Is The Deadly Nightshade Family Good For You? Tomatoes, Potatoes, Eggplant, Pepper

food vegetables red tomatoes

I like tomatoes, especially cherry tomatoes. The only thing is, if I have tomatoes for a few days in a row, I come out in an itchy painful whitehead rash on my cheeks and chin. So maybe tomatoes don’t like me.

Well, I recently discovered tomatoes are part of the deadly nightshade family which also includes: potatoes, eggplant (aubergine), peppers, goji berries, gooseberries and TOBACCO.

Now, I’m not a big fan of egg plant, and peppers are okay occasionally in salads and stir-fries, but potatoes are a major staple food item in many people’s diets and so are tomatoes.

baked potatoes

I love potato, but again too much, and potato does not like me. If I have potato, especially jacket, mashed or large chips (thick-cut fries for my USA followers), I feel heavy in my stomach and bloated. They give me gas and make me feel uncomfortable physically. I also can have additional aches and pains in my joints. So why is this happening?

Well, from researching online I found out that before we began eating foods from the deadly nightshade family they were classed as ornamental foods and were in fact considered poisonous. Some of the problems associated with consuming large amounts of this food group can include arthritis symptoms.

Nightshades Contain Nicotine

bell red pepper

And what shocked me even more was that the nightshades contain a level of nicotine. Yes! Nicotine. This could explain my propensity to wolf cherry tomatoes down as if I was eating candy. These things can be addictive.

Research has shown that if you eat them in excess they can reduce wound healing. This is a tough thing to swallow, literally. When we consider hot peppers, their very pain-inducing flavour may indeed be telling us “don’t eat me, I am warning you!”.

Well, since reading about the studies online, I did cut back on tomatoes and potatoes and my body certainly feels it if I re-introduce them into my diet. This may not be the case for everyone, but it is worth considering if you suffer conditions like arthritis or exercise a lot and need to recover pretty fast. Try going a month without any of them and see what happens and if you notice a difference in your health.

Nightshade Plants and Joint Problems

Nightshade plants are a cause of joint troubles as well as many other problems including migraines and digestive issues. The source of most of the trouble is solanine in nightshades, solanine is in other plants as well such as huckleberries, and blueberries. To see real results you must eliminate them 100% percent. Most, folks will try to reduce them from their diet, and become discourage when results do not follow. All the way is the only way with nightshades! -Michael Fowler from

Many writers talk about the importance of eating foods which are in season. And perhaps it makes sense that foods are in season at only certain times of the year so that we do not overindulge and experience food-related health problems. For example, eating tomatoes in the summer and root vegetables in the winter or autumn. This sounds easier said than done when many of our foods are imported into the country from overseas. It’s difficult to know what is in season. I for one love asparagus and in my local area local farms only seem to have them in season around 3 weeks of the year, so what are we to do?

I guess like everything, moderation is key, and we should listen to our bodies.

Check out the comments HERE to see other people’s experience of giving up deadly nightshades and the affect it has had on arthritis.

What is your experience of the deadly nightshade family?
Do you have any reactions to this food group if you have them regularly?
Have you cut them out of your diet and noticed a difference in your health?


General Season Food Guides Throughout The World




Latest Posts

Kelly Martin
Kelly Martin

Kelly Martin, author of ‘When Everyone Shines But You’ is a dedicated writer and blogger who fearlessly explores life’s deepest questions. Faced with a decade of profound anxiety and grief following the loss of her father and her best friend Michael, Kelly embarked on a transformative journey guided by mindfulness, and she hasn’t looked back since. Through her insightful writing, engaging podcasts, and inspiring You Tube channel Kelly empowers others to unearth the hidden treasures within their pain, embracing the profound truth that they are ‘enough’ exactly as they are.

Find me on: Web | Twitter/X | Instagram | Facebook


  1. May 8, 2013 / 6:34 pm

    I don't like tomatoes, potatoes are a funny one .. my Mum hates them, the only person I know that does, I quite like them but not all that much, and don't eat them too often .. peppers I find a bit weird .. the others I don't have much .. so I guess I'm okay?!?

  2. May 9, 2013 / 6:45 am

    Sounds like your fine Andy, I will probably be partaking in tomatoes in the summer, in moderation anyhow. They do have nutrients and vitamins too but in excess not too great. Interesting about your Mum I have never heard anyone that does not like potatoes 🙂

  3. May 9, 2013 / 2:03 pm

    That is interesting! I know from what I researched in moderation that can help and do have health benefits but those that ate them regularly (every day) can have problems with joints due to how they inhibit wound healing and more. I can't tolerate many tomatoes, I also get a feeling like stung tongue. I imagine its not the same for everyone as we are all different in our biology and sensitivities. I tend to mainly eat sweet potatoe which is not from the deadly nightshade family anyway. Check out this link (there is a lot online but prefer to read from real peoples experiences) I particularly found the comments section interesting from arthritis sufferers.

  4. Marla Turner
    May 9, 2013 / 3:05 pm

    Looks like those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis benefit the most from eliminating these foods. Fortunately, I don't have to deal with this ailment.

  5. May 9, 2013 / 3:28 pm

    Me neither Marla, thankfully, my family and grandparents have it though and they eat a lot of potatoe.

  6. May 9, 2013 / 3:34 pm

    Hi Su, yes I think its different for each person also different types of arthritis may be more reactionary to the deadly nightshade.

    I could not agree more with additives, salt and sugar. I recently read SALT,SUGAR, FAT by Michael Moss and that was a real eye opener. I gave up refined sugar in January still sugar-free (pats back), best thing I ever did cutting out sugar, really changed how I feel on every level (and I was a complete sugar addict). The only processed food I have is fish-fingers occasionally now. I make everything from scratch as sugar is pretty much in everything. I read a tweet from a comedian not long ago that said "if food is advertised on tv don't eat it" LOL this made me chuckle. Not possible to avoid it altogether though as its in things you would never even think it would be in. Thanks for sharing your thoughts it's good to get the discussion going.

  7. August 11, 2013 / 9:53 am

    Interesting, I don't appear to have any adverse effects and eat all these foods. My mother in law has always said tomatoes makes her arthritis worse.
    I personally think there are much worse things to worry about – levels of salt, additives and the addition of sugar in almost every processed food we buy.

    My pet hate is the addition of sugar to yogurt..yogurt is not supposed to be sweet!!

  8. Marla Turner
    August 11, 2013 / 9:53 am

    Wow. I'd never heard of this. I've never had issues with any of these vegetables and I eat all of them, in some form, on a regular basis. I don't eat regular potatoes all that often anymore (oven fries once maybe twice a week) because I'm watching my starches (blood sugar), but I eat a lot of sweet potatoes.

    Tomatoes are a staple in my house. We use them in Italian foods, Mexican foods. We eat a lot of salsa in my house.

    I love peppers ~ all kinds of peppers. I eat a lot of Mexican foods and stir fries. There are peppers from basic green, yellow and orange to the spicy peppers in both of these foods. I have never had any issues, as long as I don't go crazy with the hot peppers. The hot peppers boost your metabolism, ease digestion, and are great for keeping sinuses clear. And I find the opposite ~ they help ease my joints and don't agitate my arthritis (which is very mild).

    I think it just depends on how your food is grown and what your body system is like. We're all different and our bodies will react differently to foods, medicines, etc.

    Great post, Kelly 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.