Synonym: Lycopersicum esculantum Linn.
Local Name: TamatarSindhi Name: Tamato Fruit of Solanum lycopersicum Linn
English Name: Tomato, Love Apple
Part Used: Fruit
Solanum lycopersicum Linn. is an unarmed, spreading, pubescent, and sub-erect annual herb.1 This plant typically grows to 1–3 meters in height and has a weak stem that often sprawls over the ground and vines over other plants. An average common tomato weighs approximately 100 grams (4 oz).5, 6
Tomato is native to Mexico, South America, then spread throughout the world following Spanish colonization of the Americans. It grows in temperate climates worldwide. It is commonly cultivated in many parts of India.1, 3, 7
Ethnomedicinal Uses in Skin Diseases:
Ground paste of tomato is applied over face twice a day for the treatment of sun burn in District Jacobabad. A paste made from ground sugar, tomatoes and onion is applied on the infected area of scorpion bite in District Jacobabad.
Important phytochemical constituents of Lycopersicum esculentum L. are lycopene, β-carotene, lutein, phenols, flavonoids, ascorbic acid, dehydroascorbic acid, quercetin glycosides, naringenin chalcone and chlorogenic acid. Leaves contain several active compounds, which include alkaloids, steroids and flavanoids. Tomato is a rich source of vitamin C, moisture, energy, carbohydrate, protein, fat, fibre, vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, oxalic acid, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, copper, sulfur, chlorine, iron and calcium. Green and unripe parts contain steroid glycosides in the form of glycol alkaloids.9 Leaves of S. lycopersicum contain flavonones such as neringenin, calconaringenin, rutin, quercetin, kaempferol, α-tocopherol, polyphenols, caffeic acid, ferulic acid and coumeric acid. Fruit and leaves contain esculoside A, oxo-octadecadienoic acid.10
Medicinal Uses and Pharmacology/ Scientific studies:
Solanum lycopersicum Linn. or Tomatoes are eaten for cleansing blood and to prevent gastric problems.1 It has pain-relieving property.2 It is said to be useful in canker of the mouth (nurses sore mouth)3 cures burns and boils.4 It is applied on the skin to treat vitiligo and ringworm.4 Tomatoes are good for hair. Vitamin A in tomatoes works perfectly to keep hair shiny and strong. In addition, it also does wonders for eyes, skin, bones and teeth.8 Tomatoes are also used to treat burns, itching, ulcers, runny sores, back pain, headaches, gout, and sciatica.
Alcoholic extract of Solanum lycopersicum possesses CNS depressant and analgesic properties.2 Tomato also possesses anthelmintic, anti inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, antioxidants, platelet anti-aggregation and antifungal, anti bacterial activities.11
1- Joshi, S. G. (2000). Medicinal plants, p. 373, Mohan Primlani Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt.Ltd.66 Janpath, New Delhi 110001, India.
2- Khare, C. P. (2007), Indian Medicinal plants, p. 387, Springer Publishers, New Delhi-110058, India.
3- Dr. Nadkarins, K. M. (1954). Indian Materia Medica, p. 756, Manglore3 Press, India.
4- Duke, J. A., (2002). Handbook of Medicinal Herbs, II, 735-736, CRC press, New York, Washington, DC, U. S. A.
5- “Tomaat september (2010). RZ Seeds & Services”. “Het gemiddeld vruchtgewicht ligt tussen de 102 en 105 gram en de kwaliteit is goed.” 2010 rijkzwaan.nl.
6- “Enza Zaden – Teeltnieuws”. (6 August 2009) “Het gemiddelde vruchtgewicht van Ingar ligt tussen 100–110 gram.” enzazaden.nl.
7- “Solanum lycopersicum– Tomato”. (2014). Encyclopedia of Life. Retrieved 1 January.
9- http://www.herballegacy.com/Vance_Chemical.html; Chemical Composition of Stinging Nettle and Tomatoes.
10- Eltayeb, E. A., Al-Ansari, A. S. Roddick, J.G . (1997). Changes in the steroidal alkaloid solasodine during development of Solanum nigrum and Solanum incanum, Phytochemistry 46 (3): 489-94.
11- J. Murali Krishna et al., (2013) Phytochemical Analysis and Antimicrobial Studies of Various Extracts oyf Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.), Sch. Acad. J. Biosci., 1(2):34-38.