Brinjal or Eggplant is a plant that comes under the nightshade family. In scientific terms, the plant is known as “Solanum Melongena" and is grown worldwide for the fruit.It is commonly known as Baingan in India.
The "King of Vegetables" (Eggplant) has been used in dishes and even medicine. Eggplant is packed with nutrients and minerals. 1 cup of brinjal has approximately 11% fiber, 10% manganese, 4.5% folate, 5.3% potassium, 63.5% vitamin B, 3.5% vitamin K, 3% vitamin C, 3.5% copper, and 2.8% magnesium.
The fruit of the plant is classified as a berry and is small with edible seeds. The seeds are bitter. Eggplant is one of the most wholesome diets. It has been used traditionally as a medicine. Being rich in fiber, it is a good digestive and also improves metabolism. Brinjal is also said to treat diabetes and relieve pain.
Brinjal is hot in potent and acts as an anti-inflammatory. It has the quality to balance the Tri-Dosha by increasing Pitta Dosha and balancing Vata Dosha and Kapha Dosha.
How did the Word “Brinjal” Originate?
The name eggplant was first recorded in 1763 in North America. However, it referred to white egg-shaped cultivation by the farmers. The berry was then given the name "Garden Eggs" in 1811.
The earliest mention of the berry from the nightshade family was in the Arabic text and was called "bāḏinjān." It said that the Arabic word's earliest origin lies in Dravidian texts, which have mentions of Malayalam word “vaṟutina” and Tamil word “vaṟutuṇai." The Dravidian word is said to derive from the Sanskrit word “vātiṅ-gaṇa."
The modern Hindi word is derived directly from the Sanskrit word "Baingan" or "Began."
Historical Use of Brinjal
Brinjal is said to be native to India and is still grown here. It is also related to African origin. One of the earliest records of the use of it was in Chinese texts that dated back to 544 C.E. It was grown all over the Mediterranean region as an edible. There have been records on how to grow it in Spanish Arabic texts.
Since the plant is of the nightshade family, it was considered to be poisonous in ancient times. In fact, the leaves and flowers can be poisonous if consumed.
The Ayurvedic medicines, it has been used for centuries to cure many health related problems like diabetes, heart problems, acidity, bone health, etc.
Benefits of Brinjal
There have been many studies on brinjal to prove the positive effect of the same on health. While these tests are conducted on animals, it remains that it has been used in the successful curing of diseases in Ayurveda.
Brinjal helps in balancing the tri Dosha and thus improves health. It works wonders on both high-risk and low-risk problems that you might face. It improves metabolism and also the digestive capacity of the body. Brinjal helps in controlling blood sugar levels and is thus good for diabetic patients.
Below is a detailed description of what diseases it treats.
Treating Diseases and Health problems Using Brinjal
- Brinjal for Weight Maintenance
Brinjal is heavy, and our body takes time to digest it. Because you feel full after eating Brinjal, you would not be hungry to eat snacks from time to time. Hence, it helps in balancing weight and promotes weight loss.
Brinjal is Guru in nature. It means that it fills the stomach. Misbalance in Vata and Pitta Dosha results in weight gain. Brinjal increases Pitta and reduces Vata Dosha, hence balancing it to lose weight.
- Brinjal for Insomnia
Loss of Appetite is a major reason for the loss of sleep. Being heavy, Brinjal fills the stomach and makes you drowsy. It thus helps in falling asleep.
Insomnia is caused due to increased Vata in the body. Brinjal balances Vata Dosha and thus also helps in curing Insomnia.
- Brinjal for Diabetes
Brinjal is proven to improve blood sugar levels. This helps in controlling diabetes.
Diabetes is caused due to increase in Vata Dosha, which also leads to the accumulation of toxins or Ama in the pancreatic cells. White brinjal helps in curing diabetes by balancing the Dosha.
- Brinjal for Digestion
Brinjal is anti-inflammatory and acts the same when consumed. It helps in digestion and also cures the problems related to the same.
Brinjal is hot in potent and aggravated the Agni or the digestive fire that helps in digesting the food properly and thus cures the digestive related problems.
The nutrients in Brinjal is also good for:
It keeps the blood pressure in check and also calms the cholesterol level.
Brinjal is rich in phytonutrients that protect the cell membrane and also improves memory functions.
Brinjal provides calcium and iron to make the bones stronger.
Forms of Brinjal in Ayurveda
Brinjal in Ayurvedic treatments is used as oil, powder, and ashes.
- Brinjal Seed Oil
The oil is extracted from brinjal seeds and is very healthy. With reddish brown color, it has an arm aroma. You can use 2 to 5 drops of brinjal oil along with your normally used oil. It blends well with all the essential oils.Using brinjal seed oil helps in controlling weight, blood sugar, heart problems.
- Crushed Brinjal Seed
Brinjal seeds are dried in the sun and crushed to make powder. You can dry 15 to 20 seeds in the sun and grind them up in a mixer grinder. The powder can be taken twice or thrice with a gap of 15 to 20 minutes.
- Brinjal Ash
Many people in Malaysia burn brinjal to ashes. It has a dry, hot poultice that treats piles.
- Brinjal Root Juice
People also take out the juice of brinjal roots and drink it. It cures toothache.
Types of Ayurvedic Care with Brinjal
- Cut small slices or pieces of brinjal.
- Marinate it in salt, turmeric, and herbs of your liking.
- Fry the slices on a pan or air fryer.
- Slice cucumber, tomatoes, and onions as per your taste and add it to your salad.
- You can sprinkle some salt and pepper for taste.
- Enjoy your salad.
- Slice washed Brinjals into round slices or small pieces and fry them up with salt and turmeric.
- Grind roasted peanuts, sesame seeds, and dry chilies into a paste adding coconut if you like and a little water to make a paste.
- Fry tomatoes with ghee and sauté spices with curry leaves.
- Add salt and tamarind water and bring it to a boil in order to thicken the gravy.
- Add the fried brinjal and let it cook over low heat.
- Once your gravy brinjal is prepared, you can enjoy it with chapattis or bread.
- Slice thin pieces of brinjal. Thin enough to make chips of them.
- Lave the slices overnight with a salt sprinkle.
- Wash off the slices in the morning.
- In a mixing bowl, mix a little oil with turmeric powder and pepper.
- Dip the brinjal slices in the mixture or use a brush to apply it over the slices on both sides.
- Bake the chips in a pre-heated oven for 30 to 40 minutes at 180° Celsius.
- Check for the chips to be light brown and take it out of the oven.
- Let the chips cool for 10 to 15 minutes and enjoy it.
Side Effects of Brinjal
There can be a considerable amount of side effects from Brinjal. People can be allergic to eggplant. The allergy can trigger:
- Stomach ache and Cramps
- Itchy tongue, lips, and/ or throat
These symptoms can show up within a minute or can take up to an hour. In any case, do not consume brinjal if you are allergic to it. If you happen to consume it, visit a doctor immediately.
In some cases, allergic reactions can be fatal. Such symptoms might include:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Swelling of throat or tongue
- Weakening off pulse
- Intense dizziness
- Sudden shocks
- Nausea and Vomiting
This kind of lethal allergies is rare but possible to occurin people who might have an allergy to eggplant. It would be best if you immediately visited a doctor in such cases.
Intensive intake or overdosage of brinjal or brinjal products can:
- Stimulates Menstruation
- Promotes menstrual blood flow in pregnant women
- Cause acidity
- Can be addictive due to traces of nicotine
Precautionary Guide While using Brinjal
- Brinjal for Pregnant Lady
Brinjal stimulates menstrual blood flow even in pregnant ladies. It is very dangerous to the fetus for the mother to consume brinjal while pregnant. It can lead to miscarriages and should be completely removed off the charts if you are pregnant.
- Brinjal While Suffering from Kidney Problem
Brinjal is not advised for people who are already suffering from kidney problems. It has a compound known as oxalate, which acts as a catalyst in forming kidney stones. If you are already suffering from kidney stones or are at high risks of the same, avoid eating brinjal.
There is not enough evidence to support the question of how brinjal effects while breastfeeding. It is recommended not to take chances with the same as it is dangerous to consume while pregnant.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the skin of brinjal edible?
- Yes, the skin of brinjal is edible. However, it should not be consumed raw. It can be roasted along with the berry or cooked or even fried along.
What is the effect of brinjal on tri-Dosha?
- Brinjal helps to balance the tri-Dosha. It increases Pitta Dosha and reduces Vata Dosha and Kapha Dosha to make the perfect balance between them and thus cure the health-related problems.
What is the effect of brinjal on the skin?
- Brinjal contains a phenolic compound that is the most common allergy carrying compound for human beings. It lowers the digestion strength, which can increase the toxicity in tissues. Thus, eating brinjal in large quantities can result in skin problems.
Can brinjal be consumed while taking medicines?
- Homeopathic – Yes, brinjal can be consumed while on homeopathic medicine. Brinjal is naturally occurring, and most of the time, organic and has no side effect with the homeopathic meds.
- Western Medicine – It is advised to seek your doctor’s consultation before consuming brinjal while on western medicine. Strictly follow your physician’s instructions.
- Supplements – You can consume brinjal while on supplements except in a situation where you are otherwise instructed by your physician not to. Also, it is advised to stop the consumption if you are under more than one supplement.
What are the Ayurvedic medicines that use brinjal extracts?
- For Asthma and related problems – BreathvinGhrita, AsthavinLehya
- To relieve the delivery stress – PrasoothikaKashayam.
- For neurological problems –Sathavaryadi Kashaya Choornam
- For inflammation – Punarnavarishta
It is advised to seek medical expert advice before using the above and check the full usage and side effects.
Can brinjal be consumed raw?
- No, Brinjal should not be consumed raw. It should be washed and properly cooked. Raw brinjal contains solanine is a large amount that could be bad for neurological health and also cause nausea, vomiting, headache, and dizziness.