Eggplant is a plant species in the nightshade family Solanaceae. Solanum melongena
is grown worldwide for its edible fruit, native to southern India and Sri Lanka.
Most commonly purple, the spongy, absorbent fruit is used in several cuisines. Typically used as a vegetable in cooking, it is a berry by botanical definition. As a member of the genus Solanum, it is related to the tomato, Chilli pepper and potato, although they are new world and the eggplant, like nightshade, is old world. Like the tomato, its skin and seeds can be eaten, but, like the potato, it is usually eaten cooked. Eggplant is nutritionally low in macronutrient and micronutrient content, but the capability of the fruit to absorb oils and flavors into its flesh through cooking expands its use in the culinary arts.
Eggplant It is an annual plant growing 16 in - 57 in tall, often spiny, with large, coarsely lobed leaves 10-20 cm long and 5-10 cm broad. The leaves are sometimes spiny. The flowers are white to purple, with a five-lobed corolla and yellow stamens. The fruit is a fleshy berry, 3 cm diameter on wild plants (much larger in cultivated forms), containing numerous small, soft seeds. Brinjal is an important food crop grown for its large pendulous purple or white fruit. It has been cultivated in southern and eastern Asia countries since prehistory, but appears to have become known to the Western world no more than about 1,500 years ago. The raw fruit has a somewhat disagreeable taste, but when cooked, becomes tender and develops a rich, complex flavour and firm texture. Salting and then rinsing the sliced eggplant can also remove much of its bitterness. It is especially useful culinarily owing to its ability to absorb great amounts of cooking fats, making possible extraordinarily rich dishes. The fruit flesh is smooth; the numerous seeds are soft and (as in the related Tomato) edible along with the rest of the fruit.
is used mainly as a food crop, but it does also have various medicinal uses that make it a valuable addition to the diet. In particular the fruit helps to lower blood cholesterol levels and is suitable as part of a diet to help regulate high blood pressure. The warmed fruit paste is applied to painful joints.
The fruit is antihaemorrhoidal and hypotensive. It is also used as an antidote to poisonous mushrooms. It is bruised with vinegar and used as a poultice for cracked nipples, abscesses and haemorrhoids.
The leaves are narcotic. A decoction is applied to discharging sores and internal haemorrhages. A soothing and emollient poultice for the treatment of burns, abscesses, cold sores, haemorrhoids and similar conditions can be made from the leaves. Eggplant leaves are toxic and should only be used externally.