Green greetings of summer heat to you.
If you live in the Americas, summertime is nightshade time. Most nightshades that grow in Europe – like belladonna and henbane – are serious poisons. Those that are native to the Americas – like tomatoes and peppers – are edible. No wonder Europeans were slow to accept the edibility of nightshades. And no wonder there is still a lot of fear about these wonderful plants.
Science cannot find anything problematic about nightshades. My macrobiotic teacher was terrified of how yin tomatoes are. My macrobiotic brother-in-law forbade his sons from eating them at all, even in pizza. Potatoes and eggplants are suspect as well.
No study has ever been able to establish that anyone has any reaction to eating the edible plants in the nightshade family. I know many people who fervently believe that they react, but double-blind studies find they are reacting to their fear, not to any substance in their food.
The nightshade family, the Solanaceae, is a large family that includes common plants like tobacco, one of the oldest cultivated psychedelics: brugmansia, and the beautiful petunias that color up our patios. It also includes husk tomatoes.
Our local CSA (community supported agriculture) includes a pick-your-own garden with lots and lots of nightshades: cherry tomatoes, miniature eggplants, tomatillos, hot peppers, sweet peppers, and even nicotiana flowers for cutting.
Come on a walk with me to enjoy the strange flowers of the nightshade family. We’ll harvest some nightshades and make baba g’noush and tomatillo salsa. Then we’ll sit back with a glass of iced nettle infusion and think about a winter getaway in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica! My Wellness Adventure is gathering steam. Please join us this January at Casa Smythe for fabulous food, daily infusions, exotic plants, wonderful companions, and green blessings with a tropical twist.
You’ll not only enjoy iced nettle infusion, we will treat you a massage and a private consultation with me. You’ll go swimming in waterfalls, contact the Ancient Ones in the jungle during shamanic ceremonies, revitalize with yoga and tai chi, and learn how to regain and maintain health, joyously, simply, and easily. We are limited to a small group, so reserve your spot now.
Green blessings are everywhere.
~ Nightshade Walk ~