Herb: Currant Tomato


Latin name: Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium


Synonyms: Lycopersicon esculentum pimpinellifolium, Lycopersicon racemigerum, Solanum pimpinellifolium


Family: Solanaceae (Nightshade Family, Potato Family)



Medicinal use of Currant Tomato:

The pulped fruit is an extremely beneficial skin-wash for people with oily skin. Sliced fruits are a quick and easy first aid treatment for burns, scalds and sunburn. A decoction of the root is ingested in the treatment of toothache. The skin of tomato fruits is a good source of lycopine, a substance that has been shown to protect people from heart attacks. It seems to be more effective when it is cooked and so can be obtained from food products such as tomato ketchup and tinned tomatoes. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant. It is used in the treatment of rheumatism and severe headaches.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Annual


Height:
100 cm
(3 1/4 foot)

Flovering:
June to
September

Habitat of the herb:

Not known in a truly wild situation.

Edible parts of Currant Tomato:

Fruit - raw, cooked or dried for later use. Sweet and delicious, it makes an excellent dessert fruit and is also used in savoury dishes as a vegetable. The fruit is rather small and fiddly, about 10 - 15mm in diameter, but it is produced in quite large bunches and is well worth the effort of picking. An edible oil is obtained from the seed. The seed is small and it would be very fiddly to utilize. It is only viable to use the seed as a source of oil if large quantities of the plants are being grown for their fruits and the seed is not wanted.

Other uses of the herb:

The strong aroma of this plant is said to repel insects from nearby plants. A semi-drying oil is obtained from the seed. Used in making soap. See the notes above regarding utilization.

Propagation of Currant Tomato:

Seed - sow early spring in a warm greenhouse. Germination is usually quick and good. Pot up the seedlings into individual pots of fairly rich compost as soon as the first true leaf appears and plant them out after the last expected frosts. Seed can also be sown in situ under a cloche at the end of April, though in a cool summer the results may be disappointing. The seedcoat may carry tomato mosaic virus. However, by sowing the seed 15mm deep the seedcoat will remain below the soil surface when the seed germinates and the disease will be inactivated.

Cultivation of the herb:

Not known in a truly wild situation.

Known hazards of Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium:

All green parts of the plant are poisonous.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.