Family • Solanaceae - Solanum torvum Sw. - DEVIL'S FIG - Dian qie ze

Scientific names

Solanum torvum Swartz
Solanum ferrugineum Jacq.
Solanum largiflorum C. White
Solanum ficifolium Ortega

Common names

Balbalusa (Bon.)
Gambol (Sub.)
Dagutung (Sul.)
Talampay (Tag.)
Talimbolo (Tag.)
Talongon (Tag.)
Talong-talongan (Tag.)
Talungkia (Sul.)
Tandang-aso (Tag.)
Taogotan (P. Bis.)
Cherry eggplant (Engl.)
Devil’s fig (Engl.)
Pea aubergine (Engl.)
Pea eggplant (Engl.)
Turkey berry (Engl.)

Other vernacular names

ASSAMESE: Bhi tita.
CHINESE: Dian qie ze, Shui qie, Ci qie, Qing qie, Shan dian qie.
DANISH: Ærtenatskygge.
FRENCH: Aubergine sauvage d’Asie, Aubergine sauvage épineuse, Aubergine pois, Graine magotte, Bélangère bâtard, Bellangère bâtarde, Mélongène diable.
GERMAN: Teufels-Nachtschatten.
HINDI: Bhurat, Bhankatiya (Fiji), Katai (Fiji).
ITALIAN: Morella della Giamaica.
JAPANESE: Suzume nasubi.
LAOTIAN: Kh’èèngz f’aaz, Kh’èèngz saph’au.
KANNADA: Sundekkayi.
MALAY: Terong rembang, Terong pipit (Sumatra), Pokak (Java), Takokak (Indonesia).
MALAYALAM: Anachunda.
MARATHI: Marang.
SANSKRIT: Brihati.
SPANISH: Berenjena cimarrona (Puerto Rico), Berenjena de gallina, Berenjena silvestre.
TAMIL: Sundaikkai, Sundaikkai.
TELUGU: Kottuvastu.
THAI: Ma khuea phuang, Ma kae, Makhua phuong, Ma khwaeng.
VIETNAMESE: Cà dai hoa trang, Cà hoang, Cà nong.

Tandang-aso is coarse, erect, branched, half-woody herb, 1 to 3 meters high. Branches are covered with short, scattered spines, and in most parts with stellate-shaped hairs. Leaves are alternate, ovate to oblong-ovate, 10 to 20 centimeters long, with sinuate-lobed margins, acuminate with inequality base. Inflorescences are lateral, usually extra-axillary racemose, often dichotomous. Flowers are many, white, about 1 centimeter long. Corolla tube is short, the limb 5-lobed. Stamens are 4, the filaments short, the anthers united into a cone. Ovary 2-celled. Fruits are globose, smooth, yellow, glabrous, about 1 centimeter in diameter.


– Weed is found occurring in open, waste places at low and medium altitudes in most islands and provinces.
– Flowering all year round.
– Now pantropic.


• Studies have reported steroidal sapogenin es, neochlorogenin, chlorogenin, paniculogenin, sisalagenone and torvogenin.
• Study isolated neosolaspignenin, solaspigenin, and neochlorogenin from the leaves.
• Study yielded two new spirostanol glycosides: neosolaspigenin 6-O-ß-D-quinovopyranoside and solagenin 6-O-[ß-D-xylopyranosyl-(1-3)-O-ß-D-quinovopyranoside].
• Study yielded six triterpenes: 3-O-acetyl-11alpha, 12alpha-epoxy-oleanan-28, 13beta-olide, oleanolic acid, ursolic acid, 2alpha-hydroxy-oleanolic acid, 2alpha, 3beta-dihydroxyursolic acid.


• Considered cooling, antipyretic, antirheumatic, antiphlogistic, anti-infectious, anti-contusion, anti-inflammation and analgesic.
• Fruit considered tonic, analgesic, haematopoietic, diuretic, sedative, digestive, and antimicrobial.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Solanaceous steroidal glycoalkaloids and poisoning by Solanum torvum, the normally edible susumber berry / Toxicon
Volume 52, Issue 6, November 2008, Pages 667-676 / doi:10.1016/j.toxicon.2008.07.016

(2) Analgesic and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Aqueous Extract From Leaves of Solanum Torvum (Solanaceae) / E J Ndebia, R Kamgang et al / Afr. J. Trad. CAM (2007) 4 (2): 240 – 244

(3) Effect of Solanum torvum on blood pressure and metabolic alterations in fructose hypertensive rats / Mahalaxmi Mohan et al / / Journal of Ethnopharmacology • Volume 126, Issue 1, 29 October 2009, Pages 86-89/ / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2009.08.008

(4) Effect of Polyphenolic Compounds from Solanum torvum on Plasma Lipid Peroxidation, Superoxide anion and Cytochrome P450 2E1 in Human Liver Microsomes / Kusirisin, W et al / Medicinal Chemistry, Volume 5, Number 6, November 2009 , pp. 583-588(6)

(5) Medicinal plants used by traditional healers in Kancheepuram District of Tamil Nadu, India / Chellajah Muthu et al / J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2006; 2: 43. / doi: 10.1186/1746-4269-2-43.

(6) Antibacterial Activity of Different Extracts of Sundakai (Solanum torvum) Fruit Coat / M. Sivapriya, R. Dinesha, R. Harsha, S.S.T. Gowda and L. Srinivas / Int. J. Botany, 6: 61-67, 2010 / DOI: 10.3923/ijbc.2011.61.67

(7) Solanum torvum inhibits Helicobacter pylori growth and mediates apoptosis in human gastric epithelial cells / Yuan-Man Hsu, Jing-Ru Weng et al / Oncology Reports, May 2010, Volume 23 Number 5 / Doi: 10.3892/or_00000777

(8) Characterization of spirostanol saponins in Solanum torvum by high-performance liquid chromatography/evaporative light scattering detector/electrospray ionization with multi-stage tandem mass spectrometry / Yuanyuan Lu, Jianguang Luo et al / DOI: 10.1002/rcm.3630 / Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, Volume 22, Issue 16, pages 2447–2452, 30 August 2008

(9) Study on triterpenes from Solanum torvum / Zhou H, Wang F, Fang Z. / Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2011 Aug;36(15):2096-8.

(10) Antimicrobial Activity of Solanum torvum Swart. Against Important Seed Borne Pathogens of Paddy / V. Lalitha, K.A. Raveesha and B. Kiran / Iranica Journal of Energy & Environment 1 (2): 160-164, 2010

(11) Alkaloids in Solanum torvum Sw (Solanaceae) / Pérez-Amador MC, V Muñoz Ocotero, JM García Castañeda, AR González Esquinca / International Journal of EXPERIMENTAL BOTANY, (2007) 76: 39-45

(12) Sorting EGGPLANT & Nightshade names / /Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 – 2020 / A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The University of Melbourne. Australia.

(13) Phytochemical, antibacterial and antioxident studies on medicinal plant Solanum torvum / Kannan Marikani, M Kannan, B Dheeba, S Gurudevi, A J A Ranjit Singh / The Journal of Pharmacy 04/2012; 20125:2418-2421.

(14) Antidepressant, anxiolytic and adaptogenic activity of torvanol A: an isoflavonoid from seeds of Solanum torvum / Mahalaxmi Mohan*, Deepali Attarde, Rehan Momin & Sanjay Kasture / Natural Product Research: Formerly Natural Product Letters, Volume 27, Issue 22, 2013 / DOI:10.1080/14786419.2013.778853

(15) Oral toxicity of Solanum torvum Sw. (prendejera) / Pérez JL, Castillo AA, Salas MH, Puente ZE, Betancourt HJ, Jackson HE, Mora TY / Rev Cubana Plant Med 2011; 16 (4)

(16) Protective Effect of Solanum Torvum on Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiactoxicity in Rats / Sarika Kamble, Mahalaxmi Mohan*, 2Sanjay Kasture / Pharmacologyonline 2: 1192-1204 (2009)

(17) Cardiovascular and Anti-Platelet Aggregation Activities of Extracts from Solanum torvum (Solanaceae) Fruits in Rat / Télesphore Benoît Nguelefack, Hassane Mekhfi, Théophile Dimo3, Saida Afkir, Elvine Pami Nguelefack-Mbuyo, Abdelkaleq Legssyer, Abderrahim Ziyyat / Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine. Volume 5, Issue 1, May 2008 / DOI: 10.2202/1553-3840.1105

(18) Modulation of lysosomal enzymes activity by Carica papaya Linn. and Solanum torvum Linn. in carbon tetrachloride vapour induced liver damage in rats / Manikandaselvi. S*, Ezhilarasi. S and Vaithehi. R. / Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research, 2012, 4(2):1235-1238

(19) Methyl Caffeate as an α-Glucosidase Inhibitor from Solanum torvum Fruits and Activity of Related Compounds / Keisuke Takahashi et al / Biosci. Biotechnol. Biochem., 74(4), 741-745, 2010

Parts utilized
· Roots.
· Wash thoroughly and cut into slices before sun-drying.

· Malays use the fruit in curry preparations.
– Fruit preferred unripe and provides a good flavoring.

· For stomach ache, pain caused by contusion, internal bruise on the belly muscle – use 15 to 30 gms of dried drug. Boil to decoction and drink.
· Used for amenorrhea, indigestion, gastric pain at the navel, rheumatism-numbness, sprain contusion, lumbar muscular pains.
· Fruit used for poulticing cracks in the feet.
· Decoction of fruits used for cough, liver and splenic enlargement.
· In Yucatan, plant is considered sudorific, diuretic, narcotic and as resolutive, and used for convulsions, coughs, asthma, gout, rheumatism, syphilis, and skin diseases.
· Decoction used in some areas (Bukidnon) to lessen postpartum hemorrhage.
· Dosage: 15 to 30 gms dried roots in decoction, or processed into syrup or alcoholic suspension.
· In Tamil Nadu, India, leaf juice used to reduce body heat and unripe fruits used to strengthen the body. 
· In Africa, infusion of leaves taken orally for antidote use.
· In Sierra Leonne, fruit used in cough medicines for children.
· In Cameroon traditional medicine, use for management of pain and inflammation.

Study Findings
• Platelet Aggregation Effects: Two Indonesian plants, N officinale and S torvum, were studied for platelet aggregating effects. The ethanol extract exhibited a more potent effect.
• Analgesic / Antiinflammatory: Nigerian study of aqueous leaf extract of S torvum showed both analgesic and antiinflammatory properties.
• Metabolic and Blood Pressure Effects: Methanolic extract of Solanum torvum reduced blood pressure, vascular reactivity changes to catecholamines and reversed metabolic alterations induced by fructose.
• Polyphenolic Compounds / Antioxidant Effects: Study yielded polyphenolic compounds – phenol, flavonoid and tannin, and showed S torvum had catalytic inhibiting and antioxidant activity and suggests a potential use for reducing oxidative stress in diabetes.
• Antibacterial: In an in vitro study of S. torvum againsthuman pathogenic strains, the water and ethanol extract was found effective against all bacterial strains with an inhibition comparable to that of commercial antibiotics.
• Antibacterial / Antifungal: Methanolic extracts of roots of S. torvum exhibited promising antibacterial and antifungal effects on all organisms tested (6 gram(+), 9 gram(-) and 8 pathogenic fungi).
• Anti-H. Pylori / Antifungal: Helicobacter pylori infection is associated with an increased risk for duodenal ulcers, gastric ulcers, gastric adenocarcinoma and gastric lymphomas. Study of S. torvum extracts showed inhibitionof H. pylori growth. S. torvum chloroform extract also suppressed H. pylori-induced apoptosis. Further studies are needed to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of H pylori growth inhibition.
• Antimicrobial: Study showed S. torvum not only demonstrated antimicrobial activity but the extract also exhibited significant control of seed borne pathogenic fungi and bacteria. Results suggest a potential for exploitation for paddy disease management.
• Alkaloids: Comparative study of S.. torvum Sw grown in India and Chiapas, Mexico, showed similar total alkaloidal content. However, solasodine was found only in Chiapas plants. Study also yielded solasonine and solamagine, two glycosylated compounds of solasodine, which can b used as substrate for the production of important steroids in pharmacology.
• Acute and Subacute Toxicity Studies: Study of hydro-ethanolic extract of the ripe fruit showed it was not highly toxic. However, consumption at higher doses over 16 g/kg could cause liver injury. Moderate consumption of small doses up to 1 g/kg twice a week for 6 weeks appeared safe.
• Antibacterial / Antioxidant: Study evaluated various extracts from powdered S. torvum for antibacterial and antioxidant activity. Phytochemical screening yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, phenols, saponins, and sterols. Results showed dose dependent antibacterial and antioxidant activity at varying concentrations.
• Antidepressant / Anxiolytic / Adaptogenic / Torvanol / Seeds: Study isolated torvanol A, an isoflavonoid from the seeds of Solanum torvum. Results showed antidepressant, anxiolytic and adaptogenic activities suggesting involvement of noradrenergic, dopaminergic, serotonergic and gabaergic mechanisms.
• Toxicity Studies: Study evaluated the oral toxicity in Sprague Dawley rats using a decoction of leaves and stems. Results showed no clinical signs of toxicity or animal deaths. The tested decoction, administered at one dose, is regarded as unclassified for the animal model and dosage used.
• Bruhati moola / Anti-Inflammatory: Study showed Bruhati moola is not only effective in inflammation, but also safe to use without any harmful effects.
• Cardioprotective / Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiotoxicity / Flavonoids: Oxidative stress is the main factor in doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity. Study showed S. torvum has the potential of preventing cardiotoxicity induced by Doxorubicin. The protection was attributed to flavonoids.
• Cardiac Effects / Hypotensive / Decreased Anti-Platelet Aggregation: Study evaluated the cardiovascular activity of aqueous and methanol extracts of fruits of S. torvum. The methanol extract reduced heart rate at all test doses. Both extracts induced significant reduction in arterial blood pressure probably from the bradycardic effect. The aqueous extract dose-dependently inhibited platelet aggregation.
• Modulation of Lysosomal Activities / CCl4 Vapour Induced Liver Damage: Study showed Carica papaya and Solanum torvum reversed the effect of carbon tetrachloride vapour induced liver damage. The plant extracts prevented leakage of lysosomal enzymes by increasing the stability or decreasing vulnerability of lysosomal membrane possibly through its antioxidant property.
• Methyl Caffeate / α-Glucosidae Inhibition / Anti-Diabetic: Study isolated methyl caffeate, a rat intestinal sucrase and maltase inhibitor. Its moderate inhibitory action against α-glucosidase presents a potential prospect for the antidiabetic use of S. torvum fruit.

Toxicology: Reports on two outbreaks (New York and Toronto) of poisoning by cucumber berries (Solanum torvum) and detection of alkaloids. Consumption of berries caused varying degrees of GI distress, diarrhea, weakness, dizziness, slurring of speech, ataxia, cranial nerve deficits and respiratory difficulties. Poisonous berries are indistinguishable from non-toxic varieties. Solasonine and larger amounts of solamargine and other steroidal glycoalkaloids were isolated from the toxic berry strains.