We do not know with what name to stay, if with the scientist, solanum dulcamara, which sounds pretty good (it even has a sweet touch…) or one of the names as this one is known ancient medicinal plant, devil’s grape!
It is not for less, to see the red and small fruits that it produces can reach misinterpretations and, of course, by the toxicity of almost all its plant.
That is why this article is written more as a curiosity than as a recommendation. Although in the past it was used solanum dulcamara how medical plant, today it is considered a forbidden and poisonous plant by ORDER SCO/190/2004.
So we put it in bold: neither cultivate nor acquire it as a medicinal plant!
What’s so special about solanum dulcamara?
To solanum dulcamara several common names are assigned to it. One of them is the one we have mentioned above, devil’s grape, but in America it is also known as dulcamara or Adela.
One of the main characteristics of this medicinal plant is that it is a climber. Well maintained it can reach up to 3 or 4 meters in height and, ornamentally, it has a great beauty.
Within Spain it is distributed in many areas, although it has been observed in greater numbers in the northern area. It is spontaneous and considered perennial. Very striking flowers of purple color and located in the form of a cluster.
Medicinal properties of dulcamara
The dulcamara or devil’s grape has many medicinal properties. The problem is that they are toxic if a minimum dose is not respected. In of medicinal plants we do not recommend its use and, as we have said, the creation of this article has been merely scientific and under curiosity.
Dulcamara has been used in earlier times to treat skin conditions and allergies. Also when people suffered from herpes.
In fact, dulcamara is extracted in pharmacy to create a treatment against certain allergies. The advantage is that doing it professionally, the doses are taken into account and it ceases to be toxic.
Excessive consumption or inappropriate use has serious consequences. In excess, it paralyzes the nervous system, reduces the heart rate, can cause seizures and even death. Any part of this plant is toxic, including leaves, flowers and its known fruits.
Do you want to see its fruits? They look like small tomatillos.
What active ingredients are part of this plant?
Of all the substances that are part of solanum dulcamara, the alkaloids, tannins, pectins and saponins stand out. They are not found in a specific part of this plant but are distributed throughout the plant. Hence it is entirely toxic to humans and animals.
- Tannins: secondary metabolites of the plant it produces to defend itself from the environment or the ecology of its environment.
- Alkaloids: the solanine on the stems and bark of the dulcamara, solacein, soladulcamarin, solamargenin, solasodine, atropine (increases the heart rate and is used in situations of acute infarctions).
- Pectins: components of the cell wall of solanum dulcamara which is attributed beneficial effects for cancer prevention.
Immunity to toxicity by birds
Only birds are the only ones that are not subject to its toxicity. Both animals and humans can become intoxicated and suffer severe diarrhea, dizziness and vomiting if we take any part of this plant to our mouths.
In fact, in certain parts of America, solanum dulcamara is characterized by being a invasive plant. This is because birds disperse their seeds very well and because it is a plant that does not need much care to grow and develop.
Solanum dulcamara care
Although it is not advisable to grow this pMedicinal lanta, especially in the presence of animals and small children, there are a number of considerations to take into account when planting it.
As for the soil type, can grow in different environments and types of substrate, although it prefers those that are humid. Therefore, it is important to maintain frequent watering and relatively high humidity.
As for light, a semi-shade situation is preferable. Morning and afternoon sun, but not noon.