Jerusalem cherry is an erect, branched and non-spiny shrub
growing to a height of one meter. Leaves are alternate, oblong to lanceolate,
up to 10 centimeters long, wavy, glossy green above. Flowers are nodal, white
and solitary. Fruit is globose, yellow or reddish, up to 1 centimeter in diameter.
- Ornamental cultivation in Philippines.
- Common in commercial botanical garden in Baguio.
- The roots yielded a high percentage of fatty acids with 41 compounds;
the dominant compound was hexadecanoic acid (24.1%).
- Phytochemical studies have yielded alkaloids, glycosides, tannins and
- Berries contain substantial amounts of phosphorus and nitrogen.
- Analysis of berries yielded 25 components, constituting 99.8% of extract composition. The major components were alkaloids (38.55%), hydrocarbons (22.18%), fatty acid (19.38%), alcohol (13.27%), and carboxylic derivatives (3.73%). Mineral nutrient analysis yielded substantial amounts of phosphorus and nitrogen.
- Study of essential oil of unripe berries yielded twenty-one compounds, constituting 69.24% of total oil components. Major compounds were homologous series of alkanes, alcohol, aldehyde and terpenoids. The dominant components were decane (41.06%), undecane (29.26%), monoterpenoids (14.79%), sesquiterpene (3.21%) and a diterpene phytol (5.94%).
- Antimicrobial, antiviral,
antispasmodic, antihypertensive, antioxidant and hepatoprotective.
Caution / Toxicity concerns
- Poison: Considered a poisonous plant. The poisonous ingredient has reported as solanocapsine, found throughout the Jerusalem cherry plant, but especially in the unripened fruit and leaves. Symptoms of poisoning include coma, delirium, diarrhea, drowsiness, dilated pupils, hallucinations, headache, low blood pressure, slow breathing, slow pulse, stomach pains, and vomiting. (13)
- Studies have implicated the berries in causing central
anticholinergic syndrome characterized by thought impairment, recent
memory disturbance, hallucinations, hyperpyrexia, ataxia, drowsiness,
tachycardia, coma among others. Extract studies were predominated by
alkaloids (38.55%). Other plant components detected were aramines, phentamins,
dopamine, fluoxotine and amphetamine derivatives – potent psychostimulant
in humans. Many of the compounds have pharmacological and toxicological
importance in humans and the berries present of source of raw materials
for drug development. (Research
Bark, fruit, leaves and
- No reported medicinal use in the Philippines.
- In India, used in homeopathy
medicine to treat acute lower abdominal pain and somnolence.
- In South Africa, reported topical use for treatment of boils and gonorrhea; orally, as a male tonic and
for abdominal pain.
• Cytotoxicity / O-methylsolanocapsine / Leaves: Study evaluated the in vitro cytotoxic properties of O-methylsolanocapsine
isolated from Solanum pseudocapsicum leaves. Several steroidal alkaloids including solanocapsine, solacasine, solacapine, episolacapine, isosolacapine, and O-methylsolanocapsine were isolated from the arboreal part of the plants. Study confirmed O-methylsolanocapsine is more cytotoxic to the HeLa cell lines. Results indicate the steroidal alkaloids possess strong cytotoxic and antitumor properties. (1)
• Antioxidant: In
vitro antioxidant properties of Solanum pseudocapsicum leaf extracts:
Crude methanolic extracts exhibited potent antioxidant activity. However,
it exhibited no activity in the scavenging of hydroxyl or superoxide
• Antitumor / Leaves: Antitumor activity
of total alkaloid fraction of solanum pseudocapsicum leaves was tested
against Dalton's Lymphoma Ascites model in mice and revealed increase
in mean survival time and life span of tumor-bearing mice. The observed
activity may be due to its cytotoxic properties. (4)
• Anti-cancer: Study on leaf
extracts has isolated 0-methylsolanocapsine with in vitro cytotoxic
properties against some cancerous cell lines and merits in vivo studies
to confirm its antitumor activity.
• Solacasine / Antibacterial:
Systematic fractionation of alcohol extracts showed solacasine,
a new steroidal alkaloid, to be the main antibacterial constituent. (3)
• Hepatoprotective: Alkaloid
fraction of the methanol extract of Solanum pseudocapsicum was tested
for hepatoprotective activity against CCl4 induced toxicity in rat hepatocytes
and showed antihepatotoxic effect at very low concentrations and suggests
further studies of the alkaloid fraction to identify the active principles. (5)
• Volatile Compounds / Roots: Hydrodistillation
yielded 41 compounds (50% of the oil) from the roots of Solanum pseudocapsicum.
The dominant compounds were hexadecanoic acid (24.1%), 2-methoxy-3-isopropylpyrazine
(2.8%) and 15-methylhexadecanoic acid (2.1%). The high proportion of
the fatty acids was considered to be contributory to its medicinal properties. (6)
• Antioxidant: Of
the six extracts of SP tested for antioxidant activity, the crude methanolic
extract showed potent antioxidant activity. The extract also showed
potent scavenging activity against ABTS free radical, however, in a
degree less than the standards used. (7)
• Cytotoxic Activity of Alkaloids: All five alkaloid fractions
of the methanolic extracts of leaves, ripe fruits, roots, seeds and
stems of SP showed potent cytotoxic activity with the HT-29 cell line
showing the most sensitivity. The most potent was found in the fraction
of leaves. (8)
• Chemical and Nutrient Analysis of Berries: Analysis of berries yielded 25 components, constituting 99.8% of extract composition. The extract was dominated by alkaloids, hydrocarbons, fatty acids, alcohols and the derivatives of carboxylic acid. The presence of other components such as aramines, phentamines, dopamine, fluoxotine and amphetamines are noteworthy.
(see constituents above) (11)
• Antifungal / Leaves and Roots: Various extracts of leaves, fruits, and roots of S. pseudocapsicum were investigated for antimycotic activities. Acetone and methanol extracts showed significant
growth inhibition of Aspergillus niger and Penicillium notatum and marked suppression of growth of Fusarium oxysporum. Results suggest a potential application as a fungicide. (14)