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WHY ADIVASIS CONSUME TOMATO LEAVES?

Updated: Feb 22, 2022

Like many species dependent on Nature’s food and bounty, the Adivasis too rely on Nature and its products. Naturally, Adivasis consume and eat food resources available from forests. These foods are rich in minerals, vitamins and other nutritional elements. Moreover, they also act as ailments for various health related issues. In this article, I talk about one such natural food which is easily available and has medicinal properties. This naturally available food is Tomato. In this article, I will focus on the medicinal properties of tomato leaves and how to consume them.

Black nightshade (Tomato - green leaves)

The Amazing Tomato Leaves:

According to an article of NCBI, authored by Tam et al. (2021), all parts of tomatoes have antibacterial properties. The leaves, stems and fruits all have these properties. However, leaves are the most effective among these. It was concluded that tomatoes and especially their leaves were effective against infections caused by pathogenic protozoa, bacteria, and fungi (Tam et al. 2021).


In the green leaf family, tomato-green leaves are the ones filled with multiple medicinal properties. This leaf is very easy to identify and has small tomatoes hanging from it. Once these tomatoes ripen they turn into a hue of purple, making it easier to identify.


The Adivasis consume cooked Tomato Leaves, the process for which is described below.


Required Items and Ingredients:

  1. Cooking Utensil

  2. Tomato-green leaf (black nightshade)

  3. Mustard

  4. Onion (1)

  5. Chilies (6)

  6. Oil (required amount)

  7. Salt (required amount)

Cooked Tomato leaves

Cooking Instructions :

  1. Wash the leaves thoroughly. Place the utensil on a stove and pour oil into it.

  2. Once the oil boils, add a small amount of mustard to them

  3. Add chopped onions and chilies to the oil and fry them perfectly.

  4. Once the onions turn brown, add the washed leaves to it

  5. Add the required amount of soil and boil it well.

  6. Finally, close the vessel for a good 10 minutes

  7. After 10 minutes, the dish is ready!

This dish is easy to prepare and can be consumed with items like rice. It is amazing how such a simple dish is effective in preventing bacterial and fungal infections.


This article has been created as a part of the Adivasi Awaaz project, with the support of Misereor and Prayog Samaj Sevi Sanstha.

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