Review of Pharmacological Uses of the Solanaceae




Weatherford, Trudie Lynn

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This paper is aimed at an audience interested in the varied medicinal applications of the Solanaceae family. The Solanaceae, also known as the nightshades, include plants prized for their many uses, including food sources, divination, drugs, and medicines. The family derives its potency from the range of alkaloids it contains. This paper combines the information found in herbals, in surveys of indigenous tribes, and in modem day applications in order to give the wide-ranging medicinal uses over time and between cultures. Characteristics, distribution, and usage patterns of the family are discussed. Next, the nature and purpose of the alkaloids are described. Then the types of sources used are reviewed. Following that is a list of the medicinal uses of Solanaceae given by genus and species. The idea behind an ethnobotanical survey is that it is time consuming to essay random plants for medicinal drugs, but through years of association many native cultures have acquired a great knowledge of medicinal plant value. Tribe and area data, along with mode of preparation, are given when available. The chemical composition of certain species is described after that. Modem uses of Solanaceous alkaloids are then listed. Concluding statements are made concerning the future of Solanaceous plants and indigenous cultures.



nightshades, medicinal use of plants, alkaloids, ethnobotanical survey


Weatherford, T.L. (1997). Review of the pharmacological uses of the Solanaceae. Honors College, Southwest Texas State University.


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