Edella wrote what you're
about to read as a result of a discussion on the 21
Days to Health & Beyond suport list
when we were discussing the connection between tomatoes and arthritis.
Although many people don't know it, if you have arthritis, you can
make it worse by eating members of the nightshade family. -- Chet
are members of the solanaceae, which is an immense, large family of
plants with 'good guys and bad guys' in it, but I guess from my point
of view, it's a plant family that can have a strong effect on us sometimes
which can also give us a lot of culinary pleasure at other times.
favourite 'poison dish' is ratatouille which has in it tomatoes, aubergines
and peppers! (You could probably throw in a few potatoes for the grand
the family solanaceae -
The nightshade family produces a very valuable range of vegetables,
almost all developed in central and South America. Potatoes, tomatoes
and peppers were all unknown in Europe and Asia until the Spaniards
brought back seeds from Mexico and Columbia in the fifteenth century.
they quickly became important food crops, especially potato - only
500 gms of cooked new potato gives you your daily requirement of vitamin
C and niacin, and, unlike most vegetables, boiling doesn't kill off
the poor Irish families ate them in the last century, boiled with
some cream or butter and cabbage on the side, potatoes were a healthy
and sustaining diet. (The tragedy was their proneness to disease.)
Spanish and Portugese introduced sweet and hot peppers to India, probably
via Goa - before then Indian food was based on ground black peppers
and other spices for 'heat'.
hot peppers are used extensively all over Asia. The probability is
that Asian food has changed a lot because of this new dependence,
becoming very much more highly spiced in an attempt to balance the
traditional 'spice combinations.'
tried very traditional non-chili pepper recipes -- they are hot, very
aromatic, but warming rather than blistering the mouth.
of these foods were at first viewed with great suspicion, as the leaves
and fruits of the European members of the family were mostly extremely
poisonous. The only edible solanum which originated outside America
was the aubergine, thought to be a native of India.
members of the family include tobacco and deadly nightshade, the huckleberry
and woody nightshade.
of the non-edibles were traditional medicines, and deadly nightshade
is our friend belladonna - named because Italian ladies made a solution
for their eyes - it gave them large expanded irises - hence belladonna!
It's still used in eye drops when you go to have your eyes tested.
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