By Dr Renita D’Souza
Tomato is a well-known versatile vegetable with high nutritive value. It is beneficial to health and prevent lifestyle disorders such as diabetes, stroke, cancer etc. The 2 edible species of tomato are the ‘Current tomato’ (Solanum pimpinellifolium) and the ‘Cherry tomato’ (Solanum lycopersicum var cesariforme). Its leaves contain toxic alkaloid thus only fruit is edible. Lycopene is a carotenoid which is naturally found in tomatoes act as an antioxidant, anticancer, antiaging and anti-inflammatory agent. (A)
Read – Eggplant – Uses, Remedies, Qualities, Recipes, Research
Botanical Name – Solanum lycopersicum
Synonyms – Lycopersicon lycopersicum (L. H. Karst.)
Lycopersicon esculentum (Mill.)
Family – Solanaceae
The term ‘tomato’ is said to be originated from the Nahautl (Aztecan) word ‘tomatl’ meaning – “the swelling fruit”
Solanum lycopersicum plants are vine growing 6 feet or more. Leaves are hairy, compound, 10 -25 cm long, each leaflet is 8 cm long. Flowers are 5 petaled and yellow in color. Fruits are berry, globe shaped, red in color when ripe.
Solanum lycopersicum is native to Mexico and found cultivated in many parts of India
Read – Dioscorea bulbifera – Air Potato Uses, Research, Side Effects
Solanum lycopersicum possess Anthelmintic, Anti-Inflammatory, Anticarcinogenic, Antioxidants, Platelet Anti-Aggregation Activity, Antifungal activity, Antimutagenic, Hepatoprotective, Antibacterial, Analgesic and Adaptogenic effects. (F)
Skin and Hair care
Severe aching pains all over body
Profuse watery diarrhoea.
Head, eye, nose, heart problems
Read – Flacourtia indica – Governor’s plum Uses, Dose, Research
- Fresh juice extract of tomato is used to stop excessive bleeding from the wounds.
- Fresh tomato juice is used to induce vomiting in children in case of food poisoning.
- Externally fruit juice is used to treat furuncles, scorpion and other insect bites. It is also used to bring down body temperature
- Fresh tomatoes are also used in pregnant women to treat oedema.
- Fruits are used as purgative and acts as good digestive.
- Tomato sauces and puree are said to help lower urinary tract symptoms.
- Half ripe tomatoes are used to treat dyspepsia and summer diarrhoea.
Read – Jamun Benefits, Usage, Dose, Side Effects – Complete Ayurveda Details
- Presence of Vitamin A and carotenoids in tomatoes promote vision improvement, bone growth and functioning of cells and reproduction. It helps to prevent development of night blindness. The studies have shown that the lycopene carotenoid present in tomatoes possess antioxidant and cancer preventing properties.
- Vitamin C and Bioflavonoids in tomatoes help to strengthen immune system, bones, teeth and capillaries. It promotes growth and repair of body tissues. It is also beneficial in healing wounds, repair cartilage and strengthen other connective tissues.
- Vitamin E in tomatoes show antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activity in the body.
- Vitamin B complex is used to lower blood cholesterol, tissue growth and maintain neurological health.
- Research studies have found that eating cooked tomatoes provide protection against prostate cancer.
- Tomatoes are also a good source of Potassium. Studies have shown that diet rich in potassium help to lower high blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Tomato helps in preventing excessive clumping of platelet cells and thus supports cardiovascular health.
- Anticancer activity – Lycopene content in tomato have proven to be beneficial in cancers of lung, stomach and prostate gland.
- Diabetes – Tomatoes helps to keep the blood sugar level under control. It is also beneficial in reducing the cardiovascular risk associated with Type 2 diabetes.
- Antiaging – Presence of lycopene makes it good for skin
- Many research studies conducted have shown that tomatoes might be strongly protective against some neurodegenerative diseases.
- Presence of sulphur in tomatoes helps to protect liver from cirrhosis. (E)
Read – Apple Benefits, Qualities, Remedies, Research
Tomatoes are rich in Vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, vitamin B6, vitaminB1, folate, niacin, potassium, phosphorus, Sodium, Manganese, Iron, Copper and secondary metabolites such as Flavonones: Naringenin ,chalconaringenin; Flavonols: Rutin, kaempferol, quercetin; Hydroxycinnamic acids: Caffeic acid, ferulic acid coumaric acid; Carotenoids: Lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene; Glycosides: Esculeoside A; Fatty acid derivatives: 9-oxo-octadecadienoic acid. (B, C)
Wrong food combination with Tomato
Unripe tomatoes or potatoes and alcohol
The unripe green tomatoes contain huge amount of solanine, which may interact with alcohol. You may feel more sedation if the intake is more. (H)
Read – Bad Food Combinations and Solution as Per Ayurveda
Anticancer Activity – A research study ‘Anticarcinogenic Effects of Solanum lycopersicum Fruit Extract on Swiss Albino and C57 Bl Mice’ have showed protective potential of Solanum lycopersicum against skin tumors.
Antibacterial Activity – A study conducted to investigate antibacterial activity of aqueous extract Solanum lycopersicum against Gram negative pathogenic bacteria showed that aqueous extract of tomato have maximum antimicrobial activity when diluted with honey than diluted with distil water.
English Name – Tomato
Hindi Name – Tamatar
Benali Name – Tameto
Gujarati Name – Tametam
Punjabi Name – Tamatar
Kashmiri Name – Ruwangum
Kannada Name – Tomayato
Malayalam Name – Takkali
Marathi Name – Tometo
Konkanni – Tomato
Tamil Name – Takkali
Telugu Name – Tomatos
Italian Name – Pomodoro
Nahuatl – xictomatl
Russian Name – Tomat
Spanish Name – Tomate
Turkish Name – Domates
Read – Pomelo (Chakotra) – Uses, Qualities, Remedies, Side Effects, Research
Kingdom – Plantae
Order – Solanales
Family – Solanaceae
Genus – Solanum
Species – lycopersicum