Monday, January 25, 2021

Macrobiotic Nightshades—Have Your Say!


This is an open post to share your thoughts on Nightshades, foods that contain toxins that interfere with red blood cells and have been connected with a long laundry list of other problems; kidney stones, ulcers, rheumatoid arthritis, breathing problems, digestive problems, skin problems, nerve problems/paralysis, and energy problems are some of the negatives.


  1. Judy Romero

    I was diagnosed with celiac disease almost 8 years ago. in the beginning cutting out gluten helped but it also made me super sensitive to gluten and a lot of other foods, especially nightshades. for almost 4 years i tried everything that had given relief to anyone i talked to with intestinal issues, but still no improvement, until i read a book on fasting and tried it. pretty simple, relax, lay low, don’t eat any food, drink only water, and this will help. simple is not always easy, but nothing has helped more than this. not even close. after 4 years of practicing regular fasting, i can say my diet is what some would say normal, i can eat out now, i don’t have to worry about what is in a dish, and my body can even handle wheat on occasion. there is a lot of information out there and each person has to figure out what works for them, but try it, it won’t kill you. i am a carpenter, and fasted for 4 1/2 days, working over 30 hours of the last 3. the best book on the subject i have found is written by joel fuhrman a medical doctor.

  2. Lena

    I know blueberries are not nightshade but read they contain small amounts of solanine? Is this true? My toddler loves blueberries.

  3. Anonymous

    try Margaret Hill’s diet – it has a lot about nightshades, anti inflammatory, and so much more – this diet has helped so many people book available in amazon – it works guys!

  4. Arlene Fletcher

    Since i quit the nightshades, i have been without joint and arthritic pains! it is simply awesome. also, i see that i now have more energy too.
    only problem is, as mentioned, that there are few foods that one can eat if he/she eliminates nightshades and in my case wheat and corn. green vegetables like lettuce is good, lentils, chickpeas, black eyed beans are some ideas, carrot and onion soup, plus some white meat like chicken or turkey 1 time each week. Also, eating fish 1-2 times a week with some Basmati rice is very healthy too. hope you like the ideas.

  5. Anonymous

    Sweet potatos belong to the “Convolvulaceae family” or “morning glory” Potatos belong to the “Solanaceae family” or “night shade” Check wikipedia.

  6. jes

    Ive had an endless struggle to lose weight, sleep well and feel half normal, while eating apparently healthy foods and exercise. These deadly foods were my hidden enemy. Finally I know and have a new lease on life

  7. Anonymous

    Is Nagaimo considered a nightshade also? I realize it is in the potato family, but I’m not sure if it falls into the same family as the American potato.

  8. Jaime

    I have fallen upon this site by accident whilst researching psoriasis and finding out all the things you should NOT eat if you suffer from psoriasis. I was disheartened before but am completely depressed now. Didn’t know anything about nightshade so thought I’s research it and now cannot make head nor tail of what to eat and what not to eat. If anybody knows of anything in relation to nightshade and psoriasis or has tried this method and has seen an improvement in psoriasis please let me know by email also any other information on nightshades that is a bit more self explanitary would be greatly appreciated or even directed to a simply to understand website… Many thanks think I will have a lie down now my head hurts so much – information overload.

  9. Beverly

    My tongue swells, I break out in a rash on my face that itches for a few hours,I get light headed and very cranky, but worst of all…I break out in LARGE PAINFUL hives that take at least a week to disapate. This is why I avoid potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. Any questions?

  10. Margarita

    The Solanine in nightshades, and its effect on skin, nerves, and energy, are what concerns me. It doesn’t hurt me any to cut these fruits out of my diet; it may be seriously hurting me to keep including them. If you know that something is toxic, why eat it? I am very sensitive to what I eat, and it reflects in both my mood and my appearance. If after eating pizza and nachos, you feel uncomfortable, cranky and greasy (which I do), you have to weigh whether the pizza is worth the aftermath. Same with nightshades.

  11. Matt

    You would not think “this stuff is silly” if you were facing a debilitating disease that was caused FROM years of nightshade comsumption. If you aren’t allergic to them, congratulations, but there are many many folks out there that are. Before you dismiss the issues with these vegetables, you should talk to some of the folks that have been affected by them and then re-evaluate your comments!

  12. Anonymous

    I think this stuff is silly… I eat lots of things from the nightshade family and I’m healthy. They are also delicious…..if tomatoes are that poisonous shouldn’t all italians be all dead by now?

  13. Anonymous

    I read an interesting article on the journal by Christina Pirello about nightshades. She discusses ways to reduce the negative effects of nightshades (sorry, except for potatoes). I made one of the recipes she created for the article and it was delicious!

  14. Amelia

    THere is a great sumstitute for tomato sauce. Pressure cook carrots with beets. It should mainly be carrots. The beets just give it color. Pressure cook until soft, and mash up, adding whatever you want to make a good sauce for Italian dishes, etc. It is great. I cannot tell the difference. Beets are used in moderation in Macrobiotics, but you do not use much beet in this.

  15. Anonymous

    When I was 27 I started getting really sick, went to a Gastro specialist, and after several colonoscopies, many blood tests, weigh-ins…yada yada yada… they found pre-cancerous polyp in my colon (8 days b4 I turned 30) I am too young for this. My new husband suggested a friend who conducts Asyra treatments, on my third treatment an allergy to Nightshade Veggies popped up. I cut them and I am begining to feel 30 again. smilies/wink.gif

  16. Victoria Wilkins

    It’s expensive, but if you are making psuedo-Mexican food, or post-Marco-Polo Italian, you will be surprized how well this works.

    Start with ume plums or paste, and mix with carrot juice or carrot pulp. The carrot supplies the bulk, while the ume gives it that funky alkalinity. Try not to notice how the orange color separates from the pink color.

    If you’re allowed by your condition, you can try making Persian stews with dried limes.(available where Iranian foods are found). It gives soups and stews that acid flavor and it gets even more tomato-y when you add the carrot-ume sauce.

    And try nuka pickles (like daikon) as a substitute for particular fried eggplant recipes.

    One note: never try tomato-type sauce with whole grain pasta; it will never be the same as Mom made, it will taste ‘like too much fiber’ so just go Asian with whole wheat noodle

  17. Elena

    I am so sad about the fact I think nightshade veggies are affecting me. I have food sensitivities and they are all mostly in nightshade family. What about broccoli?

  18. Anonymous


  19. Brandi

    For several years I had pain in my joints; it had gotten to the point that I could not roll over in bed without groaning. My daughter was insisting that I see a doctor. . . but I had avoided because I didn’t want “arthritis” noted on my medical charts because of insurance implications. In 2004 I first read about “nightshades” and possible connection to arthritis. Potatoes and tomatoes and peppers are my very favorite foods; therefore, it was with great reluctance that I stopped eating them. But I did. And my pain is GONE. I miss those foods terribly, as it is limiting to no longer eat spaghetti, hot sauce, pizza, mashed potatoes, etcetcetc. BUT. . . the absence of pain has been really wonderful. Some of us are just more sensitive to foods than others. Those who are NOT so sensitive are lucky. . . but things can change in the body during the aging process, so please keep that in mind for future.

  20. Lila

    Does anyone out there have a substitute for tomatoes??? I want to make nightshade-free pasta sauce, salsas, ketsup and such. I was depressed to learn that tomatillos are a nightshade too, I was making big plans for them.
    Anyone can get a 5-minute painless nutritional assessment that will ask your body if it really has issues with nightshades, also if you have issues with grains, dairy, meats, nuts, artificial sweeteners and more…I found it extremely helpful…it eliminated the guessing. I can now go on to find healthy replacements that work for MY body. I also found out that just breathing tobacco smoke (a nightshade) affects my blood sugar levels in a bad way, leading to weight gain and loss of energy…on top of the 2nd hand smoke! Interestingly, eggplant is commonly used in the tanning of leather…hmmm. the assessments are done by a company called VivaTru. It’s called a VivaTouch assessment. It works using the principles of bioenergetic science, accupuncture, and lie detector tests. It sure is a lot more fun than getting bloodwork done! Anyway, it’s one of the coolest things I’ve seen in years.
    Something else I heard about recently- E.M. (efficient microbes), taken internaly can really help you if your digestion is messed up. I know people who have really benefitted from it, when nothing else helped. Barley grass juice also is wonderful for many things, like digestion and pain. Hope that wasnt too much off the subject, I just know these things can make a big impact.

  21. Anonymous

    I can’t eat meat. I don’t eat dairy. Now I’m being told alot of the vegetables I like are bad for me. What do I eat?????

  22. potato

    I have terrible arthrytis in all of my joints and lower back. I experienced feeling worse after eating potato. I avoid tomato due to acidity which I cannot handle. From all research I found interesting information” if you like some food very very much, this could be your culprit.” I do love potato!

  23. Rose

    I have been experiencing pain in my right knee for the past six months due to arthritis. I was told this week to avoid all night shade vegetables. If anyone is experiencing similar discomfort and has found a correlation between arithic pain and avoiding night shades vegetables, let me by sending an email to the above address.

  24. Glenda

    The only thing that swiss chard, beets, avocados, and artichokes (from Han’s list) have in common with tomatos, eggplants and peppers is the class they are in (Magnoliopsida). How in the heck are these supposed to be nightshade vegetables? If you go by that commonality, you must also avoid sesame seeds, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, collards…

  25. Carol

    I am so glad I found this web site, as I have IBS and read an article in a doctor’s column about a man who had been suffering with IBS for years, eliminated nightshade and what difference it made for him. Thank you! I will bookmark web site. Carol Fitztgerald West Covina, CA.

  26. Anonymous

    I do a lot of southwestern/mexican style cooking. Are the different types of chile peppers (ancho, chipolte, jalepeno) also considered nightshade? Thanks.

  27. Penny Brock

    Paul Newman’s company now has a good kibble for dogs and one for cats–mostly organic but it does have chicken–also some canned food–lots of different grains in it . Nature’s Recipe also has a vegetarian dog kibble which comes in large bags–available at PetsMart. The Newmans’ is at Costco and Rosauer’s in MT—dunno about elsewhere.

  28. Barnett

    I have suffered Irratible Bowel Syndrome for many years. All the tests have been done, and still no solution except to give me medication that puts me in LALA land. I stopped all the meds except Imodium when necessary. I read an article today that nightshade veggies could be causing my problems. Anyone have the same problem?????

  29. Anonymous

    How about Red, Yellow and Orange Peppers….are these just fully ripe Green Peppers…Are they as bad as Green Peppers??

  30. Gina

    I was just reading some of the comments posted on this site in regard to nightshade veg. I agree with some of the writers who state anything in moderation is good. It is dangerous to attach ourselves to a set of beliefs without doing our own research. i.e. macrobiotics says do this, so I do this… ! I believe that every body is different and food choice is such a personal thing. It’s wonderful that some people can eat a tomato (night veg) and tap into how that makes them feel. But to put that as a universial truth for a public… ! I agree with macrobiotic philosophy and for me that philosophy is about choice and having to live out the consequences of thoe (food) choices. But, the macroneurotic thing… life’s just too short… So, get your ass down to your local green grocer and pig-out on a whole wack of those deadly nightshades… !!! smilies/smiley.gif

  31. Anonymous

    I always heard that broccoli and tomatoes were nightshades but never knew why they were bad. I love both!! Where can we find the absolute truth about the veggies that are true nightshades?

  32. Erin Lynch

    Anyone can be allergic to ANYTHING!
    For example, there are some people who are allergic to wheat, soy, corn, etc..

    In addition, nightshades are not “bad” because they cause allergic reactions in some people, they just need to be eliminated by some people. Some people can eat nightshade vegetables without any reactions. I have eaten nightshades in a balanced yin/yang diet, and I never had a reaction. I rotate my food choices; check how I feel after I eat ANYTHING; and eliminate any food substance that causes a negative reaction in my body.

  33. Lana

    just had a terrible experience with a roasted red pepper on a sandwich! turns out it caused my private parts to swell and burn, then caused aching pain in my body for 2 days, after that it went to my arms, wrists and hands and fingers, causing arthritic symptoms. Finally fading after 4 days…must have been the nightshade red pepper! Never again!

  34. Darla

    I ate tomatoes as in Spaghetti sauce 2 times in a week, and had tomatoes in my salad. I am highly allergic to NICKEL, told this to my family and they mentioned they mentioned the Night Shades Veggies, I never heard of this, but I was directed to your website, which is loaded with info. Thanks for all this info.

  35. Jana Patton

    I began having excrutiating abdominal pain after consumming tomatoes. I tried iliminating them for a period of time. I ate potatoes, and had the same result. I was puzzled until I looked in a field book and saw the relationship to the vegetables. I even had exploratory surgery and my appendix was removed. I thought I was cured but alas not. This has gone on for over ten years. I cannot eat bell peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, or potatoes. However, I have no problem with sweet potatoes as they are in the squash family. I am also able to eat spinach, avacodo and others from the list above. My healer told me that the flower on the plant was the determinant. Nightshade turns into a poison in the intestines thus causing the swelling and pain. I wish there was a remedy I miss those vegetables. :cry

  36. Joanne

    i, too, am a vegetarian and macrobiotic fan but i eat all veggies in balance. as a recovering anorexic, it’s things like sweet potatoes and yams that helped me overcome my amenorrhea (missed menstruation) that lasted more than a year. so it seems nonsense that a diet can exclude something as healthy, natural and “whole” as any veggie no matter what shade they are

  37. Vasquez

    There is a lot of information about nightshades in the book Eat Right for Your Type. I am a type A, and according to the information in the book, all of the nightshades are deadly for type A’s, and it goes on to explain that tomatoes should not be consumed by people of any blood type. Unfortunately they are one of the hardest to remove from our diets since we were all raised eating tomatoes in abundance. You will never want to eat a tomato ever again after reading this book. Greens are usually readily available in any grocery store, so if you are having trouble finding acceptable veggies, try eating more greens :p

  38. Krystal

    I think you need to mention on this page that most mushrooms in the world are just as poisonous as nightshades. Only a few varieties are not known to be poisonous yet. Surely science will discover they are in the future. So I reccomend that anyone interested in preserving their health and living a long, healthy life should avoid all mushrooms for the same reason they avoid nightshades.

  39. Melanie

    Sweet Potatos are very much in the nightshade order. The morning glory family is in the nightshade order. That list from Han is correct and the foods in it should be avoided.

    It’s good to go see a Naturopathic doctor and do a food sensitivity test. Then you’ll be able to see if the veggies on that list are not good for you. But even if your body can tolerate them, they should be avoided.

  40. Townsend

    Sweet Potatoes aren’t in nightshade family, they are part of the morning glory family.
    Personally, after researching this, I find nothing that leads me to believe that fully ripened fruits of the nightshade family are unsafe in average quantities and there is plenty of research on the great antioxidant value and nutritional value of this group, not to mention being tasty and versatile!

  41. Bernadette Joseph

    Here’s a list of some nightshades:

    bamboo shoots
    curly dock
    erns ginseng
    newzealand spinach
    peppers(green, red,…)
    sheperd’s purse
    sweet potato
    swiss chard

    Bernadette Joseph

  42. Mcbride

    i love hot peppers eggplant tomatoe and potatoes all nightshade vegatables and i am very much a loner i wonder if thats why im so attracted to them :eek

  43. Jeanne

    I was told not to eat Nightshade Vegetables and see if my soreback and weight gain will stop, anyone know about the two going hand in hand? :eek 😡

  44. Kayla Bowen

    all foods have different atributes that lead to all things and these days many companies are putting additives into the fertilizer that has completly changed the plant

    Night shade plants are no worse or better than any other plants

  45. Lois

    Many years ago, I read somewhere that nightshades are the only plants that grow at night. Belladona is a nightshade that animals graze will not on, and if you eat them it , it produces terrible halucinations.

  46. May Garner

    :p Potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, tobacco

    others: sacred datura/jimson weed, petunias, nierembergia,
    butterfly flower(Schizanthus)

    The nightshade family (Solanaceae) includes about
    2000 species of herbs, shrubs, trees and vines. In
    addition to many ornamentals, the family abounds
    in plants with medicinal or poisonous properties,
    and the potato, tomato, eggplant, peppers, tobacco
    and others. (from Hortus).

  47. Kristi

    😡 My massage therapist told me to lay off the potatoes, tomatoes and squash to see if the stiffness in my neck subsists. :roll

  48. Spencer

    Many of the questions posed in the comments are my questions too! Where do we find the answers????? Please, those of you know the answers, post them here. Thank you!!!

  49. Lillian

    That is true, the header at the top of the page did contain nightshade vegetables, but no longer.

  50. Anonymous

    it is ironic that nightshades are eschewed in macrobiotics, yet the picture at the top of this webpage shows a basket of veggies including a tomato and two peppers!

  51. Denise

    it is ironic that nightshades are eschewed in macrobiotics, yet the picture at the top of this webpage shows a basket of veggies including a tomato and two peppers!

  52. Bethany

    I have been cooking for my dog (70% meat, 20% vegetable, 5% grain) because she has cancer and requires a less invasive diet. I was told expressly by her doctor not to feed her nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes and eggplant; unfortunately I was not aware potatoes are a nightshade and have been feeding them to her in addition to cruciferous vegetazbles (cabbagge, broccoli, chard), squash, and occasionally legumes.

    She fortunately doesn’t have problems with arthritis, but I’m very, very sorry that I didn’t know about potatoes sooner; they’re easy to cook and she likes them.

    With the advent of winter, I’ve developed some problems with the cold that are making me think I should modify my diet. I eat no animal products, but perhaps nightshade vegetables are giving me problems such as cracks in my hands that resist healing. Are nightshade vegetables unusually acid?

  53. Laurie

    What are night shade vegs? Where did they get there name? Why are they called “night shade” pl? Friend asked me to check on. I am completely unfamiliar and also want to know. Thanks :grin

  54. Richardson

    I find it difficult to consume the appropriate amount of vegetables/nongrains when I eliminate tomatoes from my diet, because I still have not developed a taste (enjoyment) for most of the macrobiotic vegetables. While a vegetarians, those foods most excluded to em now, seemed to comprise the majority of my diet: tomatoes, mushroom, potatoes and accasional egg plant in baba ghanoush. Also, there seems to be so few vegetables available where I live that fit into the diet. :sigh

  55. Jacqueline

    I have found that when we eat these foods in moderation, it is O.K. for most people. However, I found that even in moderation, my autistic son could not tolerate any NIGHTSHADE Veggies.

May Ling
Macrobiotics & natural health practitioner of Chinese decent. May Ling provides a Yin-Yang perspective to holistic health and natural healing. Contact:

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