Makoi (Black night shade plants)


  1. Makoy is a very poisonous plant and thereby, not meant for any kind of use in the pediatric age group. That’s why its usage in extra doses often lead to death from cardiac arrhythmia, vomiting, Diarrhea, convulsions or maybe even paralysis attack in severe cases. Its leaves have a strong purgative (cleansing) action when consumed and stimulates a strong sweating response. It promotes perspiration which helps in maintaining the body temperature.
  2. The juice of this herb is commonly used to treat the fever & to alleviate pain.
  3. The juice of Makoy leaves is used in treating the mouth ulcers. This juice is also used to counter difficult menses.
  4. Makoy also helps in relieving pain in the ears.
  5. Its fruit is used as a cosmetic; as rubbing its seeds on the cheeks helps remove freckles.
  6. It is a very good herbal remedy for asthma as it removes catarrhal matter & phlegm from the bronchial tubes.
  7. It combats many of the stomach issues like stomach cramps, stomach ache & flatulence.
  8. Makoy also plays a role in supporting the joints by helping in the treatment of rheumatic pain & gout.
  9. Various skin issues like acnes, psoriasis & freckles can be treated successfully with the help of Makoy.
  10. A decoction prepared from the leaves n stem of Makoy helps in the treatment of dieresis.
  11. Makoy is a key ingredient in various medicines prepared to resolve various liver disorders.
  12. It also helps in treating Urinary Tract Infections as it increases the secretion and discharge of urine.
  13. Various mouth-related problems like gum diseases n bad breath find its solution with the help of this herb.
  14. An infusion of the plant is used as an enema in infants suffering from abdominal upsets.
  15. A decoction of the stalk, leaves, and roots of this herb is beneficial for wounds and cancerous sores.
  16. Its berries are poisonous, which believes to get destroyed while but boiling them and make them safer to be used for preserves, jams, and pies.

How to grow?

Black nightshade is easy to grow and is best sown from seeds and transplanted as seedlings. Cultivation of black nightshade by seedlings can yield a harvest of 1.2 kg/m2. It can tolerate most soils and harsh conditions but prefers moist soil. It cannot grow in the shade.

Research has shown that black nightshade needs nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). This can be applied in the form of a chemical fertiliser, such as 2:3:2 or 3:2:1. at the rate of 40 g/m. A normal size teacup takes about 200 g fertiliser so this would cover 5 m. Place fertiliser in-furrow and mix with soil before planting.

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries recommends the following: when using poultry or pig manure apply a 10 lt bucket in a band of about for 20 cm wide over a length of 15 m. The same quantity of manure is used even for kraal manure to cover a 5 m length area.

After sowing cover the beds with a mulch like dried grass to retain moisture. Although black nightshade is drought resistant, it needs water as this will improve yield - at least 4 litre per 1 m².

Pests of black nightshade, ants, black aphids, caterpillars, grasshoppers and beetles, are controlled by crop rotation or wood ash dusted on leaves. Choose companion plants like onion and garlic, which are natural flea-beetle repellents.

Black nightshade is sensitive to blight (early blight, leaf blight), viruses, such as leaf curl, yellow vein, as well as grey mould and powdery mildew. Optimum growing condition and good soil conditions can help in disease reduction.


  1. Black nightshade soup:


300 g Manathakkali Keerai/Black Night Shade leaves

10 Shallots/Chinna Vengayam, chopped

1 tsp oil / Thengai Ennai

1 tsp Cumin seeds / Seeragam,

1 cup thick coconut milk/thengai paal

1 cup water/Thanni

1 tsp salt/Uppu


Remove the only leaves from the manathakkali keerai, wash and clean it.

Heat a tsp of oil in a saucepan, add the cumin seeds.

Add the chopped shallots and fry well.

Add the Keerai and saute for a second and then add the coconut milk.

Add water cover and cook for 5 to 10 mins or till the leaves become soft and mushy.

Finally, add the salt and boil for a second and switch off the stove.

Manathakkali soup is ready to serve.

  1. Sauteed Black Nightshade


1 bunch (medium sized) Sukkati Keerai/Black Nightshade

2 Onions (finely chopped)

3-4 Red Chillies

3-4 Tablespoons Grated Coconut

1/2 teaspoon Mustard Seeds

200-250 ml Water

To taste Salt

As required Oil


  1. Clean and wash the spinach. Then chop it unevenly.
  2. Now heat the oil in a pan, crackle the mustard seeds. Add chopped onion, red chilli and saute the mixture.
  3. Add water, salt and chopped spinach.
  4. When the leaves get little cooked, mix it slightly.
  5. When the mixture has little water, add the grated coconut.
  6. Some prefer a soggy mixture and others may like a dry stuff. So serve according to your taste.
  1. Black Nightshade Stir Fry


Manathakkali Keerai(Black night shade)– 2cups tightly packed

Shallot – 1cup finely chopped

Coconut(grated) – 1/4 cup

Salt- to taste

Red chilli-3

Green chilli-2

To Temper :

Oil – 2 tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1tsp


STEP 1 Take the pan  & heat the oil

STEP 2  Add mustrad seed and let it splutter

STEP 3 Add chopped Shallot and saute well.

STEP 4 Add green chilli & red chilli and saute well

STEP 5  Add Manathakkali Keerai and Saute till raw smell leaves and soft

STEP 6 Add salt and Saute well

STEP 7 Add grated coconut and saute well

STEP 8 Serve hot with rice