The People's Perspective on Medicine

Using Eggplant to Lower Your Blood Pressure

One reader found that using eggplant for dinner, browned in olive oil with herbs, is a tasty approach to lowering blood pressure. Research confirms this.
Background of fresh eggplant. Aubergine vegetable. Purple eggplant (aubergine). Top view. Purple food.

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.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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Citations
  • Yamaguchi S et al, "Antihypertensive effects of orally administered eggplant (Solanum melongena) rich in acetylcholine on spontaneously hypertensive rats." Food Chemistry, March 15, 2019. DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2018.10.017
  • Nishimura M et al, "Daily ingestion of eggplant powder improves blood pressure and psychological state in stressed individuals: A randomized placebo-controlled study." Nutrients, Nov. 16, 2019. DOI: 10.3390/nu11112797
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First, essential hypertension is what most hypertension pts. have, not you. You have Labile hypertension, which means it goes up and down without known reasons. I sold hypertension drugs for 30 years.

However, thanks for the great info. I will try it, as I never have heard of this. You never know. Zestril which you mentioned came from Brazilian Snake Venom…it would bite its prey and they would die of low blood pressure.
Thanks for the update.

Thank you for the article. I too have blood pressure that fluctuates. It is great to know that eggplant can help me with fluctuations. I will definitely add the ingredients listed in the article as well as change up. Thank you for the knowledge.

Eggplant is a big part of the Mediterranean diet. Perhaps this effect helps explain the longevity of the people raised on and living with this vegetable as a regular component of their menu.

If eggplant is rich in acetyl choline, wouldnt it help for Alzheimers? Because Aricept prevents the breakdown of acetyl choline in the brain. Bearing in mind that acetyl choline still has to go through the digestive tract and be absorbed and cross the blood/brain barrier of course. But the if it works for raised BP, some acteyl choline must be absorbed as well.
Just wondering

It’s an interesting point, Charlotte. We haven’t seen any research on this question, though.

Nightshades to avoid in inflammatory, arthritic conditions include tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and peppers.
Alternatives helping with BP could be hybiscus tea, beets, hawthorne berry (according to Dr. John Christoffer, herbalist). These are NOT new findings, check the PP books.

I have high blood pressure and I loved eating eggplant. I also have Fibromyalgia and eggplant is a night shade food, I felt So sick after eating eggplant and could not understand why until I realized eggplant should be avoided when you have Fibromyalgia

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