Solanum carolinense, Horsenettle
Solanum carolinense, Horsenettle is a widespread native plant in eastern North America, with formidable spines. Among the native plants considered a noxious weed. Cherokee gargled wilted leaf tea for sore throats; poulticed leaves for Poison Ivy rash. Berries fried in grease were used as an ointment for dog’s mange. Properly administered, berries were historically used for epilepsy; diuretic, painkiller, antispasmodic. Nineteenth century French authors suggest efficacy in the treatment of tetanus (pre-antibiotic era). Folk use as an aphrodisiac noted in South Carolina in the pre-Civil War era among captive Africans by Francis Porcher, a Charleston physician who ran a free hospital for captive Africans. Contains a steroidal glycoside, carolinoside and the alkaloid solanine. Considered toxic, especially the ripe fruits, the consumption of which has been linked to fatalities.
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