Eggplant – Properties and health benefits / medicinal uses
The properties and health benefits / medicinal uses of eggplant are discussed below.
Botanical name: Solanum melongena L.
Others names: Brinjal, Guinea squash, Aubergine.
Eggplant is the fruit of the eggplant, Solanum melongena L., an annual herbaceous plant of the botanical family Solanaceae.
Eggplant varies from purple, yellow, green, red, to white in color. In shape, they come as oval, round or elongated like banana, or as small as an egg. Despite all these variations in shape and color, they still possess a common characteristic, that is, the whitish color of their flesh and seeds.
Properties of Eggplant
Eggplant is endowed with nutrients as other plants. Its flesh contains a certain amount of carbohydrates, as well as protein. It also contains virtually no fat.
Vitamins present in eggplant in reasonable amounts are vitamin C and B. Minerals are also not left out, as potassium, sulfur, calcium and iron are present in eggplant in significant amounts.
Health benefits / medicinal uses of Eggplant
The nutritional and non-nutritional components of eggplant accounts for some of its medicinal properties. Below are its medicinal indications:
• Cancer prevention
Investigations conducted recently have shown that fruits from the botanical family Solanaceae such as eggplant, contains rich amounts of phyto-chemicals. These substances known as phytochemicals, protects against the formation of cancer.
• As a diuretic
The consumption of eggplant is beneficial in cases where there is need for an increased urine production. This is due to its diuretic effect, its ability to increase urine output.
The consumption of eggplant is recommended in cases of:
» Kidney stones (renal lithiasis)
» Cardiovascular disease
» Hypertension and
» Fluid retension (edema).
• As a digestive tonic
The consumption of eggplant is recommended in cases where there is need for an effective biliary function such as those suffering from biliary dyspepsia or slow digestion. Eggplant helps promote biliary function, as well as the production of pancreatic juice.
Eggplant as an effcetive laxative, helps stop constipation. This is due to its high vegetable fiber content which helps stimulate the flow of feces down the colon.