Shedding Light on Nightshades + What You Need to Know

Hola Chica!

As naturalista’s, we often already play the role of our own health detectives out of the love for truth.

Have you ever had a trigger response from a food you’ve eaten? I know that when I eat gluten, or too much of one food type over time - I feel it! It may be a pleasure reward in the moment, but boy do I pay for it later.

Sometimes we have no idea where a ‘reaction’ comes from, nor does it always show up in your gut. Other common reactions can be foggy brain, insomnia and commonly - our skin.

There are common foods that cause allergies such as egg and dairy, but one heavy hitter the health industry is starting to recognize more than others are NIGHTSHADES and the active agitator within it called “Lectin.”

Later, I’ll help us connect the dots to how nightshades potentially affect our skin, but today’s dialog is breaking down the basics of new nutritional science I deem highly valuable to know for yourself, or someone you know.


Nightshades are a family of plants known as Solanaceae. The family includes some pretty popular veggies like:

  • Potatoes

  • Tomatoes

  • Eggplant

  • Peppers (including bell, cayenne pepper, and paprika)


Many health experts believe you should avoid the nightshade family altogether. Why? There are a couple of reasons.

I’ve already mentioned an alkaloid called solanine. But nightshades also contain the alkaloids capsaicin and nicotine (yes, nicotine — tobacco is part of the nightshade family, after all). And all of these alkaloids may have irritating effects on the body.

Solanine has been linked to aggravated joint pain and inflammation. Though no scientific studies currently support this finding, The Arthritis Foundation reports that many patients do find this to be the case.

Nicotine is found in tobacco plants (also a nightshade family member) as well as these common nightshade vegetables. Amounts of nicotine in the veggies can range from 2-7 microgram/kg (a cigarette averages about 12 milligrams) but decrease with the fading of “green” coloring. So when a tomato ripens it does decrease in nicotine.

The bottom line with alkaloids is: Though they may not affect everyone, some people are very sensitive to them because they can’t digest them properly.

According to Dr. Gundry, lectins are toxic proteins found in certain plants.

Lectins are part of a plant’s natural defense system. The problem with lectins is:

  • They can bind to cells on your gut wall

  • Damage the gut

  • Preventing you from properly absorbing nutrients.

Lectins are found in their highest concentrations in legumes, grains, and — you guessed it — nightshades.

Research has begun to show that – though some people are more sensitive to lectins than others – lectins are:

  • Toxic, inflammatory, or both

  • Resistant to your digestive enzymes

  • Able to cause major discomfort if consumed in high concentration


If you suffer from a leaky gut, an irritable bowel, or any other gastrointestinal sensitivity you should definitely think about cutting lectin-rich nightshades from your diet to see if you notice any difference.


Nightshade sensitivity can be very similar to a host of other conditions but generally appear as:

  • Diarrhea

  • Heartburn / Reflux

  • Nausea

  • Irritable Bowel

  • Joint Pain and/or swelling



Funny word, I know. Tubers include sweet potatoes, yucca, and taro root. The sweet potato is particularly wonderful with health-promoting antioxidants like β‐carotene and anthocyanins — both of which have been shown to protect against certain health issues.


The following leafy greens are incredibly high in nutrients (like vitamins A, C, E, and K).

  • Romaine

  • Red & green leaf lettuce

  • Kohlrabi

  • Mesclun

  • Spinach

  • Endive

  • Butter lettuce

  • Parsley

  • Fennel

  • Seaweed/sea vegetables


Like leafy greens, cruciferous veggies like the ones below are also high in important carotenoid-antioxidants (like beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin) as well as vitamins C, E, and K; folate; and fiber.

  • Broccoli

  • Cauliflower

  • Brussels sprouts

  • Arugula

  • Kale

  • Cabbage

  • Collard greens

  • Bok choy


Hello chipotle or avocado toast (minus the gluten for me). Avocado is actually a fruit, but because it’s a first-class choice when it comes to gut-friendly veggies.

Avocados are full of healthy monounsaturated fats and soluble fiber. As well as plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Research has even found the avocado may also lower “bad” LDL cholesterol which is a huge contributor to cardiovascular diseases.

How to Test for Nightshade Sensitivity

The best way to test for a nightshade sensitivity is to go through an elimination diet. You’ll want to remove all nightshades from your diet (including culinary spices such as red pepper flakes, chili powder, and curry powder) and see if your symptoms resolve. If you do not experience any GI issues, fatigue, or joint pain after successfully removing nightshades from your diet, then you probably have a nightshade sensitivity.

So does that mean you can never eat salsa again? Not at all! The next phase of the elimination diet is the reintroduction phase. One at a time, you will begin to reintroduce each food you removed to test how your body reacts to it.

I suggest waiting two weeks before re-adding. Some people have only a very minor intolerance to nightshades, which means you may be able to tolerate some foods in the nightshade family depending on the amount of glycoalkaloids they contain

That’s it! Whether you sense a sensitivity, brain fog, digestive issues - or not, removing nightshades may be an interesting exploration.

Next I’ll dial in on how nightshades may be causing skin issues of all kinds.

I have to acknowledge just how frustrating it is to figure out triggers that confuse our inner health and outer skin issues.

Though nightshades can be an issue for people with chronic inflammatory conditions, the reason it affects skin isn’t so clear cut.

I’ll cover that in my next dialog with you.

Thanks for informing yourself, beaute! Questions? Contact me at

Love n’ Light,


Are You Allergic to Hair color? Subtle Nuances.

At Kasia Organic Salon we receive multiple calls weekly  nationwide on what color line we use, and if it would work for them because of their new or current allergic reactions/symptoms.  For many women, they hide and do not speak about their "itchy and watery eyes" after leaving their service or at home, and just put up with it.  Well, the truth  is, over time, the body can be overwhelmed enought to make it an unbearable situation. Our staff always offers clients with a patch test prior to a color service.  We also offer highly recommended practitioner referrals to pin point the allergy, and/or lifestyle causations.  Reactions  are becoming incredibly common in ammonia and PPD based hair color and this can be very hidden.

Kasia Salon offers an alternative color VOID of these active agents with no silent substitutes. We do all that we can to find an alternative option.  Still nervous? Another alternative we can offer you is by stacking heavy foils to blend out gray, or add tone (leaving the color off scalp) or applying a complete direct dye with no other added ingredients/reactions.


Allergy Introduction to PPD

The most common allergen found in hair color is PPD (paraphenylenediamine), which is mostly found in permanent hair color. If you have never had your hair colored, or if PPD allergy runs in your family, there is an easy way to find out if you are allergic in the salon. Licensed Cosmetologists can do a patch test in the salon, which will determine if you will have a skin reaction to PPD-based hair color. Ingterestingly, PPD is also found in fur coats, ink tatoos and wigs.

“Positive patch test reactions to p-phenylenediamine (PPD) are common. PPD is used in oxidative hair dyes and is also present in dark henna temporary ‘tattoos’. Cross-sensitization to other contact allergens may occur.”

About 25% of people allergic to PPD may also be allergic to ingredients found in semi-permanent hair colors, of which may also be found in pen inks and may be used to color certain foods and pharmaceuticals. Semi- permanent and demi-permanent hair colors are usually ammonia-free but the ammonia substitute, ethanolamine, may produce a reaction in some people. Again, a patch test can be done in the salon to determine if you are allergic to either semi- or demi-permanent hair colors that are carried in the salon. Reactions to PPD include

  • Itching scalp/skin
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Mild dandruff like symptoms
  • Scaly skin
  • Pain
  • Sneezing or other hay fever/cold like symptoms when ever hair dye applied
  • Nausea when dye applied
  • Sever swelling around eyes
  • Scaly skin on ears, face and neck

The patch test is simple. Your stylist will apply a small amount of color mixed with developer to behind the ear (if your hair is short) or to the inner bend of the elbow. This has to be allowed to dry and to remain uncovered for 48-72 hours. If no irritation or rash occurs between the time the patch test is applied and 72 hours is complete, the test is negative, and you can proceed to schedule a hair coloring service.



Call Kasia Organic Salon and avoid the continual build up of chemicals and allergic reactions.  We've been so pleased to be able to service those that come with these complications and to those who wish to just make a better choice, keeping the hair healthier and lasting color.

Kasia Organic Salon stylists are the leading experts in NO Ammonia,  NO PPD, and NO MEA color services.  Kassie (owner) started testing the "new way of hair coloring" as it was in it's testing stage.

Call us today with any questions you may have!

612 824 7611

Learn more here --

Safety Issues of Hair Color Products and ‘PPD’


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