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Benefits and uses of Tomatos

Image of Tomato

The tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is a herbaceous, usually sprawling plant in the nightshade family widely cultivated for its edible fruit. Savory in flavor, the fruit of most varieties ipens to a distinctive red colour.

Tomato plant is a perennial, often grown outdoors in temperate climates as an annual.

Modern uses and nutrition

Tomatoes are now eaten freely throughout the world, and their consumption is believed to benefit the heart among other things. They contain lycopene, one of the most powerful natural antioxidants. In some studies lycopene, especially in cooked tomatoes, has been found to help prevent prostate cancer but other research contradicts this claim. Lycopene has also been shown to improve the skin's ability to protect against harmful UV rays. Natural genetic variation in tomatoes and their wild relatives has given a genetic treasure trove of genes that produce lycopene, carotene, anthocyanin, and other antioxidants. Tomato varieties are available with double the normal vitamin C (Doublerich), 40 times normal vitamin A (97L97), high levels of anthocyanin (P20 Blue), and two to four times the normal amount of lycopene (numerous available cultivars with the high crimson gene).

Tomato consumption has been associated with decreased risk of breast cancer, head and neck cancers and might be strongly protective against neurodegenerative diseases.

Though it is botanically a berry, a subset of fruit, the tomato is nutritionally categorized as a vegetable (see below).

Tomatoes are used extensively in Mediterranean cuisine, especially Italian and Middle Eastern cuisines. The tomato is acidic; this acidity makes tomatoes especially easy to preserve in home canning whole, in pieces, as tomato sauce, or paste. Tomato juice is often canned and sold as a beverage; Unripe green tomatoes can also be breaded and fried, used to make salsa, or pickled. The fruit is also preserved by drying, often by sun, and sold either in bags or in jars in oil.

Tomatoes can be used in cencer disease

Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that attacks roaming oxygen molecules, known as free radicals, that are suspected of triggering cancer. It appears that the hotter the weather, the more lycopene tomatoes produce. They also have vitamin C, an antioxidant which can prevent cellular damage that leads to cancer. Watermelons, carrots, and red peppers also contain these substances, but in lesser quantities. It is concentrated by cooking tomatoes.  Scientists in Israel have shown that lycopene can kill mouth cancer cells. An increased intake of lycopene has already been linked to a reduced risk of breast, prostate, pancreas and colorectal cancer.

Benefits of Tomatos

The tomato is not acid forming; it contains a great deal of citric acid but is alkaline forming when it enters the bloodstream. It increases the alkalinity of the blood and helps remove toxins, especially uric acid, from the system. As a liver cleanser, tomatoes are wonderful, especially when used with the green vegetable juices.

In many of the sanitariums in Europe tomatoes are used as a poultice for various conditions in the body. There is a mistaken belief that tomatoes are not good for those who have rheumatism and gout. People with these conditions should mix tomato juice with other vegetable juices to avoid a reaction that may be too strong.

Whenever the blood is found to be stagnant in any part of the body, a tomato poultice is wonderful as a treatment in removing that stagnation. It acts as a dissolving agent or solvent.

Tomatoes are very high in vitamin value. They are wonderful as a blood cleanser, and excellent in elimination diets. However, they should not be used to excess on a regular basis. Tomato juice can be used in convalescent diets, in combination with other raw vegetable juices such as celery, parsley, beet, and carrot juice.