Known since ancient times from the deadly nightshade (atropa belladonna) it is found throughout the Solanaceae family of plants and is therefore found in the potato (Solanum tuberosum), tomato, capsicum pepper, eggplant and tobacco plants. (Green) potato is the usual cause of dietary intake. Symptoms (usually 8 to 12 hours):
- Nausea and vomiting
- Diarrhoea and abdominal cramps
- Burning of the throat
And in severe cases:
- Pyrexia or hypothermia !
- Dilated pupils
- Death !
Toxicity starts at 2 to 5 mg per kilogram of body weight, with the upper part of this range being potentially fatal. A green potato or one infected with potato blight can have 1mg/g or more. Commercial potatoes generally have less than 0.2mg/g.