Sparrow’s Brinjal - Indian Nightshade - Solanum indicum
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Garry Pennington
Posted on: January 27, 2005

I would like to seek your help.

In certain parts of Thailand the fruit of the sparrow’s brinjal plant (Solanum indicum) is eaten raw as a folk/traditional medicine for the relief of coughs, irritated throats and as an expectorant. I have tried it and found it effective but it is so bitter it is barely palatable. As such I would like to find a way to improve palatability. I have searched the net for possible recipes for syrups made from this herb but so far have been unsuccessful. Would you have any suggestions on preparation of syrups from this herb or other pointers?

I donīt know this herb, and am not knowledgeable about safety indications or doses. Because it is a nightshade, I suggest care be taken. We have our deadly nighshade, but even the generally-considered-safe vegetables in the nightshade family (tomato, pepper, eggplant, potato) cause adverse symptoms in many people.

You can make a fruit palatable by simmering in water, allowing to cool for about half an hour, then adding honey to taste. In Ayurvedic medicine, honey is considered healthy when cold, but a poison to the system when hot.

A very effective syrup can be made from onions and honey: in a 500 ml jar, add 125 ml of honey and fill with thinly sliced cooking onion. Stir to coat onion and allow to sit overnight. Use the resulting liquid as a cough syrup. It is an expectorant, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory.

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