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nightshade

nightshade, common name for the Solanaceae, a family of herbs, shrubs, and a few trees of warm regions, chiefly tropical America. Many are climbing or creeping types, and rank-smelling foliage is typical of many species. The odor is due to the presence of various alkaloids (including scopolamine, nicotine, and atropine), chemicals that have been used medicinally since ancient times and as stimulants, narcotics, pain relievers, poisons, and antidotes for such agents as opium and snake venom.

The chief drug plants of the family are belladonna, or deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna), henbane (Hyoscyamus niger), mandrake (Mandragora officinum), Jimson weed (Datura stramonium and other daturas in the tropics), Brunfelsia species, and tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum). The Old World species figured prominently in herbals and in the magic potions of alchemy. The family also includes several important food plants, e.g., the potato (Solanum tuberosum), the tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum), the peppers (except black pepper, which is a Piperaceae), or pimientos (species of Capsicum), and the eggplant (Solanum melongena), the only one native to the Old World. Species of salpiglossis, petunia, butterfly flower, and the genus Solanum are among the members of the family cultivated as ornamentals.

The name nightshade is commonly restricted to members of the Solanum, characterized by white or purplish star-shaped flowers and decorative usually orange berries; among the better known species are the bittersweet, or woody nightshade (S. dulcamara), the buffalo bur (S. rostratum), the horse, or bull, nettle (S. carolinense), the Jerusalem cherry (S. pseudocapsicum), and the black nightshade (S. niger). The buffalo bur, originally native to the Western plains, and the horse nettle, native to the Southeast, are straggly, prickly plants which are now naturalized over most of the United States and often become pests. The berries of the horse nettle (not a true nettle botanically) have been used medicinally. Leaves of the buffalo bur served as food for the Colorado potato beetle before the advent of the cultivated potato in its vicinity. Both plants are sometimes called sandbur, properly the name for a prickly grass. The Jerusalem cherry, probably of Old World origin, is a house plant popular for its scarlet berries. The black nightshade was named for the dull black color of its berries, unusual for the genus; it is native to Europe but naturalized throughout the United States, where it is now one of the most common species of Solanum found growing wild. Because its leaves may be poisonous, it is sometimes called deadly nightshade, properly the name for the belladonna, which is not found wild in America. Nightshades are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Polemoniales, family Solanaceae.

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nightshade

night·shade / ˈnītˌshād/ • n. a plant (Solanum and other genera), typically having poisonous black or red berries. Its several species include the European woody nightshade (S. dulcamara), a climber with purple flowers and red berries. The nightshade family (Solanaceae) includes many commercially important plants (e.g., potato, tomato, capsicum peppers, tobacco) as well as a number of highly poisonous ones (e.g., henbane, jimson weed).

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nightshade

nightshade plant of genera Solanum and Atropa. OE. nihtscada, corr. to MLG., MDu. nachtschade, OHG. nahtscato (G. nachtschatten); app. f. NIGHT + SHADE, prob. with allusion to the poisonous or narcotic properties of the berries.

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nightshade

nightshade Name given to various species of poisonous flowering plants, but especially to the deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna) and its close relatives.

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nightshade

nightshadeabrade, afraid, aid, aide, ambuscade, arcade, balustrade, barricade, Belgrade, blade, blockade, braid, brigade, brocade, cannonade, carronade, cascade, cavalcade, cockade, colonnade, crusade, dissuade, downgrade, enfilade, esplanade, evade, fade, fusillade, glade, grade, grenade, grillade, handmade, harlequinade, homemade, invade, jade, lade, laid, lemonade, limeade, made, maid, man-made, marinade, masquerade, newlaid, orangeade, paid, palisade, parade, pasquinade, persuade, pervade, raid, serenade, shade, Sinéad, spade, staid, stockade, stock-in-trade, suede, tailor-made, they'd, tirade, trade, Ubaid, underpaid, undismayed, unplayed, unsprayed, unswayed, upbraid, upgrade, wade •nightshade • renegade • decade •Medicaid • motorcade • switchblade •Adelaide • accolade • rollerblade •marmalade • razor blade • handmaid •barmaid • Teasmade • milkmaid •dairymaid • bridesmaid • housemaid •chambermaid •parlourmaid (US parlormaid) •mermaid • nursemaid • escapade •ram raid • centigrade • multigrade •comrade • retrograde • lampshade •eyeshade • sunshade

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Nightshade

Nightshade

Edible species of nightshades

Tomato

Potato

Eggplant and peppers

Medicine

Tobacco

Resources

The family of plants known as nightshades is also known as the Solanacene. It is a large group of plants composed of more than 2,000 species and 75 different genera. Most nightshades are herbs, but some species are shrubs, vines, or trees. Most of the members of the nightshade family are native to parts of Central and South America, but about 100 nightshades can be found in North America.

Some species of nightshades are important sources of food, such as tomatoes, chili and bell peppers, potatoes, and eggplant. A number of nightshade species have been used medicinally for thousands of years, and some species have narcotic and poisonous characteristics. Tobacco is a nightshade that has had a tremendous economic impact and has been a source of controversy since the early 1960s because of the link between smoking tobacco and several deadly diseases.

Other species in the nightshade family are grown as garden ornamentals. Well-known nightshade flowers include Browallia and Petunia, and the Chinese lantern is often found as an outdoor garden plant and sometimes as a potted house plant.

Some of the common characteristics of nightshades are alternating, simple leaves that are often hairy in texture and may have a strong odor. The size and shape of the leaves, however, vary greatly within the family. The flowers of these plants generally have a tubular shape, often with five petals attached, as in the petunia. The stamens of the flowers are connected at their base. When the ovary of the flower matures into a fruit, it is either fleshy like a tomato, or a dry fruit called a capsule, as in the tobacco plant.

Edible species of nightshades

The nightshade family supplies some important dietary staples. The tomato, potato, eggplant, and pepper all belong to this plant family, although they are each representative of different genera within the family. The botanical name of the tomato is Lycopersicum esculentum, the potatos is Solanum tuberosum, the eggplant is Solanum melongena, and peppers are named Capsicum annuum, Capsicum frutescens longum, Capsicum fructescens conoides: bell pepper, cayenne pepper, and chili pepper, respectively.

With the exception of the potato, which is a tuber, the fruits of this group of plants are used as vegetables, for seasonings, sauces, and soups.

Tomato

The tomato is eaten in many countries around the world. This was not always the case, since the reputation of nightshades as poisonous plants preceded the introduction of tomatoes as food into diets in Europe and the United States. Native to Central America and Mexico, the tomato was cultivated and eaten by aboriginal inhabitants in those regions before the Spanish came to the Americas. It is referred to as a food in Italy as early as 1544. It is believed that the Italians may have gotten the tomato from the Turks, and it was known originally as the Moors apple. After its introduction into France, the tomato became known as the love apple. The French later introduced the tomato into the New Orleans diet when they owned the Louisiana Territory. By 1597 it was being grown in England.

The reputation of the tomato as a nutritious and delicious food took a long time to gain acceptance. During the sixteenth century, some herbalists were writing that the tomato was a harmful food, but in Italy tomatoes were being dried in the sun and eaten without any ill effects. By the eighteenth century the tomato was being used in soups in England, Spain, and Portugal.

The tomato was introduced into the United States as a food around 1710, but did not become significant there until it was made into catsup in New Orleans in the latter part of the eighteenth century. Today tomatoes are a common element in American, Mexican, South American, European, and Asian diets. It is difficult to imagine a diet without pizza, spaghetti, salsa, or catsup. Besides its usefulness as fiber in the diet, the tomato is also an excellent source of vitamin C. Tomatoes come in a range of colors from red to yellow and, in size, from cherry tomatoes to large beefsteaks.

Potato

The part of the potato plant, Solanum tuberosum, that is eaten is called a tuber. A tuber is a bud at the end of an underground stem, not a root, that becomes enlarged. Native to Peru and Chile, the potato had been eaten by the people living in that region for 7,000 years. The people of the Andes ate cooked tubers, and they also dried potatoes and ground them into flour. After the Americas were discovered by Europeans,

potatoes were introduced into Europe and then later into North and Central America, where they had not been previously known by the native Americans who lived there. Many of the types that are common today were known by the Andean people, who also had blue, purple, and yellow varieties.

When the potato was first introduced into Europe, it was believed to cause diseases and to be toxic. In fact, there are toxins in the potato plant, but only in its leaves and flowers-not in the tuber. Potatoes became a dietary staple in Europe sometime during the eighteenth century. Its hardiness (it grows at high elevations in the Andes in a cold climate) helped to establish the potato as a crop that would help prevent famine.

Historically, the potato blight in Ireland during the mid-eighteenth century was the cause of a famine that led to mass emigration by poor Irish peasants to North America between 1846 and 1851. The destruction of the potato crop in Ireland, the staple for the mass of poor Irish, was caused by a fungus disease. Potatoes are also vulnerable to insect infestations.

Today various insecticides are used to control diseases that attack potato plants, and efforts have been made to produce a strain of potato that is resistant to disease. Experiments with hybrids is one avenue of research. More than 300 million tons of potatoes are produced around the world, with Russia, China, Poland, and the United States as the biggest producers of potatoes.

Eggplant and peppers

Sometime between AD 900 and 1200 the eggplant became popular in North Africa and Arabia. Thereafter it spread around the Mediterranean to Spain, Italy, Greece, and other countries. Spain introduced eggplant to the Americas, but today it is eaten mostly as a specialty dish, like eggplant parmigiana, ratatouille, and caponata, an eggplant relish. It is one of the important vegetables in the Japanese diet, and in India it is used in curry dishes or is pickled.

Nutritionally, the eggplant is primarily water with some carbohydrate, protein, mineral, and vitamin content. The fruit of the eggplant is considered a berry. In the seventeenth century its size and shape was somewhat different from its appearance today. Now it is cultivated for a gourd-like shape and the size is on the average about 4 in (10 cm) in diameter and 8 in (20 cm) long. The skin is a thin, smooth, dark purple color. The plant of the eggplant is shrub-like and about 2-3 ft (0.60.9 m) high. It has large gray, rough leaves and violet flowers.

Bell, cayenne, chili, and other varieties of peppers are used in various ways. Chili peppers are popular in Mexico and in the southwest United States. They are used as a seasoning, as cayenne, and a number of other varieties are also used to spice up dishes. Tabasco sauce and paprika are seasonings that come from varieties of pepper plants. Bell peppers are used both as a culinary addition to a dish, much like onions are used, and as a vegetable. Peppers are a good source of vitamin C. Albert von Szent-Gyorgyi received the Nobel Prize in 1937 for his discoveries regarding vitamin C and credits paprika peppers for helping him in his research.

Medicine

Henbane, Jimson weed, mandrake, and belladonna are the common names of nightshades that have medicinal uses. These plants contain alkaloids, substances that contain nitrogen, which can be isolated from the plant and used as drugs. The narcotic property of mandrake can induce sleep and may have been used as an anesthetic in ancient times. It is a small plant that has most of its leaves at the base. Its flowers are yellow-green in color, and it has a thick carrot-shaped root, the part that is used to produce medicine. While it is not used pharmaceutically anymore, some related plants are still a source of drugs.

Henbane has from 12-15 species, mostly native to the Mediterranean. Black henbane is the one that is used mainly for drugs, its principal alkaloid being hyoscyamine. It is a small annual or perennial with hairy, coarsely lobed leaves with an unpleasant odor. It is used as a pain reliever for spasms and as a sedative. Henbane is also sometimes used as an antidote to mercury poisoning and in the treatment of morphine addiction.

Jimson weed also contains the hyoscyamine alkaloid and can cause a temporary loss of vision, convulsions, dry skin, and dilated pupils. Some of its other common names are devils apple, thorn apple, and stinkweed. Its botanical name is Datura stramonium. It grows profusely as a weed in this country. Like the henbane it has an unpleasant odor and coarsely lobed leaves with prickly capsules that contain its seeds. Its alkaloids areatropine, hyoscyamine, and scopolamine, and it is used medicinally in various treatments.

Belladonna, also called deadly nightshade, gets its name from its ability to dilate the pupils of the eyes. In the past women used belladonna for this purpose because they felt it made them more attractive. The word means beautiful lady in Italian. The plant is a medium-sized herb with long, dark green leaves and small purple flowers. The alkaloids in the plant come from the leaves and the root. Scopolamine and atro-pine are the main substances used from belladonna in medicine. They have been used as analgesics, anesthesia, and are especially useful in examining eyes. Atropine is also an antidote for some poisons.

Tobacco

A number of the nightshades that were used for medicine in the past became problematic because of adverse side effects, but they no longer stir the kind of controversy that tobacco has stirred in this country over the past several decades. Europeans discovered tobacco and the pleasures of smoking when they conquered the New World. The Spanish and the English colonists grew tobacco for export to their native countries as early as the seventeenth century. During the years of its early use it had the reputation to cure many diseases.

KEY TERMS

Alkaloid A nitrogen-based chemical, usually of plant origin, also containing oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon. Many are very bitter and may be active if ingested. Common alkaloids include nicotine, caffeine, and morphine.

Capsule A dry, dehiscing fruit derived from two or more carpels.

Dietary staple An important food that is a mainstay of a persons diet.

Narcotic A drug that depresses the central nervous system and is usually addictive.

Solanacene Botanical term for nightshade plants.

Solanum tuberosum Botanical name for the potato plant.

Toxin A poisonous substance.

Tuber A swollen bud of an underground stem, such as a potato.

In its early use it was mainly smoked in pipes. In the eighteenth century snuff was a popular form of tobacco. Chewing tobacco was popular during the late nineteenth century, when cigars and cigarettes were also developed. There was some early opposition to smoking from religious leaders, and in places like China and the Near East, laws were passed to prohibit the importation of tobacco.

Besides the growing of tobacco, its advertising has also become a major industry in this country. Tobacco manufacturers spend a larger percentage of their money in advertising than manufacturers of other products. Today in the United States there is much opposition to the type of advertising that takes place. Many opponents feel that the advertising is directed at young smokers who are the most vulnerable to smoking addiction.

While the United States is the leading producer of tobacco products, it is cultivated in many other parts of the world. The process of growing and curing tobacco before it is manufactured into cigarettes is a complex one and requires a considerable amount of hand labor. The plants are from 2-9 ft (0.6-2.7 m) tall, with white, pink, or red flowers. The cultivated plants today have extremely large leaves.

The main areas of opposition to tobacco smoking are links to life-threatening illness such as heart disease and lung cancer. Once addicted to tobacco smoking, the smoker usually finds it difficult to stop because of physical dependence on nicotine, the harmful substance in tobacco. Nicotine acts on the nervous system as a stimulant. It increases the heart rate and narrows the blood vessels as well. People who try to stop smoking usually go through a series of withdrawal symptoms that can include irritability, restlessness, anxiety, and insomnia, which often make it difficult for the smoker to quit.

Resources

BOOKS

The American Horticultural Society. The American Horticultural Society Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers. New York: DK Publishing, 2002.

DArcy, W.G., ed. Solanaceae: Biology and Systematics. New York: Columbia University Press, 1986.

Vita Richman

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Nightshade

Nightshade

The family of plants known as nightshades is also known as the Solanacene. It is a large group of plants composed of more than 2,000 species and 75 different genera. Most nightshades are herbs, but some species are shrubs, vines, or trees. Most of the members of the nightshade family are native to parts of Central and South America , but about 100 nightshades can be found in North America .

Some species of nightshades are important sources of food, such as tomatoes, chili and bell peppers, potatoes, and eggplant. A number of nightshade species have been used medicinally for thousands of years, and some species have narcotic and poisonous characteristics. Tobacco is a nightshade that has had a tremendous economic impact and has been a source of controversy since the early 1960s because of the link between smoking tobacco and several deadly diseases.

Other species in the nightshade family are grown as garden ornamentals. Well-known nightshade flowers include Browallia and Petunia, and the Chinese lantern is often found as an outdoor garden plant and sometimes as a potted house plant.

Some of the common characteristics of nightshades are alternating, simple leaves that are often hairy in texture and may have a strong odor. The size and shape of the leaves, however, vary greatly within the family. The flowers of these plants generally have a tubular shape, often with five petals attached, as in the petunia. The stamens of the flowers are connected at their base. When the ovary of the flower matures into a fruit, it is either fleshy like a tomato, or a dry fruit called a capsule, as in the tobacco plant.


Edible species of nightshades

The nightshade family supplies some important dietary staples. The tomato, potato , eggplant, and pepper all belong to this plant family, although they are each representative of different genera within the family. The botanical name of the tomato is Lycopersicum esculentum, the potato's is Solanum tuberosum, the eggplant is Solanum melongena, and peppers are named Capsicum annuum, Capsicum frutescens longum, Capsicum fructescens conoides: bell pepper, cayenne pepper, and chili pepper, respectively. With the exception of the potato, which is a tuber , the fruits of this group of plants are used as vegetables , for seasonings, sauces, and soups.


Tomato

The tomato is eaten in many countries around the world. This was not always the case, since the reputation of nightshades as poisonous plants preceded the introduction of tomatoes as food into diets in Europe and the United States. Native to Central America and Mexico, the tomato was cultivated and eaten by aboriginal inhabitants in those regions before the Spanish came to the Americas. It is referred to as a food in Italy as early as 1544. It is believed that the Italians may have gotten the tomato from the Turks, and it was known originally as the Moor's apple. After its introduction into France, the tomato became known as the love apple. The French later introduced the tomato into the New Orleans diet when they owned the Louisiana Territory. By 1597 it was being grown in England.

The reputation of the tomato as a nutritious and delicious food took a long time to gain acceptance. During the sixteenth century, some herbalists were writing that the tomato was a harmful food, but in Italy tomatoes were being dried in the sun and eaten without any ill effects. By the eighteenth century the tomato was being used in soups in England, Spain, and Portugal.

The tomato was introduced into the United States as a food around 1710, but did not become significant there until it was made into catsup in New Orleans in the latter part of the eighteenth century. Today tomatoes are a common element in American, Mexican, South American, European, and Asian diets. It is difficult to imagine a diet without pizza, spaghetti, salsa, or catsup. Besides its usefulness as fiber in the diet, the tomato is also an excellent source of vitamin C. Tomatoes come in a range of colors from red to yellow and, in size, from cherry tomatoes to large beefsteaks.


Potato

The part of the potato plant, Solanum tuberosum, that is eaten is called a tuber. A tuber is a bud at the end of an underground stem, not a root, that becomes enlarged. Native to Peru and Chile, the potato had been eaten by the people living in that region for 7,000 years. The people of the Andes ate cooked tubers, and they also dried potatoes and ground them into flour. After the Americas were discovered by Europeans, potatoes were introduced into Europe and then later into North and Central America, where they had not been previously known by the native Americans who lived there. Many of the types that are common today were known by the Andean people, who also had blue, purple, and yellow varieties.

When the potato was first introduced into Europe, it was believed to cause diseases and to be toxic. In fact, there are toxins in the potato plant, but only in its leaves and flowers-not in the tuber. Potatoes became a dietary staple in Europe sometime during the eighteenth century. Its hardiness (it grows at high elevations in the Andes in a cold climate) helped to establish the potato as a crop that would help prevent famine.

Historically, the potato blight in Ireland during the mid-eighteenth century was the cause of a famine that led to mass emigration by poor Irish peasants to North America between 1846 and 1851. The destruction of the potato crop in Ireland, the staple for the mass of poor Irish, was caused by a fungus disease . Potatoes are also vulnerable to insect infestations.

Today various insecticides are used to control diseases that attack potato plants, and efforts have been made to produce a strain of potato that is resistant to disease. Experiments with hybrids is one avenue of research. More than 300 million tons of potatoes are produced around the world, with Russia, China, Poland, and the United States as the biggest producers of potatoes.


Eggplant and peppers

Sometime between 900 and 1200 a.d., the eggplant became popular in North Africa and Arabia. Thereafter it spread around the Mediterranean to Spain, Italy, Greece, and other countries. Spain introduced eggplant to the Americas, but today it is eaten mostly as a specialty dish, like eggplant parmigiana, ratatouille, and caponata, an eggplant relish. It is one of the important vegetables in the Japanese diet, and in India it is used in curry dishes or is pickled.

Nutritionally, the eggplant is primarily water with some carbohydrate , protein, mineral, and vitamin content. The fruit of the eggplant is considered a berry. In the seventeenth century its size and shape was somewhat different from its appearance today. Now it is cultivated for a gourd-like shape and the size is on the average about four inches in diameter and eight inches long. The skin is a thin, smooth, dark purple color . The plant of the eggplant is shrub-like and about 2-3 ft (.6 to.9 m) high. It has large gray, rough leaves and violet flowers.

Bell, cayenne, chili, and other varieties of peppers are used in various ways. Chili peppers are popular in Mexico and in the southwest United States. They are used as a seasoning, as cayenne, and a number of other varieties are also used to spice up dishes. Tabasco sauce and paprika are seasonings that come from varieties of pepper plants. Bell peppers are used both as a culinary addition to a dish, much like onions are used, and as a vegetable. Peppers are a good source of vitamin C. Albert von Szent-Gyorgyi received the Nobel Prize in 1937 for his discoveries regarding vitamin C and credits paprika peppers for helping him in his research.


Medicine

Henbane, Jimson weed, mandrake, and belladonna are the common names of nightshades that have medicinal uses. These plants contain alkaloids, substances that contain nitrogen , which can be isolated from the plant and used as drugs. The narcotic property of mandrake can induce sleep and may have been used as an anesthetic in ancient times. It is a small plant that has most of its leaves at the base. Its flowers are yellow-green in color, and it has a thick carrot-shaped root, the part that is used to produce medicine. While it is not used pharmaceutically anymore, some related plants are still a source of drugs.

Henbane has from 12-15 species, mostly native to the Mediterranean. Black henbane is the one that is used mainly for drugs, its principal alkaloid being hyoscyamine. It is a small annual or perennial with hairy, coarsely lobed leaves with an unpleasant odor. It is used as a pain reliever for spasms and as a sedative. Henbane is also sometimes used as an antidote to mercury poisoning and in the treatment of morphine addiction.

Jimson weed also contains the hyoscyamine alkaloid and can cause a temporary loss of vision , convulsions, dry skin, and dilated pupils. Some of its other common names are devil's apple, thorn apple, and stinkweed. Its botanical name is Datura stramonium. It grows profusely as a weed in this country. Like the henbane it has an unpleasant odor and coarsely lobed leaves with prickly capsules that contain its seeds . Its alkaloids areatropine, hyoscyamine, and scopolamine, and it is used medicinally in various treatments.

Belladonna, also called deadly nightshade, gets its name from its ability to dilate the pupils of the eyes. In the past women used belladonna for this purpose because they felt it made them more attractive. The word means "beautiful lady" in Italian. The plant is a medium-sized herb with long, dark green leaves and small purple flowers. The alkaloids in the plant come from the leaves and the root. Scopolamine and atropine are the main substances used from belladonna in medicine. They have been used as analgesics, anesthesia , and are especially useful in examining eyes. Atropine is also an antidote for some poisons.


Tobacco

A number of the nightshades that were used for medicine in the past became problematic because of adverse side effects, but they no longer stir the kind of controversy that tobacco has stirred in this country over the past several decades. Europeans discovered tobacco and the pleasures of smoking when they conquered the New World. The Spanish and the English colonists grew tobacco for export to their native countries as early as the seventeenth century. During the years of its early use it had the reputation to cure many diseases.

In its early use it was mainly smoked in pipes. In the eighteenth century snuff was a popular form of tobacco. Chewing tobacco was popular during the late nineteenth century, when cigars and cigarettes were also developed. There was some early opposition to smoking from religious leaders, and in places like China and the Near East, laws were passed to prohibit the importation of tobacco.

Besides the growing of tobacco, its advertising has also become a major industry in this country. Tobacco manufacturers spend a larger percentage of their money in advertising than manufacturers of other products. Today in the United States there is much opposition to the type of advertising that takes place. Many opponents feel that the advertising is directed at young smokers who are the most vulnerable to smoking addiction.

While the United States is the leading producer of tobacco products, it is cultivated in many other parts of the world. The process of growing and curing tobacco before it is manufactured into cigarettes is a complex one and requires a considerable amount of hand labor. The plants are from 2-9 ft (.6-2.7 m) tall, with white, pink, or red flowers. The cultivated plants today have extremely large leaves.

The main areas of opposition to tobacco smoking are links to life-threatening illness such as heart disease and lung cancer . Once addicted to tobacco smoking, the smoker usually finds it difficult to stop because of physical dependence on nicotine , the harmful substance in tobacco. Nicotine acts on the nervous system as a stimulant. It increases the heart rate and narrows the blood vessels as well. People who try to stop smoking usually go through a series of withdrawal symptoms that can include irritability, restlessness, anxiety , and insomnia , which often make it difficult for the smoker to quit.


Resources

books

The American Horticultural Society. The American Horticultural Society Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers. New York: DK Publishing, 2002.

Coffey, Timothy. North American Wildflowers. New York: Facts on File, 1993.

D'Arcy, W.G., ed. Solanaceae: Biology and Systematics. New York: Columbia University Press, 1985.

Gregerson, Jon. The Good Earth. Vancouver: Whitecap Books, 1992.

Heiser, Charles B., Jr. The Fascinating World of the Nightshades. New York: Dover Publications, 1987.


Vita Richman

KEY TERMS

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Alkaloid

—A nitrogen-based chemical, usually of plant origin, also containing oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon. Many are very bitter and may be active if ingested. Common alkaloids include nicotine, caffeine, and morphine.

Capsule

—A dry, dehiscing fruit derived from two or more carpels.

Dietary staple

—An important food that is a mainstay of a person's diet.

Narcotic

—A drug that depresses the central nervous system and is usually addictive.

Solanacene

—Botanical term for nightshade plants.

Solanum tuberosum

—Botanical name for the potato plant.

Toxin

—A poisonous substance.

Tuber

—A swollen bud of an underground stem, such as a potato.

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