This short-lived perennial herb has an erect, angular, branching stem that grows to 2 feet high and may be covered with inward-bent hair. The alternate leaves are dark green, ovate, and wavy toothed. Its fruit is a pea-sized, black or purple berry containing many seeds. Its flowers are white. It is also known as black nightshade.
WHERE IT CAN BE FOUND:
Europe, Western Asia, Australia, South Africa, Mexico, Central America, Caribbean, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland, Alaska, Alabama, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington
PROPERTIES AND USE:
Nervine, sedative, antimalarial, anti- inflammatory, febrifuge, antifungal, stomachic, analgesic, and used to treat hepatitis, burns, skin conditions, vaginal infections, diabetes, rheumatism, liver disease, wounds, respiratory infections
For fever, boil 1 to 2 dried leaves in 1 cup
water. Cool, and then drink in one sitting. For inflammation, burns, and rheumatism, bruise the fresh leaves, and apply directly to the skin. For skin conditions and fungal infections, macerate the leaves, and apply the juice directly to the affected area. For skin conditions, as well as for wounds and vaginal infections, boil, covered, a large handful of the stalk, leaves, and roots for 20 minutes. Allow to cool. Drink throughout the day. For respiratory infections, acne flare ups, pain, and fevers, juice the leaves and berries and drink 1/2 cup per day. As a stomachic, steep a small handful of the flower buds with 1 tablespoon salt in 1 liter water. This can also be used as a wash for wounds or skin conditions.