Several years ago, a reader wrote to tell us about using eggplant water to treat elevated blood pressure. At the time, we were quite surprised, as we were unfamiliar with this home remedy. A search of the medical literature revealed a possible explanation, however. It appears that this vegetable contains an agent that inhibits angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE). As a result, eggplant is working–to the extent that it does work–through the same mechanism as blood pressure medicines like lisinopril. A reader recently re-discovered this remedy independently.
An Accidental Discovery of Eggplant’s Power:
Q. I have “essential” high blood pressure, which means my pressure goes up and down without any discernible reason. One day I accidentally discovered the benefits of eggplant. A medium sized eggplant made a good supper. It was delicious browned in olive oil with a gravy into which I put some onion, dill, arugula, basil, bay leaf, parsley and rosemary. Those were chosen simply because that’s what I have growing in pots on my porch!
After consuming the entire vegetable and some gravy, I took my blood pressure again. It had dropped quite a bit, from around 200/100 before I ate. When it got down to 80/50, I was beginning to wonder if I should go to the hospital, but I felt fine. The BP leveled off.
When I searched the Internet, I was stunned to find out that eggplant can lower BP! So now, in addition to my meds, if my pressure goes up, I eat a little eggplant. That works every time! I am not sure how important the herbs may be, so I’ve been very careful with the process of elimination.
Using Eggplant as a Source of Acetylcholine:
A. Japanese researchers have noted that eggplant is rich in acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter with an effect on blood pressure. When they conducted an experiment with hypertensive rats, they found that feeding them eggplant lowered their blood pressure (Food Chemistry, March 15, 2019).
Other Japanese scientists have experimented with eggplant powder to lower blood pressure in human beings (Nutrients, Nov. 16, 2019). Using eggplant powder made it easier to administer a placebo control. This experiment demonstrated that people can lower their blood pressure with this vegetable. Thank you for sharing your intriguing observation and your recipe.