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J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Jun;86(2-3):135-8.

Effects of Solanum melongena (garden egg) on some visual functions of visually active Igbos of Nigeria.

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Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Abia State University, P.M.B. 2000, Uturu, Nigeria.


Solanum melongena LINN (garden egg) or bitter tomato is an economic flowering plant belonging to the family Solanaceae and widely distributed throughout the temperate and tropical regions. Members are mostly herbaceous plants, and the fruit is berry and the seeds have large endosperm and are grown mainly for food and medicinal purposes. The effects of bolus consumption of 10 g of S. melongena were undertaken on visually active male volunteers so as to determine its ocular complications. Results showed that the pupil size was reduced (23%), NPC was decreased (9%) and the AA was increased (22%) and the intraocular pressure dropped by 25% while there was no effect on VA, and the habitual phoria. The miotic effect lowered the intraocular pressure appreciably and the reduced NPC which was still within normal range did not produce any vision discomfort. The increased AA and convergence excess positively correlated provide an efficient visual mechanism. It is suggested that S. melongena would be of benefit to patients suffering from raised intraocular pressure (glaucoma) and convergence insufficiency.

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