part of GMP. Various analytical methods for the quantitative determination of pesticides by gas chromatography coupled with mass-spectrophotometer are in use. Konark Research Foundation (KRF), a NABL certified lab is well equipped with the latest technology and instruments and monitors the pesticide limit as part of its GMP.
Chromatographic Profile
From the pharmacopoeial perspective, a better quality control of raw material can be achieved by specifying quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content of the active ingredient or marker substances. A chromatographic finger profile represents qualitative/ quantitative determination of various components present in a complex plant extract, irrespective whether or not their exact identity is known. Thin layer chromatographic technique is the simplest and least expensive method that provides plenty of information on the composition of raw herbs and its preparation. For quantitative analysis of active ingredients or marker substances with simultaneous separation and detection High Pressure liquid chromatography is the best technique. We use the latest model of HPLC for all its analysis.
Limits of Impurities
A test requirement for foreign organic matter would ensure the extent of contamination of extraneous matters such as filth and other parts of botanicals not covered by the definition of the herbal drug. Since sand and soil are predictable contaminants of botanicals, test requirements for ‘total ash’, water soluble ash’, ‘acid soluble ash’, residue on ignition and sulphated ash would be expected to limit such contaminants. Test requirement for heavy metals in botanical raw material are probably more relevant for parts of plants growing under ground than for the aerial parts of the plant. The presence of high levels of minerals interacts with the final product there by affecting its keeping quality.
Microbial Limits
If the raw herbs are to be used directly without boiling in water prior to consumption, restrictive limits on microbial contaminants are required for pathogens such as Salmonella sp. Enterobacter and E. coli which are causative agent for various gastrointestinal diseases. A lower level of yeasts and molds and a limit on total aerobes are considered appropriate in plant material for topical use. The presence of aflatoxins detected by chemical means is generally independent of the number of viable molds that are detected using microbiological methods. Aflatoxins in microgram quantity are capable of giving serious hypersensitivity reactions which can be extremely harmful to human health
Solanum nigrum is widely used in ethnomedicine for its hepatoprotective, anti-proliferative, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties. This herb elaborates a wide spectrum of medicinal properties such as anticancer, antioxidant, neuroprotective, cytoprotective, antiulcer, antimicrobial, antinociceptive and antipyretic properties. Chinese experiments confirm that Solanum nigrum plant inhibits growth of cervical carcinoma. Traditionally the plant was used to cure tuberculosis. S. nigrum is a widely used plant in oriental medicine. It is anti tumorigenic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, hepato protective, diuretic, and antipyretic in action. (2) The berries of Solanum nigrum has been reported in the ancient Indian medicinal literature with beneficial effects in inflammation, tuberculosis, diuretics etc. the anti-inflammatory effects of Solanum nigrum in anti-inflammatory activity in acute and chronic inflammation has also been investigated.(3) The methanolic extract of Solanum nigrum has showed significant anti-inflammatory action. It has been concluded that methanolic extract of berries of Solanum nigrum augments that it is having good anti-inflammatory activity against carrageenan induced paw edema. Methanol and chloroform extracts of Solanum nigrum seeds exhibited 37% and more than 50% inhibition of HCV respectively at non toxic concentration. Moreover, antiviral effect of Solanum nigrum seeds extract was also analyzed against HCV NS3 protease by transfecting HCV NS3 protease plasmid into liver cells. The results demonstrated that chloroform extract of Solanum nigrum decreased the expression or function of HCV NS3 protease in a dose- dependent manner and GAPDH remained constant. (4)
Health Benefits
Solanum nigrum is one of the medicinal herbs which belong to family “solanacae”. Solanum nigrum is mainly used in polyherbal formulations targeting liver diseases problems. Documentation using scientifically validated assay systems shows that S. nigrum can offer new candidate drugs for commercialization. Generally, black nightshade is very rich in nutritive values, which are capable of supplying minerals, vitamins, proteins, and certain hormone precursors. It has been claimed that Solanum nigrum fruits in particular are an excellent remedy for liver disorders. It also has the capacity to scavenge hydroxyl radicals by inhibiting oxidative damage. A recent report has shown that Solanum nigrum exerts protection against liver fibrosis. In India Solanum nigrum has been chosen as the important ingredient for herbal formulations, which is mainly used for treating liver diseases. (5, 6) It has been used traditionally to treat various ailments such as pain, inflammation and fever. Its leaves, stems and roots are used as a poultice or to treat leucoderma and wounds while extracts of this plant are claimed to possess anti-inflammatory, antispasmodics, and vasodilator and hepatoprotective effects. The fruits of S. nigrum have been reported to play an adjuvant role in the hepatoprotective property. Inhibition of lipid peroxidation and free radical scavenging activity has been suggested as a possible mechanism of action (7).
Research References
1. Atanu F. O., Ebiloma U. G. and Ajayi E. I. A review of the pharmacological aspects of Solanum nigrum Linn. Biotechnology and Molecular Biology Review 6(1):001-007, 2011 2. Dhirender K., Vikas J., Pawan K., Sukhbir L., Ankit S., Chetan S., Aneja K. R. Evaluation of activities of Solanum nigrum fruit extract Archives of Applied Science Research; 2009, 1 (1): 43-50 3. Ravi V., Saleem T. S. M., Patel S. S., Raamamurthy J. and Gauthaman K. Anti-Inflammatory Effect of Methanolic Extract of Solanum nigrum Linn Berries International Journal of Applied Research in Natural Products 2(2):33-36, 2009 4. Tariq J., Usman A. A., Sana R., Sidra R. and Sheikh R. In-vitro antiviral activity of Solanum nigrum against Hepatitis C Virus. Virology Journal 2011, 8:26 5. Saravanan S., Dhasarathan P., Indira V. and Venkatraman R. Gastro Protective and Antioxidant Activity of Solanum nigrum Linn. Against Aspirin and Cold Restraint Stress induced Ulcerated Rats. Research Journal of Immunology 4(1):1-11, 2011 6. Subash K. R., Ramesh K. S., Binoy V. C., Britto F., Jagan Rao N. and Vijaykumar S. Study of Hepatoprotective Activity of Solanum nigrum and Cichorium intybus International Journal of Pharmacology 7(4):504-509, 2011 7. Kusum S., Nazoora S. A., Mohd I. K. and Vinita A. EFFECT OF Solanum nigrum ON PROTEIN CONTENT OF LIVER AND KIDNEY OF ALBINO RATS PHARMACIE GLOBALE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COMPREHENSIVE PHARMACY Pharmacie Globale (IJCP) 2011, 4 (08)