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Definition: eggplant from The Columbia Encyclopedia

name for Solanum melongena, a large-leaved woody perennial shrub (often grown as an annual herb) of the family Solanaceae (nightshade family), and also cultivated for its ovoid fruit. Native to SE Asia, the eggplant is raised in tropical and (as an annual) in warm climates as a garden vegetable and is a staple in parts of the Middle East. The fruit (a berry, like its relative the tomato) varies in size and may be black, purple, white, green, yellow, or striped. Eggplants are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Polemoniales, family Solanaceae.


Summary Article: Eggplant (Solanum melongena)
from The A-Z Guide to Food as Medicine
definition

White, spongy-fleshed vegetable with purple, shiny skin that is cooked and used to make dishes such as eggplant parmesan (Italian cooking), baba ghanoush (Middle Eastern cooking), ratatouille (French cooking), and stir-fried eggplant (Asian cooking). Eggplant is a good source of fiber8 and contains anthocyanins, phenolics, saponins, terpenoids, and steroidal alkaloids.9

scientific findings

Dried powdered fruits of eggplant provided as capsules containing 450 mg of Solanum melongena (SM) or placebo (450 mg) twice daily reduced serum lipids in a small (n = 41 subjects with hyperlipidemia), randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial.10 After 3 months, serum total cholesterol, LDL, and LDL/HDL decreased in the eggplant-treated group.10 To compare eggplant to lovastatin, a small, placebo-controlled study (n = 21 individuals with total cholesterol >200 mg/dL) divided participants into three groups each having similar baseline cholesterol levels: (1) a group that consumed eggplant extract; (2) a group that received 20 mg of lovastatin; and (3) a control group. After 6 weeks, a significant reduction in total cholesterol levels and in LDL-cholesterol levels was seen in the statin-treated group, but not in the eggplant-treated group.11

bioactive dose

Not applicable.

safety

Presumed safe when consumed in normal dietary quantities by non-allergic individuals.

© 2016 by Taylor and Francis Group, LLC

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