Toxicity of nightshade berries (solanum dulcamara) in mice1,2

Carl S. Hornfeldt, James E. Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Ripened nightshade berries (Solanum dulcamara) are among the most commonly reported plant ingestions in Minnesota. Because of the lack of adequate information regarding the toxic qualities of S. dulcamara berries, the ingestion of even small quantities by children is usually treated conservatively with syrup of ipecac. The toxicity of S. dulcamara berries was studied by gavaging mice with a preparation of lyophilized berries, ripened and unripened, collected at various times of the year. Mice receiving unripened fruit from early in the season had gastrointestinal tissue changes consistent with solanine toxicity. Animals dosed with unripened fruit from the latter part of the year showed behavioral signs suggestive of solanine toxicity, however gastrointestinal lesions were not observed. In no case did the ripened fruit produce behavioral or histologic toxicity. Aggressive treatment of children ingesting limited amounts of ripened S. dulcamara berries appears to be unnecessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-192
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Toxicology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1990


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