Tomato

Lycopersicum esculentum

Tomato


The annual garden tomato belongs to a group of from ten to twelve species, all of which are closely related to the deadly nightshade. For centuries the fruit was thought to be poisonous and it was planted in gardens as an ornamental. Although we now know that fresh tomatoes are harmless, the foliage and vines contain alkaloid poisons. Children have been severely poisoned from making a tea from the leaves, and livestock have died from eating the foliage and vines. Digestive upsets consist of nausea, vomiting, abdominal pains, constipation or bloody diarrhea. Nervous effects are sluggishness, abnormal flow of saliva, laboured breathing, trembling, weakness, loss of feeling, and paralysis.