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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

The Trouble With Nightshades by Amy Croan MPH

Beware of nightshades

 

The Trouble With Nightshades by Amy Croan MPH.

from the 19th November blog item

Got aches and pain? Eliminating nightshades from your diet for a full 3 to 4 weeks is likely to provide total relief.

What are Nightshades?

Nightshades are part of the Solanaceae family of plants including tomatoes, tomatillos, hot and sweet peppers (not black pepper), potatoes (but not yams/sweet potatoes), eggplant, huckleberries, tobacco, pimento, paprika and cayenne, Tabasco sauce, and the poisonous belladonna and mandrake.

This ominous-sounding group of vegetables contains alkaloids, which can exacerbate arthritis, muscle tremors, paralysis and difficulty breathing. For especially sensitive people or those allergic to nightshades, these alkaloids can be fatal. For the rest of the population, it may encourage joint inflammation resulting in arthritis, of which there are about one hundred varieties, gout, or digestive problems and GERD, eczema and psoriasis. Alkaloids cause the bones to excrete calcium and other minerals and trace elements from the body.

Unless we are making a conscious effort, we are eating a much higher concentration of nightshades than we are aware. Nightshade spices are in most processed grocery store foods, including mayonnaise, salad dressings, salsa, and mixed spice packets just to name a few. But it’s also because we subconsciously seek them out because we crave them. They are high in potassium and counter the high sodium content in animal foods, i.e., meat and potatoes; cheese pizza with tomato sauce, etc. Unknowingly, we search for food combinations to make the appropriate balance.

The degree to which people can be affected by nightshades varies by individual and no medical research has definitively proven nightshades to cause or inflame arthritis, but testimonies and physician trials have shown enough relief that many medical practices recommend nightshade elimination from diets. Even a small amount ingested can cause minor irritations to death, depending on the individual.

Thousands of people who regularly received cortisone injections for arthritis pain relief have been able to discontinue the shots after three to four weeks without eating tomatoes, salsa, potatoes, eggplant and cayenne pepper.

Interesting Stats

  • Journal of Neurological and Orthopedic Medical Surgery: Of the 52% rigidly on the diet [without nightshades], 94% reported complete or substantial relief of arthritis.
  • Dr. Bruce Ames/Dr. Swirsky Gold: In a poisoning associated with a school lunch program, 61 of 109 school children and staff in Alberta, Canada, became ill, most within 5 minutes, after eating baked potato.
  • Potato neurotoxins have been shown to cause birth defects in rodents.
  • Positive correlation of appendicitis incidence rates with potato consumption.

Nightshades have been used and referenced in shamanism, witchcraft, and murder. They come with a history of both mystical danger and scientific caution. Some of the alkaloid properties have been used as anesthesia, and they are still a basis for potent narcotic medicine and sleeping pills.

It’s worth taking a nightshade-break in your diet for a few weeks to see if you feel better. I wouldn’t be surprised if you did! If you absolutely cannot, cooking the vegetables will reduce alkaloids by nearly half.

Related Reading:

Calcium For Bone Health: Not What You Thought

Tomatoes Are Evil

November 19, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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