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Horse-Nettle



    Scientific Names

    Horse-Nettle
    Horse-Nettle
    • Solanum carolinense L.
    • Nightshade family

    Common Names

    ivyHorse-nettle
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    Parts Usually Used

    Leaves
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    Description of Plant(s) and Culture

    A weed of the nightshade family, with yellow prickles. Five parted flowers are violet to white stars; May to October. Fruits orange to yellow berries resembling tiny tomatoes are considered poisonous; August to September. Perennial; 1-4 feet tall. Stems sharp-spined. Leaves oval to elliptical; lobed to coarse-toothed.
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    Where Found

    Sandy soil. Old fields, farmlands, barnyards, waste places. New England to Florida; Texas to South Dakota.
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    Medicinal Properties

    Diuretic, antispasmodic.
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    Uses

    Once used in folk medicine:

    Properly administered, berries were once used for epilepsy. Berries fried in grease were used as an ointment for dog's mange. Native Americans gargled wilted leaf tea for sore throats; poulticed leaves for poison-ivy rash; drank tea for worms.
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    Warning

    This herb is potentially fatal. Toxic. Fatalities reported in children. This herb should not be used without proper medical supervision.
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    Bibliography

    Buy It! Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants, by Steven Foster and James A. Duke., Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10000

    Buy It! Webster's New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

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