Veterinary Medicine Library
Nightshade, Bittersweet (Solanum dulcamara L.)
- Many contain the steroidal glycoalkaloid solanine. Upon hydrolysis, a sugar and the
alkaloid solanidine are recovered. The free (unconjugated) steroidal alkaloid (the
aglycone) is the primary form acting on the nervous system.
- Other aglycones present may include dihydrosolanidine, tomatidine and strophanthidin.
Toxic properties of these compounds are characteristic of saponins.
- Some of these plants also have cardiac effects, e.g., Jerusalem cherry (S.
pseudocapsicum) contains an additional alkaloid, solanocapsine, which produces
- In some plants, atropine-like constituents predominate, e.g., potato (S. tuberosum),
and some strains and stages of black nightshade (S. nigrum).
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