Kantakari / Akranti Perennial/ Bruhati / Yellow- berried nightshade / Indian nightshade / Nidigadhika is a very thorny, scattered plant up to 1.2 meters high found throughout India. The branches of the plant are zigzag, covered with yellow sharp thorns, spreading in breadth, close to the ground. This small, sprawling bush has small flowers (2 cm across), blue or purple; thorns are yellow; leaves – deeply lobed, greenish, glabrous; Fruits are spherical, yellow, 2 cm in diameter.
Kantakari is a medicinal plant widely used in the world of Ayurvedic medicine for its many medicinal properties. It alleviates the Vata and Capha dosha and balanced the Pitta dosha. It is part of the classic Ayurvedic composition Dashmula, which consists of ten components (Dashmula comprises root of five trees (brihat panchmula) and root of five small herbs (laghu panchmula)). It’s extremely useful in all types of coughs and problems related to respiratory system. Solanum xanthocarpum (syn.Solanum virginianum) – antioxidant, antiseptic, analgesic. It has anti-inflammatory, expectorant, emollient, tonic, hematopoietic, moderate laxative and diuretic effect. The plant also uses as an important remedy for bladder stones, strictures, retention and suppression of urine. Due to the high content of carpesterol (which resembles progesterone in action), Kantakari stimulates the synthesis of corticosteroids and sex hormones. Glucoalkaloids solancarpine and solacarpidine contained in the plant eliminate congestive cough and urticaria. Some part of the plant is poisonous (ex. the fruit which is poisonous). Green berries contain poison, but when ripe are suitable for consumption by adults (consult!). But are contraindicated for children, because have a strong narcotic effect. White fruits are rare, and the common (yellow-fruited) type is used for medicines.
- colds, fever, hoarseness, asthma, chest pain, sore throat (roots and seeds are used as an expectorant for asthma, coughs and chest pains; the decoction of the root is given with honey to treat cough, berry juice for sore throat)
- migraines and headaches (nasal administration)
- muscle pain
- enlarged liver, spleen, gallbladder disease
- stones in the bladder, dysuria
- oral infections (cigarettes are made from dry fruits and their smoke, retained in the mouth, heals infections)
- arthritis, joint pain (the paste of the herb is applied on swollen and painful joints to reduce the pain and swelling in arthritis.)
- for scorpion and snake bites (the paste of the root mixed with lemon)
- worms (fruits eaten as an anthelmintic and for indigestion)
- stem, flowers and fruits, being bitter and carminative, are used for relieving burning sensation in the feet
- for heart diseases (this is a cardiotonic and a blood purifier)
- in case of problems during conception or malfunctions of the menstrual cycle (seeds are helpful for treating irregular menstruation and dysmenorrheal in females)
- for problems of male potency (fruits work as an aphrodisiac in males)
- Kantakari fruits also facilitate seminal ejaculation
- in case of irritation, rash, scabies, microbes
Contraindications: Consult a physician before taking. Berries can be injurious for children.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Kantakari should not be taken during pregnancy. Avoid use.