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Plant Information

Scientific Name: Solanum nigrum
Alternative Names: Umsoba, Msoba (Zu)

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Solanum nigrum
Solanum nigrum
Solanum nigrum


  • Perennial
  • An indigenous herb with hairy, toothed leaves and small white flowers that turns into berries.

Culinary Uses

  • The berries are said to be poisonous when green, but when they ripen and turn black they can be eaten fresh or made into jam or syrup for ice cream.
  • The young leaves are also popular as pot herb (spinach).
  • A tea made with the leaves tastes like fresh peanuts before they are roasted.

Parts Used

  • Leaves and the ripe black fruit.

Medicinal Uses. It is said that

  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-eczema
  • Anti-pruritic (jeuk)
  • Treat chronic eczema
  • Treat anti-pruritic skin conditions
  • Treat eye inflammation

Other Uses

  • The berries give a light to dark blue dye - the depth of colour can be increased by adding more berries.
  • The leaves are used for obtaining a green colour.
The information contained within this website is for educational purposes only. This site merely recounts the traditional uses of specific plants as recorded through history. Always seek advice from a medical practitioner.

Mountain Herb Estate, and its representatives will not be held responsible for the improper use of any plants or documentation provided. By use of this site and the information contained herein you agree to hold harmless Mountain Herb Estate, its affiliates and staff

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