Hairy annual herb.
Leaves are pinnate and alternate, oblong-ovate, 10-40 cm long.
Flowers are yellow, 1 to 1.5 cm long. Fruit, variable in shape; in the cultivated form, rounded and compressed, lobed, 4 -10 cm wide, red when ripe, smooth, fleshy, containing seeds.
Found throughout the Philippines in its original form.
Extensively cultivated; grown in gardens and farms as vegetable.
Constituents and properties
• 100 gm of tomato contains: Water 94%, protein 1 gm; fat 0,3%, carbohydrate 4%, fiber 0.6%, vitamin A 1,100 IU, Vit B 0.2mh. vitamin C 23 mg, nicotinic acid 0.6%, pantothenic acid 0.31 mg, vitamin E 0.27 mg, biotin 0.004 mg, malic acid 150 mg, citric acid 390 mg, oxalic acid 7.5 mg, sodium 3 mg, potassium 268 mg, calcium 11 mg, magnesium 11 mg, iron 0.6 mg, copper 0.1 mg, manganese 0.19 mg, phosphorus 27 mg, sulfur 11 mg, chlorine 51 mg.
It's both fruit and vegetable.
Good source of iron, phosphorus, calcium, vitamins A and B, and excellent source of vitamin C.
Tomatoes are loaded for vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that mops up free radicals.
Tomatoes also contain lycopene, p-coumaric acid and cholorogenic acid, all possibly helpful in reducing cancer risks.
- Pulp and juice are mild aperient.
- Juice used for asthma and bronchitis.
• Lycopene / Hepatoprotective: Lycopene is considered a better antioxideant than other carotenoids. In a study on acute injury caused by oxidant carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), results showed that tomato juice, with its lycopene and ascorbic acid content, exhibited a strong effect on oxidative damage of CCl4 in rat liver.
• Lectins / Mucosal Immunogen: Lycospersicum esculentum lectins studies suggest it to be a potent mucosal immunogen, enhancing immune responses to antigens.
• Tomatoes in Gene Therapy: Jure Piskur et al from the Lund University, published study results suggesting the tomato gene could be of value in future treatment of brain tumors.
• Antimutagenic / Anticlastogenic: Study evaluated the combined effect of tomato and garlic against DBMA-induced genetic damage and oxidative stress in mijce. Results suggest a broad spectrum of antimutagenic and anticlastogenic effects may b e achieved through a combination of functional foods.
In The News
• Fruitflow / Antithrombotic / Aspirin Alternative: Study claims that Fruitflow, a tomato extract, can reduce the risk of blood clots, which can trigger heart attacks and strokes. Results of a human clinical trial compares Fruitflow with aspirin, with its ability to reduce platelet aggregation by 28% through three different biologic pathways (vs aspirin, 60% reduction, in a single pathway).