Medicinal uses of Climbing Brinjal (Thuthuvalai)

Thuthuvalai or Climbing Brinjal is a medicinal plant commonly available in Southern India. This plant belong to family Solanaceae. Solanaceae is Potato or Nightshade family and some important members of this family are Eggplant, Tomato, Capsicum, Datura, Tobacco, Brihati, Kantakari etc. Scientific name of clmbing brinjal is Solanum trilobatum and it is used traditionally for curing numerous diseases such as asthma, cough, and tuberculosis. For medicinal purpose whole plant is used.

Thuthuvalai medicinal uses
"Solanum trilobatum flowers" by AntanO - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

General Information

Latin name: Solanum trilobatum Linn.

Family: Solanaceae

Vernacular names

SANSKRIT: Alarka, Vallikantakaarika, Kantakaari-lata

ENGLISH: Climbing Brinjal

HINDI: Kantakaari-lataa

MALAYALAM: Padarchunda, Parachunda, Tootuvila

MARATHI: mothiringnee, thoodalam.

TAMIL: Tuduvalai, Nittidam, Sandunayattan, Surai, Thuthuvalai

TELUGU: Alarkapatramu, kondavuchinta, mullamustil

KANNADA: Kakamunji, Ambusondeballi.

ORIYA: Bryhoti

Plant description

Perennial bright green prickly diffuse plant, reaches up to 2–3 m height;Leaves deltoid or triangular, irregularly lobed;Flowers purplish-blue, in cymes;Fruits or berries globose, red.

Distribution: Throughout India, growing wild, open areas, waste lands.

Folk Medicinal Uses

Climbing brinjal is a thorny creeper commonly found in in Deccan Peninsula. It’s some common names are Alarka (Sanskrit), Tutuvalam (Malayalam), Alarkapatramu (Telugu) and Tuduvalai (Tamil). Various parts of plant such as roots, berries and flowers are used for treating respiratory ailments. The decoction of berries and flowers is folk remedy for cough and chronic bronchitis. The leaves are given to increase fertility in males by treating watery semen and spermatorrhoea. In Siddha, medicated ghee of leaves is medicine for tuberculosis and lung congestion. The leaves and fruits of plant contains many phytochemicals such as steroidal alkaloid and solasodine etc. due to which plant exhibits antimitotic, anti-tumour, antibacterial and antifungal activities.

Improving strength

The unripe fruits are prepared as curry or roasted in sesame oil and taken orally along with food.

Itching, cough

The leaf juice is taken orally to treat cough and itching.


For cough, whole plant of Solanum trilobatum is used. Fresh plant is washed and ground to form a paste. This paste is taken orally in dose of 1 teaspoon with one cup hot milk.

Excessive cough, tuberculosis, congestion of lungs

Take about 1/8 cup leaves and one cup Gau-ghrita/cow's ghee. Boil the leaves in ghee till all water evaporates and only ghee remains. This is medicated ghee of Solanum trilobatum leaves. This ghee should be taken every day.

Hearing problems

  • The leaves juice is put in ears as ear drop.
  • Spermatorrhoea, Physical weakness
  • Spermatorrhoea means abnormally frequent and involuntary non orgasmic emission of semen.
  • This home remedy requires decoction of flowers of Solanum trilobatum. Few flowers are boiled in 2 glasses of water till the volume is reduced to 1 glass. This filtered and taken.

Spermatorrhoca, watery semen

The flowers of Solanum trilobatum (2 teaspoon) are fried in ghee and taken with yoghurt.

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