Nightshades and Inflammation

As anyone on the Barrier Plan already knows, we have eliminated much of the nightshade family (potatoes, tomatoes etc) because of their link with degrading intestinal integrity and inflammation.

Here is a useful well-referenced article that lists the nightshades and explains a lot more about them for you. Consider it particularly if you suffer from chronic pain, especially muscle and joint pain as nightshades are very linked to arthritic-type conditions.:

The Link Between Nightshades, Chronic Pain and Inflammation

Here, for ease, is the full nightshade list with a few comments where relevant from me. Note specifically the info about GM soya (not that you should be having that as a legume anyway, but even so); I was fascinated that it appears to be ‘cut’ with the petunia plant, a known nightshade. No-one is suggesting you have to get rid of all of these – see the Barrier Plan for details of which I think you can rotate from a barrier point of view anyway. It may be necessary if you are in chronic pain to trial off all of them, of course, to see if it lowers.

The nightshade list

  • ­ tomatoes (all varieties, including tomatillos) 

  • ­ potatoes (all varieties, NOT sweet potatoes or yams) these first two are the main avoiders, not least because they have other barrier breakdown issues as lectins too.

  • ­ eggplant (aubergine)

  • ­ okra                                                      

  • ­ peppers (all varieties such as bell pepper, wax pepper, green & red peppers, chili peppers, cayenne, paprika, etc.)

  • ­ goji berries very good for you in antioxidant terms; I haven’t found a problem with them and use ’em in my muffins.

  • ­ tomarillos (a plum-like fruit from Peru)

  • ­ sorrel

  • ­ garden huckleberry & blueberries (contain the alkaloids that induce inflammation) Interesting, these are the only berries I react to apart from strawberries grown in hay.

  • ­ gooseberries

  • ­ ground cherries ground?? Wonder why..

  • ­ pepino Melon

  • ­ the homeopathic “Belladonna”   [note: this is highly precautionary as homeopathics contain virtually no measurable “active” chemical]                                                          

  • ­ tobacco

  • ­ paprika 

  • ­ cayenne pepper

Soy sauce made in the U.S. is generally made with genetically modified (GMO) soy beans, which are cut with the nightshade plant Petunia.

The condiments black/white pepper and pepper corns are not nightshades


12 thoughts on “Nightshades and Inflammation

  1. Oh, good grief – not blueberries too!

  2. Don’t despair Maureen. I’m not sure I believe all this. Largely on account of my histamine intolerance there are only two fresh fruits I can eat: some tart apples on occasion – and blueberries all the time. All other fresh fruits make me ill (including cherries in any shape or form). But I don’t have any reactions that I’m aware of from eating blueberries. So if you don’t feel worse for eating them, I’d continue as normal. For the present, at least, I intend to – but I’ll be on careful watch for symptoms, just in case.

    • Good advice, Anthony,thanks. I was about to say the same. That’s why I pointed out the two most important ones at the top. The rest I keep my eye on. I was thinking about the blueberries anyway: I reckon it might actually have been the (usually) citric-acid soaked paper in the bottom of the tray rather than the berries themselves maybe.

  3. A further thought about blueberries. Blueberries are considered a “superfood”, high in anti-oxidants. See the rave review they have in this article (one of many such) from “Natural News”:
    (sorry that it needs to be pasted into your browser). So even if it were true that they’re inflammatory (which I don’t believe), the benefits would surely outweigh any negative aspects. By the way, as they’re high in anti-oxidants, how could they possibly be inflammatory? It just doesn’t make sense.

    • Unfortunately, my arthritic hands react strongly to blueberries. I’d noticed that before I even started to look into inflammatory foods. I then planted GOOSEBERRIES last year, hoping to use them instead of blueberries. Darn. I had no idea they were nightshades.

      Just as an aside “ground cherries” are not cherries; they’re a small plant with yellowish fruit, similar to cherry tomatoes; they’re also called husk tomataoes. So actual cherries from cherry trees are not on the list, thank goodness.

      • Great, thanks Anna, very useful. Cherries Ok, yay, I love them! You never know, you might be Ok with the gooseberries – let us know.

  4. And Gojis?????! NOOOOOOOOOOOO! I eat them a lot – but have run out for about 3 weeks now – have seen NO difference whatsoever -I don’t think they pose me a problem – and I suffer arthritic reaction so am totally off nightshade since the beginning of all this (2years now)…

    • I’m Ok with them too but I am not a painy type (except for head of course). Remember this is only a ‘possibles’ list; it doesn’t mean we will react to all of them. I included it in case it helps someone have a lightbulb moment!

      • Yes, you do right – it’s often how something occurs to you, just reading someone else’s sensitivities or considering a ‘possible’, that you suddenly realise could be a trigger!

  5. I have never been sensitive to blueberries till now. It took me a long time to figure out why I was breaking out in a itchy rash. I was not eating any other night shade or high histamine food. I have never seen blueberries on any avoid list. Thanks for info. Sherry

    • I wonder if you could be reacting to something sprayed on them or the (corn-based) citric acid-soaked pad under them, people do. Try fresh, unpackaged and organic and see if it happens the same maybe!

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