Solanum adulterinum Buch.-Ham. ex Wall.
Solanum verbascifolium L.
Common Name: Big Eggplant
Big eggplant is an unarmed shrub or small tree usually growing up to 4 metres tall, with occasional specimens to 10 metres[
]. The stem is up to 20 cm in diameter[
The plant is cultivated in some areas for its fruits, which are used in curries[
The leaves, stems and roots contain various alkaloids and are poisonous.
Although providing many well-known foods for people, including the potato, tomato, pepper and aubergine, most plants in the family Solanaceae also contain poisonous alkaloids. Unless there are specific entries with information on edible uses, it would be unwise to ingest any part of this plant[
S. America - Colombia, north through Central America to southern N. America and the Caribbean. Naturalized in southeast Asia to Australia.
Scattered in sunny or slightly shaded places, in brushwood, roadsides, field edges, on waste ground and forest edges[
]. Moist or dry thickets, fields or along river banks, often in second growth, at elevations from near sea level to 2,000 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
Found at elevations from 300 - 2,100 metres in the tropics of Asia[
The fruits can be eaten when cooked[
]. Used in curries[
]. Although the fruits are considered poisonous by some people, being said to cause nausea, headache and cramps, in South-East Asia they are sometimes eaten when cooked, and are prepared as a curry in southern India[
]. The globose fruit is 8 - 12 mm in diameter, dull yellow when ripe[
The leaves are considered abortifacient and diuretic[
]. They are considered a potent medicine for expelling all impurities through the urine, and in particular to treat leucorrhoea[
]. A decoction of the leaves is drunk as a treatment against vertigo[
Applied externally, the pounded leaves are used as a poultice to treat piles, haemorrhoids and scrofula[
]. Heated leaves are applied as a cream to the forehead as a treatment against headache[
The leaf juice is used as a rinse for sores in the mouth[
A decoction from the roots is applied to treat violent pains all over the body or to relieve digestive troubles; it is also given to treat dysentery, diarrhoea and fever[
The root bark is poisonous and can be used as an antiphlogistic and against arthritis[
In Papua New Guinea, the plant is used internally to treat stomach-ache[
The plant is applied externally to treat skin irritations and rashes[
]. An infusion of the plant is used for a bath after childbirth[
The plant contains steroidal saponins and free genins as well as steroidal alkaloids of the spirosolane group. The spirosolanes are structurally similar to saponins of the diosgenin type. Important spirosolane alkaloids include solasodine and tomatidine, which are both found in Solanum erianthum. The total alkaloid content of air dry leaves and fruits is about 0.4%. The solasodine content in fruits from Indian samples was 0.01 - 0.70%. Leaf samples from Vietnam contained 0.26% solasodine and 0.05% tomatidine[
Steroidal alkaloids such as tomatine, solanine and chaconine inhibit growth and development of a large number of fungi[
A flavonoid-rich extract of the leaves of Solanum erianthum possesses antibacterial and antifungal activity against gram-positive bacteria and the fungi Aspergillus flavus and Candida albicans[
Steroidal alkaloids from Solanum erianthum are useful in industry as steroid precursors. Solasodine is a nitrogen-containing analogue of diosgenin, a compound often used as raw material for the production of medicinal steroids[
]. The synthetic steroids have three main applications in medicine: as anti-inflammatory corticosteroids, as contraceptive steroids and as anabolic steroids[
Considered to be suitable for use as a shade plant for coffee[
The velvety leaves are used to remove grease from dishes[
In vitro production of active compounds: Diosgenin and solasodine have been isolated from 6-month-old callus of S. erianthum; the undifferentiated callus tissue was established from sterilized seeds on Murashige and Skoog's revised medium. Blue light stimulated solasodine synthesis and green light stimulated diosgenin synthesis in the callus. Optimal growth was reached after 6 weeks when the dry weight of the tissue had increased 6.6-fold. After 6 weeks only about 147 microgram diosgenin and 47 microgram solasodine had been produced per g of dry-weight tissue; this is very little[
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.