Thoothuvalai/Solanum Trilobatum Medicinal Use: Cure for Cough & Cold

Solanum Trilobatum commonly called “Thoothuvalai” in Tamil, “Purple fruited pea egg plant” in English is a very important herb in traditional home remedies and has amazing health benefits and medicinal uses. Almost everyone in Tamil Nadu would have heard or used it for treating cough and cold. Thoothuvalai is a creeper with plenty of thorns, purple flowers, red colored fruits and it grows easily every where. After the rains last month, many thoothuvalai plants have propped up all over the farm. My husband’s grandmother who was an authority in traditional home remedies used to make a rasam (soup) out of it by grinding the leaves along with other ingredients, whenever a family member got a cold. But there is an even more simple and delicious way of consuming thoothuvalai. It is a decoction made out of boiling thoothuvalai, peppercorns, garlic pods and turmeric. This decoction is very effective for chest congestion, cough, blocked nose and even for people who suffer from sinus infection. When you are trying to pluck the leaves from the plant, be careful not to get hurt, as the whole plant including the leaves have thorns in them. To make the decoction, first remove the thorns completely from the leaves and wash them. Pound the pepper corns, garlic, cumin seeds in a mortar and pestle and then add the leaves and pound everything together well. Boil water in a pan along with little bit organic turmeric powder. Add the pounded mixture and boil till the leaves are cooked. Strain and your effective home remedy for cough and cold is ready! Usually we don’t add salt and this decoction tastes really nice and is very comforting, especially when we have a cold or cough and gives very good relief.

1. Take the fresh leaves and remove the thorns completely using a kitchen knife and wash them thoroughly.

2. Pound the peppercorns, cumin seeds and garlic in a mortar and pestle.

3. Add the washed leaves and pound everything together well.

4. Boil water in a pan along with a pinch of organic turmeric powder till the raw smell goes.

5. Add the pounded spices, close with a lid and let it boil till the leaves are cooked.

6. Strain and your homemade delicious, comforting homemade cough & cold medicine is ready.


  • You can give this decoction to children too, but reduce the amount of pepper for them.
  • Make and drink it fresh for best results.
  • Try to use fresh leaves for making this medicine.
  • Don’t use more than a pod of garlic.
  • This decoction also will also give good relief for stomach pain due to indigestion.



  1. jambulingam.r
    September 11, 2014 / 3:31 am

    It works.A common remedy for cough and cold in rural Tamilnadu.1 cup a day, for three days does the trick.

  2. Sashi Prakash
    September 24, 2014 / 3:20 pm

    We used to make rasam from this leaf and it tastes yummy

  3. Magsbala
    April 10, 2015 / 9:29 am

    One more way my mother thught us…. pluck the leaves, wash / dry without water. then add in dosa pan with some ghee, roast it .. After roasting it will be brittle and can be broken and taken with honey. Even children will eat this way. Honey to ease out the cough, ghee to reduce the heat that this plant leaves usually have.

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      April 12, 2015 / 5:57 pm

      Hi Magsbala, Thanks a lot for sharing this remedy….

    • Rahul leo
      December 3, 2015 / 8:53 pm

      Dont roast it !!!! . roasting or sudden heating will induce chemical reactions in leaf and will disintegrate the chemical compound necessary for treatement. it can be added to cooked items in later stages ….

  4. Satish
    November 3, 2015 / 7:03 am

    Thanks for the info.

  5. Anonymous
    November 9, 2015 / 2:58 pm

    Hi Ramya. Fresh leaves are not available in the place that we live. Can we use thoothuvalai powder for the same remedy?

  6. Brinda Asokan
    December 2, 2016 / 4:26 pm

    Ramya my son is 15 months old, he is catching cold n cough often, now he has severe cough n cold. Help me with some remedy

  7. Prashanth Margaret
    January 5, 2017 / 10:34 pm

    My sons having asthma and my mom makes the chutney but the thorns are not removed, kindly let me know how many days to give him… is there any side me,

  8. Unknown
    May 25, 2017 / 10:21 am

    My sister's daughter is six years old and she has both sinus and asthma . Please suggest some remedy for her. Is mudakattan also helpful in this case . Email me at

  9. ANITHA Yogesh
    August 4, 2017 / 5:37 pm

    My daughtet is 10 month old can i give this ..pls suggest

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      August 5, 2017 / 4:15 pm

      Yes, you can give thoothuvalai juice for her but decrease the quantity of pepper corns and garlic in the recipe….

  10. karu
    October 27, 2017 / 1:19 pm

    Iam looking to buy thoothuvallai seeds but no one is selling can you guide me to get some seeds to plant in srilanka

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