Many species of Solanum, like this one, are reportedly both toxic and edible, and their primitive ancestors are more likely to be poisonous than derived cultivars. Even the picturesque Gambian names hint of doubt, mansarin nyateila (= the prince who causes blindness) and sulu jato (= hyena's bitter tomato) do not stimulate my appetite. Still, the cherry-tomato-like fruits are eaten and used in sauces and soups, and said to stimulate the appetite (UPW).
• Gambians make a collyrium for cataracts and whiteness of the eye from the plant (UPW).
• Ghanans believe the fruits are orexigenic (UPW).
• Ivory Coastals use leaves against leprosy (UPW).
• Manyika chew the root and spit the juice onto wounds as a vulnerary (BIB).
• North Africans (Morocco, Tunisia) use the plant in cataplasms for cold tumors (JLH).
• South Africans apply the fruit to ringworm in cattle and horses (BIB).
• Tonga hold the fruit onto an aching tooth (BIB).
• Xhosa apply the fruit or root juice to skin ailments (BIB).
• Zulu use the root bark for barrenness and impotency (BIB).
Downsides (Vine of Sodom):
Fatal cases of poisoning reported with children for fruits of S. sodomeum var. hermannii. Symptoms of human poisoning include colic, cramps, diarrhea, difficulty with speech and vision, dilated pupils, dizziness, exhaustion, fever, hallucinations, headache, listlessness, nausea, and sweating (ZUL). The root of even S. anguivi is said to be poisonous.
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