manathakali benefits

Healthy body is always a priority for everyone to have a happy life. When try to eat healthy food, greens will be on top of the list by default. This article explains about one of the popular green – Solanum Nigrum, called as Manathakali in Tamil.

The other common names of the plant

Black night shade, Sun berry, wonder berry. The plant bears a small berry/fruit that is dark purple in color, when ripe. The leaves and the berries contain high medicinal properties that is used to treat many health ailments (1). This leaf has been used in many natural remedies and Ayurveda, since ancient times.

This green is available in plenty and does not need any specific requirements for its growth. In addition to providing a delicious treat to the taste buds, they are also very beneficial for health. The medicinal value present in it treats and helps in the betterment of internal organs.

Nutrition facts

Manathakkali keerai contains many medicinal values in it. When consumed, the green leaves can provide the below mentioned nutrition.

100gms of manathakkali leaves can provide – 68 energy calories, 82gms of water, 6gms of protein, 9gms of carbohydrates, 410gms of Calcium, 70milligrams of Phosphorous and 20milligrams of Iron (2).

Health benefits of manathakkali keerai

Treats mouth ulcers

Using manathakkali keerai to treat mouth ulcer, is one of the top home remedies that has been used since ancient times. The extract of manathakkali keerai is very beneficial for ulcer in mouth and stomach also. One can either eat the leaves directly or drink the extract of the leaves (3). Ripe berries can be consumed directly too. The berries are tasteless but add plenty of medicinal values when consumed. This berry can be consumed by everyone, from a very young child to an elderly person.

Prevents Jaundice

Jaundice is a health issue that is triggered by the deterioration of the function of liver. Manathakali basically strengthens the liver and enhances the function of liver (4). When one consumes this green on a regular basis, the chances of getting affected by jaundice is very less.

Boosts appetite

Regular consumption of the berries helps to treat and cure loss of appetite. It triggers hunger and helps in digestion also. Consuming 5-10 ripe berries will help to increase appetite (5). One must consume the berries continuously at least for 20 days to find the difference in appetite.

Treats common cold

The mentioned combination of ingredients helps to treat cold effectively. Add the black night shade/manathakkali seeds in water and boil it. Along with the seeds, add cumin seeds, pepper powder/freshly crushed pepper and boil it well. Wait until the colour of the water changes and switch off the flame. Cool it and consume to cure cold/phlegm (6).

Treats sore throat

People, who suffer from frequent sore throat, can consume the leaves to find relief in the long. The leaf can be consumed directly along with other herbal leaves or cooked and consumed.

Boosts Immunity

Regular consumption of the leaves improves the immunity naturally. It strengthens the internal organs and treats stomach disorders.  The medicinal properties in it help to cure ulcers in mouth as well as in the stomach (7). It prevents the growth of bacteria and kills unwanted germs from the internal system.

Improves digestion

In general, greens help in good digestion. Solanum Nigrum specifically helps in digestion and helps body to absorb all nutrients effectively.

Regulates bowel movement

A person with irregular bowel movements can easily regulate it by consuming manathakkali keerai. This prevents constipation and relieves gas in the abdomen. Regular consumption of the green, helps in regulating bowel movement and treats constipation.

Removes toxins

Black night shade leaves, when consumed help to boosts the function of kidneys and effectively flushes out toxins. Removing toxins from the body helps to prevent many health ailments.

Diabetic friendly

This green is diabetic friendly and helps them keep fit. The essential nutrients in it aids in better health and satiating the hunger levels. It also helps to regulate sugar spikes and protect the internal organs.

How to make manathakali vathal:

The vathal that is prepared from the berries is a very healthy dish to have along with rice or simply as a snack.

Steps:

  • Collect the berries from the plant – 2 cups
  • Add the berries in yogurt/curd until they are fully immersed
  • Once the berries are soaked, place the berries in sunlight. You can spread the berries in a white piece of cloth and place under sunlight.
  • After the berries are completely dried, you can store them in an air tight container.
  • Fry them in oil ad consume as and when needed.

How to make manathakkali keerai soup:

Manathakkali soup is one of the most effective drinks that will help to cure many health ailments. Follow the below mentioned instructions to prepare the same.

Ingredients:

  • Manathakkali keerai – two hand full
  • Tomato – 1 small
  • Shallots – 5
  • Cinnamon – 1 piece
  • Cumin powder – ½ teaspoon
  • Black pepper powder – ½ teaspoon
  • Water – 400ml
  • Salt (as per taste requirement)
  • Clove – 2 pieces

Step 1: Separate the leaves from the stem and rinse them thoroughly. You can also use the dark purple (ripe) berries. Note: do not use the green (unripe) berries.

Step 2: Now, add water to the pan and heat it. Once the water boils, add the rinsed leaves and berries to the boiling water. Cover with a lid and let it cook for 20 minutes.

Step 3: In the meantime, pan fry the other spices along with shallots and tomato.

Step 4: Once cooled, add all ingredients along with the cooked leaves and grind it.

Step 5: Add water if necessary and consume it.

This mix can be used as gravy for roti/dosa/rice. You can add garam masala, ginger and garlic to add taste.

The berries and the leaves provide many medicinal benefits when consumed on a regular basis. There are no side effects caused by this green. Consume healthy vegetables and greens to maintain a good health.

Ramya Srinivasan, PDGBA, earned her Master’s degree in Business. As a result of her passion in native medicine, she got her Diploma in Traditional Siddha Medicine from Bharat Sevak Samaj registered under the Indian Planning Commission. She is certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.