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    Turkey berry

    Solanum torvum (Turkey Berry), is a bushy, erect and spiny perennial plant used horticulturally as a rootstock for eggplant. Grafted plants are very vigorous and tolerate diseases affecting the root system, thus allowing the crop to continue for a second year. The green fresh fruits are edible and used in Thai cuisine, being one of the essential elements of the Thai yellow curry.They are also used in Lao cuisine (Royal Horticultural Society 2001). The fruits are incorporated into soups and sauces in the Ivory Coast (Herzog and Gautier-Béguin 2001). In Tamil Nadu, India, the fruit is consumed directly, or as cooked food like Sundaikkai Sambar, Sundaikkai Poriyal, Sundaikkai Aviyal & Sundaikkai Pulikulambu. After soaking in curd and drying, the final product is fried in oil as Sundaikkai vattral (available in all Tamil Nadu supermarkets), it is famous all around in Tamil Nadu. In siddha medicine on of the traditional systems of India Sundaivattral Choornam is used to improve digestion. The wood is soft and light and of little use except for emergency fuel. Turkey berry contains a number of potentially pharmacologically active chemicals including the sapogenin steroid, chlorogenin (Badola and others 1993). Aqueous extracts of turkey berry are lethal to mice by depressing the number of erythrocytes, leukocytes and platelets in their blood (Tapia and others 1996). A related chemical, cholecalciferol, is the active ingredient in a number of commercial rodentacides (American Board of Veterinary Toxicology 2001). Extracts of the plant are reported to be useful in the treatment of hyperactivity (Null 2001), colds and cough (CPR Environmental Education Centre 2001), pimples, skin diseases, and leprosy (Liogier 1990). Turkey berry is being crossed with eggplant in an attempt to incorporate genes for resistance to Verticillium wilt into the vegetable (Bletsos and others 2001)