Scientific Name:Solanum lycopersicum
About this Herb:Originally from South America, the tomato plant is cultivated in many countries today. The tomato belongs to the nightshade family. The plants typically grow to 3 to 10 ft. in height and have a weak stem that often sprawls over the ground and vines over other plants. It is a perennial in its native habitat, although often grown outdoors in temperate climates as an annual.
The tomato fruit is consumed in diverse ways, including raw, as an ingredient in many dishes and sauces, and in drinks. While it is botanically a fruit, it is considered a vegetable for culinary purposes. The fruit is rich in lycopene, which is believed to have many beneficial health effects.
Common Names:Love Apple, Lycopersicon esculentum, Pomme d'Amour, Pomme d'Or, Raktamaci, Solanum lycopersicum, Tamatar, Tomate
Uses:According to the National Cancer Institute, there is now enough data to show that people who consume large amounts of tomatoes and tomato products have a significantly decreased risk for prostate, lung, and stomach cancer. There is some evidence that people who consume a lot of tomatoes may also have a lower risk of pancreatic, colorectal, esophageal, oral, breast, and cervical cancers. It is suggested that the lycopene, bioflavonoids that are closely related to beta carotene, present in tomatoes are the natural cancer-fighting agents responsible. Cooking releases the fat-soluble lycopene from the fruits' cells. In fact, cooking tomatoes rather than eating them raw has been shown to more than double the effectiveness of the lycopene tomatoes contain. A small amount of added oil, such as that in pizza or tomato sauce, intensifies the protective effect.
The tomato help to dissolve animal fat in foods such as in butter, cheese, eggs, pork, beef, and many deep-fried foods, thereby preventing hardening of the arteries.
Tomato is also useful in reducing high blood pressure, a major risk factor for coronary heart diseases and stroke.
Tomato is excellent for cleaning and rejuvenating the skin. Try the two facial recipes that follow for younger, healthier and more radiant skin.
Tomato is excellent as a face peel to loosen the top layer of dead skin cells and rub them off. It is good for all types of skins.
Rub tomato slices directly into your clean skin, concentrating on problem areas (pimples/clogged pores). Tomatoes contain vitamin C, which has healing powers, and an acid that removes dead skin and unplugs pores, making skin soft and radiant.
Slice a ripe tomato as thin as possible. Lie down and close your eyes. Apply the slices to your face. Wait 10 to 15 minutes. Let the juices seep into your skin. After the 10 to 15 minutes are up, use a slice to rub the juices further into the skin. The tomato works as a face peel, removing all dead, dry skin and leaving your face soft, glossy, and smooth. Rub off the excess tomato, leaving the residue on your skin. The mild natural acidity of the tomato restores the ph balance of your skin.