Poppot Leaderboard

Bye, Bye Nightshades!

Common Household Veggies May Be Cause of Crippling Pain

It has been 24 hours since I decided to eliminate nightshade plants from my diet.  This past weekend, I had the good fortune to meet Pat Claudio, a volunteer for the Arthritis Nightshade Research Foundation.  She gave me her personal testimony of living free from arthritis pain for 28 years, by eliminating nightshade plants from her diet.  She is the co-author of the Arthritis-Free Cooking book.

Addicted to the Enemy?

Nightshades, or the Solanaceae family of plants are the drug plants.  They are the plants that many pharmacueticals are derived from.  An article in the April-May 2003 issue of New Life Journal, says, “Some nightshade plants are ingredients in potent narcotic medicine and sleeping pills [my comment-an overdose will kill you]. It is reported that nightshades contain high levels of [editors note: poisonous] alkaloids which cause the bones to excrete calcium, other minerals, and trace elements from the body.”

I was surprised to learn that these plants were quite prolific in my “healthy diet”.  In reading the Arthritis Nightshades Newsletter, I discovered why.  Each of these plants has an addictive substance. Could this be why some prescription meds are addictive?

My Achilles Knees

A number of years ago, I was diagnosed with chondro malacia patella (runners knee), a painful condition caused by degeneration of the knee cartilage. Through weight loss, exercise and dietary changes I have achieved a great deal of relief from knee pain.

Dietary Changes Produce Amazing Results

Through the South Beach Diet, which uses a low glycemic/good fats approach, I lost 20 lbs, which lightened the load my knees were carrying.  Adding raw dairy to my diet has helped, because of its anti-inflammatory properties, and because it is fat, nutrient and calcium-rich.  Bone broth stocks have helped to re-mineralize my joints because they are full of  marrow, cartilage and bone building minerals.  Shunning refined sugars has helped, because my body no longer pulls minerals from my joints to help digest the white stuff.  And, I believe lacto-fermented beverages have helped. I learned from Dr. Tom Cowan, author of The Fourfold Path to Healing that they are very hydrating, better than plain water.

Some days, my knees feel like new, strong and no pain whatsoever. But, at times, I have still experienced a burning sensation in my knees, low level pain, tenderness, weakness.  It comes and goes.   A far cry from the sharp, stabbing, debilitating pain I used to have.  But still a nuisance.

Meet the Deadly Nightshades

Giving up the nightshades won’t be easy.  But I am determined to sacrifice anything to regain my health and conquer this malady. When I first heard about this diet, probably a year ago or so, I ruled it out, offhand.  I was well aware of the allure these particular plants had over me.  They were culinary delights, and staples in my diet, always on hand in my kitchen.

Tomatoes, Peppers, Hot peppers, eggplant, white potatoes are the nightshades I am talking about.  Just think, salsa, spaghetti sauce, hot pepper sauce, jalapeno cheese.  Also, the following seasonings are made with nightshade plants: red pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, chili pepper, and some curry powders contain cayenne.  All these are my absolute favorite foods, I am addicted to them!

But, my personal poison is causing me pain.  I have hit bottom with this.  I am going to twelve step my way out of this! I am making an amends list, and confessing this to everyone who will listen.  I am powerless over this but I am not going to take it anymore!

A Cow Brought Me to My Knees

Anyone who knows me knows that I love cows.  My blog is devoted to them.  They are angelic creatures, and I want them to live on pasture, in sunshine, eating their proper food, lush green grass.  The newsletter Pat gave me had a picture of a cow, grazing on its knees.  The photo caption explained that when livestock feed on nightshade weeds in pastures, they are crippled with tender flexor tendons and suspensory ligaments. I saw myself in that dear cow-I have that same condition!  Apparently, farmers go to great effort to cull nightshades out of their fields to keep the cows from eating the deadlies.  Another reason I love farmers!

Twenty Four Hour Relief

The Arthritis Nightshade Newsletter is packed with testimonies from former arthritis sufferers who now live pain free.  It recommends a 6 week total abstinence from nightshade foods to test the program for yourself.  The stories are so compelling, I purposed to do this six week fast from the deadlies.

I absolutely do notice an absence of pain after just a 24 hour fast.  I gave up sausage at breakfast, because it had hot peppers in it.  I shunned a pork stew at lunch, because it had tomatoes in it.  And, at dinner I refrained from putting salsa in my short rib recipe, which I normally would have done as a matter of course.  I  just used beef bone stock, instead.

Will keep you posted, but I am excited to be embarking upon this uncharted wellness territory!  For further information, and to order the Arthritis Diet Book or the Arthristis-Free Cooking Book, visit www.noarthritis.com. Or, order the books by phone 1-888-501-8822.

Pat Claudio is also offering a free copy of the Arthritis Nightshade Research Foundations Newsletter, please call her at 703-978-8961.


Kimberly Hartke

Kimberly Hartke is a health concious consumer, who has overcome debilitating knee pain by changes in diet and exercise. She and her husband, Keith, have been on this journey together. The couple has lost 50 lbs between them, and kept it off for over 5 years. Change is possible. Kimberly believes you can do it, too, which is why she blogs. Follow her forays into natural health at her blog, http://hartkeisonline.com.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...Paid Endorsement Disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of renumeration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.


  1. I gave up nightshades when I was 26 — when I was diagnosed with arthritis.

    I did it for about 3 weeks. Within a week I had no more pain.

    But then I realized that I had a bigger issue w/ my immune system.

    So I then gave up all grains, starches, and sugar for 3 weeks (but ate nightshades). That worked. I added back in grains — except wheat, which I was allergic to. I took a strong therapeutic grade probiotic and stayed off wheat and sugar for 1.5 to 2 years.

    After that my gut was healed and I could eat anything again. Including wheat and nightshades.

  2. What Cheeselave says is very interesting. I was diagnosed 15 years ago as having an ‘allergy’ to nightshades, 9whatever that truly means) and cut them out, but man, this sure is a large group of food, so so difficult to cut out of the diet, especially when cooking for children too.

    I then found out I was gluten intolerant and had Gilbert’s Syndrome (liver dysfunction) and came off gluten for a couple of years, and I must say that I am much better, although living in France is very difficult with all the gorgeous bread here.

    Now I eat gluten occasionally and I must say I have noticed joint pain again. I think that what Cheeseslave is saying holds a lot of truth - is it about healing the gut and getting the system buffered against attack from offending foods. Avoiding gluten and the nightshades to start with is a great way to aid the body’s natural healing process.

    Thanks for a very interesting post,
    Lune x

  3. Gut!

  4. gesundheit says:

    Sehr wertvolle Informationen! Empfehlen!

  5. There seems to be conflicting evidence in the case of hot peppers. Capsaicin, the “heat” in hot peppers seems to help chronic pain sufferers, as does the spice in ginger, turmeric and the like. But, if there is sensitivity to nightshades, I can see where giving up peppers for a time would be worth it.

    My husband went on a no-nightshade diet at the height of his illness with CFIDS. It was very difficult for us to give up bell peppers and tomatoes, even for a few months. We are already on a very restricted diet due to food allergies. I haven’t tried the no-nightshade diet to help my knees, but have found bone broth and fermented beverages alone to have made such an amazing difference.

    Local Nourishment’s last blog post..My attitude shift toward food

  6. Our timing matches. Today is my first day nightshade free. I have a home vegetable garden bursting with tomato plants. I am addicted to potatoes (sounds stupid, but it’s true). I have half an eggplant in my refrigerator and ready to be picked peppers in my garden. I also have joint pain, clicking joints and chronic diarrhea. I’m already gluten free and recently went dairy free as well. I’ve been told many times over the years to give up the nightshades and I refused. Finally I’m in enough pain to give it a go. I’m interested to see how you fair.
    .-= Caroline´s last blog ..Deadly nightshades? =-.

  7. I cured eczema by avoiding NIGHTSHADES

    I finally found a cure by realizing that Eczema is a reaction to certain foods or chemicals. I’ve had eczema for as long as I could remember and it wasn’t until recently that I figured out NIGHTSHADES (peppers, eggplant, tomatoes…) were the source of my skin irritations. Since then, I’ve been eczema-free.

    Start by eliminating certain foods after a rash occurs so that you can figure out what to avoid. I wish a doctor had told me that simple truth a long time ago, but then again, most are in the business of making money, not giving permanent cures.

    A lot, if not all things can be healed naturally. To cure it, it’s not about putting ointments or shea butter on it, those only mask the symptoms- with eczema, it’s simply about eliminating substances you react to.


  1. […] post by unknown Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and […]

  2. […] We now buy pasture raised eggs, too, and have dropped the turkey bacon in favor of forest fed pork. I am now on a no-nightshades diet and discovered that turkey bacon is seasoned with paprika, which is off limits on this anti-arthritis “no nightshades” diet. […]

  3. […] If you want to grow your own heirloom tomatoes, check out my Resources page for sources. For more information about the anti-arthritis nightshade elimination diet see my previous post, Bye, Bye Nightshades. […]

  4. […] I know I am avoiding nightshades, but I just had to cheat this one time. These ingredients looked so yummy, I just had to take a […]

  5. […] follow an anti-arthritis diet which calls for avoiding the nightshade plants, so I decided to do my own remake substituting […]

Speak Your Mind