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Scientific name:
Solanum melongena L.
Solanum cumingii Dunal              
Solanum pressum Dunal 
Solanum undatum oiret sensu Ochse

Common names:
Berengena (Span.)
Brinjal (English)
Talong (Bik., Tag., Bis., Bon.)
Tarong (Ilk.)
Tolung (Sul.)
Aubergine (Europe)
Eggplant (English)
Qie zi (Chin.)

Botany:
Talong is a coarse, usually branched, prickly or unarmed, erect, half-woody plant, growing to a height of 0.5 to 1 meter. Leaves are ovate to oblong-ovate, 10 to 25 centimeters long, stellate-hairy beneath, and irregularly or shallowly lobed at the margins. Flowers are axillary, purplish, about 2.5 centimeters long. Fruit is fleshy, smooth, purple, up to 25 centimeters long, extremely variable in shape, round, oblong, or cylindric-oblong.

Distribution
:
- Cultivated throughout the Philippines for the edible fruit; the elongated variety, the most cultivated.
- Nowhere spontaneous.
- Cultivated in all warm countries.
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Constituents:
- Fruit contains trigonelline; choline; vitamins A. B, and C; fat, 01%; and protein, 2.2 %.
- Phytochemical studies have yielded flavonoids, alkaloids, tannins and steroids.
- Study isolated stigmasterol, stigmasterol-ß-D-glucoside, ß-sitosterol-ß-D-glucoside, dioscin, protodioscin, and methyl protodioscin.

Properties:
Roots considered antiasthmatic and stimulant.
Leaves considered anodyne.
Fruit considered cooling, digestive, phlegmatic.

Parts used and preparation:
Fruits, roots.
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Uses:

Nutritional
- Fruit is an excellent vegetable and popular in the rural day-to-day cuisine. It is eaten before it ripens, preferred before the seed hardens.
- Also used in native pickles and curries in India.
- A good source of vitamins A, B, and C.
- A good source of calcium, phosphorus, and iron; carbohydrates and fiber.

Folkloric
- Decoction of roots taken internally for asthma and as a general stimulant.
- Leaves are used for piles.
- The boiled root of the wild plant, mixed with sour milk and grain porridge, has been used for the treatment of syphilis.
- Decoction of roots, dried stalk, and leaves is used for washing sores, exudative surfaces and used as astringent for hemorrhage from the bladder and other hemorrhagic fluxes.
- The juice of leaves used for throat and stomach troubles.
- Juice of the fruit, sometimes with pounded leaves, rubbed on suspected syphilitic eruptions of the hands.
- Fruit considered cooling, and bruised with vinegar
- Chinese and Annamites used the roots for skin diseases.
- The fruit is considered cooling, and bruised with vinegar, is used as a poultice for abscesses and cracked nipples.
- In Taiwan folk medicine, roots are used for rheumatism, inflammation and foot pain.
- Long fruit is phlegmatic and generative of phthisis, coughs, and anorexia.
- The peduncle, incinerated, used in intestinal hemorrhages, piles, and toothache.
- Seeds used as stimulant but may cause dyspepsia and constipation
- In French Guinea, decoction or infusion of leaves is used for stomach troubles and sore throat.
- In India, juice of various plant parts and pulp of fruits of S. melongena and its wild allies used for various ailments: diabetes, otitis, toothaches, cholera, bronchitis, asthma, dysuria, among many others.

Studies
:

Hypocholesterolemic: (1) Study on human volunteers showed that S. melongena infusion showed a significant reduction of the blood levels of total and LDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B. (2) Study of New Zealand hypercholesterolemic white rabbits fed with diets supplemented with SM fruits showed significant reduction of TC, triglycerides, and LDL, with a 24.7% increase in HDL cholesterol. The strong hypolipidemic effect with the improved HDL/LDL ratio suggests a potential benefit for its use in the treatment of hyperlipidemic-associated ischemic heart disease and arteriosclerosis.

Bronchospasmogenic: Methanol extract of fresh leaves of SM exerted a bronchospasmogenic rather than a bronchospasmolytic effect, probably through muscarinic receptor stimulation.

Bone Marrow Protection: Study showed animals treated with both SM extract and Doxorubicin, a potent antitumor drug, developed significantly fewer micronucleus assay and chromosomal aberrations than those treated with DXR alone. SM are rich in flavonoids with antioxidant activities.

Antipyretic / Analgesic: Study showed the dry residue of fresh juice produced significant antipyretic (dose-dependent) and analgesic effect. The results support its use in traditional medicine.

Analgesic: Study of hydroalcoholic extract on formalin injection-induced pain showed an analgesic effect not significantly different from that of 4 mg/kg of morphine sulfate

Hypotensive: Study of SM extract on normotensive rats showed dose-dependent hypotensive responses possibly through its influence on the renin-angiotensive system and SME-induced diuresis. It suggests SME could be a potent hypotensive agent.

Visual Benefits / Glaucoma: Study showed that Solanum melongena may be of benefit for patients suffering from raised intraocular pressure (glaucoma) and convergence insufficiency.

Phytochemicals / Xanthine Oxidase Inhibition: Study yielded stigmasterol, stigmasterol-ß-D-glucoside, dioscin, protodioscin and methyl protodioscin. The that phytosterols 1, 2 and 3 that showed strong inhibition of xanthine oxidase.

Antifungal: Different extracts of S melongena leaf were evaluated against three human pathogenic dermatophytes (Trichophyton mentagrophytes, T rubrum and T tonsurans) and two opportunistic fungi (C albicans T beigelli). Except for the water extract, all extracts showed significant antifungal property.

Birth Control: Plant and allies yield glucoalkaloids (solasodine) that are under investigation as oral contraceptive for birth control.

Phenolics: The Mayo Clinic and the ADA recommended an eggplant-based diet for the management of type 2DM. The rationale is a high fiber and low soluble carbohydrate content of eggplant. A study proposed a more physiologically relevant explanation in the phenolic-linked antioxidant activity and alpha-glucosidase inhibitory potential of eggplant which can reduce hyperglycemia-induced pathogenesis. It also showed moderate ACE-inhibitory activity.. The phenolic antioxidant-enriched dietary strategy also has a potential to reduce hyperglycemia-induced pathogenesis linked to cellular oxidation stress.

Peduncles in Periodontal Disease / Antioxidant: Aqueous peduncle extracts showed a higher capacity to scavenge free radicals than the fruit itself., increasing total antioxidant activity and glutathione levels in saliva of patients with periodontal disease. The extracts ameliorated pockety depth and bleeding index. Results suggest peduncles of Sm used a mouthwash has a beneficial effect against periodontal diseases.

Effect on Cholesterol-Induced Atheromatosis: Study evaluated the histological effect of Solanum melongena on experimental atheromatosis. Results showed lipid deposits could not be seen in paraffin sections just after one day. Vascular wall histological changes were earliest visible after 10 to 14 days with enlargement of the subendothelial space and honeycombed edema with fine dispersed lipids.

Availability
Cultivated for its edible fruit.


Source: stuartxchange.com


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1)Eggplant (Solanum melongena) infusion has a modest and transitory effect on hypercholesterolemic subjects / P R Guimaraes et al / Braz J Med Biol Res, September 2000, Volume 33(9) 1027-1036 / doi: 10.1590/S0100-879X2000000900006

(2)Spasmogenic effect of a Solanum melongena leaf extract on guinea pig tracheal chains and its possible mechanism(s) / D R A Mana et al / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2004.07.017 / Journal of Ethnopharmacology Vol 95, Issues 2-3, December 2004, Pages 329-333

(3)Standardized Solanum melongena Extract Presents Protective Effects against Chromosomal Aberrations Induced by Doxorubicin in Wistar Rat Bone Marrow Cells / CYTOLOGIA Vol. 68 (2003) , No. 2 177-181

(4)ANTIPYRETIC AND ANALGESIC EFFECT OF LEAVES OF SOLANUM MELONGENA LINN. IN RODENTS / S Mutalik et al /Indian Journal of Pharmacology 2003; 35: 312-315

(5)Hypotensive action of Solanum melongena on normotensive rats / O L Shum and W Chiu / Phytotherapy Research Vol 5 Issue 2, Pages 76 - 8 / DOI 10.1002/ptr.2650050208

(6)Xanthine Oxidase Inhibitors from the Roots of Eggplant (Solanum Melongena L.) / Hsuch-Ching Cghiang and Yen-Yeou Chen / Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry • 1993, Vol. 7, No. 3, Pages 225-235 / DOI: 10.3109/14756369309040765

(7)Effects of Solanum melongena (garden egg) on some visual functions of visually active Igbos of Nigeria / S A Igwe et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology • Volume 86, Issues 2-3, June 2003, Pages 135-138 / doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(02)00364-1

(8)Solanum melongena: A potential source of antifungal agent / Jayshree Das, Jyoti Prasad Lahan and R. B. Srivastava / INDIAN JOURNAL OF MICROBIOLOGY / DOI: 10.1007/s12088-010-0004-2

(9)Solanum melongena and Wild Allies: Potential Birth Control Resource / Kumar B, Chaudhary BR / Vegetos- An International Journal of Plant Research, 2006, Vol 19, No 1and2

(10)Hypolipidaemic Potentials of Solanum melongena and Solanum gilo on Hypercholesterolemic Rabbits / A A Odetola, Y O Iranloye et al / Pakistan Journal of Nutrition 3 (3): 180-187, 2004

(11) The effect of Solanum melongena L. hydro-alcoholic extract on chronic pain in male mice as compared with morphine / M H Dashti Rahmatabadi, M Anvari et al / Iranian Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Vol. 25, No. 1, 2009.

(12)In vitro studies of eggplant (Solanum melongena) phenolics as inhibitors of key enzymes relevant for type 2 diabetes and hypertension / Kwon YI, Apostolidis E, Shetty K. / Bioresour Technol. 2008 May;99(8):2981-8. Epub 2007 Aug 13.

(13)Beneficial effects of Solanum melongena (Solanaceae) peduncles extracts, in periodontal diseases / Diab R, Mounayar A, Maalouf E and Chahine R / Journal of Medicinal Plants Research Vol. 5(11), pp. 2309-2315, 4 June, 2011

(14)Effect of Solanum melongena on experimental atheromatosis. IV. Histological studies on cholesterol-induced atheromatosis in rabbits in mean- and long-term tests (author's transl) / Mitschek GH. / Exp Pathol (Jena). 1975;10(3-4):156-66.