8 Top Medicinal Uses & Benefits Of Thuthuvalai (Thoothuvalai)

Thuthuvalai Medicinal Uses
Thuthuvalai also called Thoothuvalai Keerai in Tamil is an amazing herb with wonderful medicinal uses and health benefits. Thuthuvalai leaves are traditionally used for treating cold, cough, asthma and also for thyroid. At home, we mainly use thuthuvalai for treating cold and cough. We regularly make thuthuvalai soup, thuthuvalai chutney, thuthuvalai rasam, thuthuvalai thuvaiyal and thuthuvalai dosai at home. It can be used for babies and pregnant women too.

Thoothuvalai Plant Description:

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.

We can easily identify thuthuvalai plant with the leaves and the beautiful purple flowers. Since the leaves are covered in thorns, we should be careful when we are trying to pluck the leaves from the plant.

Though we have plenty of thuthuvalai plants growing wildly in the farm, I always make sure to grow in my garden too for easy access as we use it regularly.

Thuthuvalai Botanical & Common Names:

The botanical name of thuthuvalai is Solanum Trilobatum and it is called “Purple fruited pea egg plant” in English. In India, it is commonly called “Thoothuvalai and Thuthuvalai” in Tamil, Tutavalam in Malayalam, Alarkapatramu in Telugu, Ambusondeballi in Kannada, Kantakaari Lataa in Hindi, Thoodalam in Marathi, Bryhoti in Oriya and Achuda in Sanskrit.

Thuthuvalai Chemical Constituents:

The liquid extract of thuthuvalai plant has been proven to contain steroids, triterpenoids, sugars, amino acids, saponins, phenolic compounds and anthraquinone. Some of the important chemical compounds present in thuthuvalai are sobatum, solaine, solasodine, diosogenin, etc. The dried thuthuvali powder has been proven to contain saponins, phytosterols, tannins and carbohydrates.

Thuthuvalai Traditional Uses:

  • Traditionally thuthuvalai is used for treating cold and cough. Almost everyone in Tamil Nadu would have heard or used it for treating cough and cold.
  • My husband’s grandmother who was an authority in traditional home remedies used to make a rasam out of it by grinding the thuthuvalai 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 thuthuvalai soup made by boiling thoothuvalai, peppercorns, garlic pods and turmeric.
  • Thuthuvalai soup is very effective for treating chest congestion, cough, blocked nose and it is good even for people who suffer from sinus infection and I have shared the recipes for both rasam and soup below.

Thuthuvalai Keerai BenefitsThuthuvalai Medicinal Uses:

1. Antioxidant Properties:

Thuthuvalai has amazing antioxidant properties. Consuming antioxidant rich ingredients is the key to good health. Consuming antioxidant rich ingredients will prevent free radical damage which is the main cause of premature ageing of the skin and hair. Consuming thuthuvalai in any form will help.

2. Repels Mosquitoes:

Thuthuvalai leaf extract has the ability to repel Anopheles Stephensi mosquitoes when we apply the extract on our skin along with preventing the egg laying. When we spray the thuthuvalai leaf extract on areas where mosquitoes are usually found, it reduces the egg laying capacity by almost 30 to 90 % depending on the concentration.

3. Anti Inflammatory Properties:

Thuthuvalai leaf extract has amazing anti inflammatory properties and if you are suffering any kind of inflammation, try to include thuthuvalai soup or thuthuvalai rasam in your diet for a few days. It will greatly help bring down the inflammation. You can read the study that supports this claim here.

4. Anti Bacterial Properties:

Almost all parts of thoothuvalai has anti bacterial properties, the flowers, the fruits and the leaves all exhibited powerful anti bacterial properties and the effect was more effective against gram positive bacteria than gram negative bacteria. The best part is thuthuvalai extract proved to be more effective than even antibiotics!

5. Anti Diabetic Properties:

Thuthuvalai has wonderful anti diabetic properties too. Thuthuvalai not only helps reduce blood sugar levels but has a protective effect on our kidneys too. People who have diabetes will greatly benefit if they regularly include thuthuvalai in their diet. You can read the study that supports this claim here. 

6. Anti Asthma Properties:

Thuthuvalai has long been used for treating asthma. The soup made with thuthuvalai leaves is given to people suffering from asthma and it greatly helps. Now this traditional practice has been backed by research, in the study all the symptoms including breathlessness, cough and sputum decreased significantly and you can read the study here.

7. Anti Cancer Properties:

Thuthuvalai has amazing anti cancer properties. The chemical compound called sobatum found in thuthuvalai not only prevents cancer but also inhibits the growth of existing cancer cells. Also since thuthuvalai is rich in antioxidants, it greatly prevents oxidative stress which is the leading cause of many diseases including cancer.

8. Has A Protective Effect:

Regularly including thuthuvalai in our diet helps improve immunity and prevents us from many diseases. This is because thuthuvalai greatly prevents lipid peroxidation in which cells get damaged due to free radicals. If we consume thuthuvalai regularly, it will greatly help strengthen our immune system keeping us healthy always.

Thoothuvalai Health BenefitsHow To Make Thuthuvalai Powder?

To make thuthuvalai powder, collect a handful of thuthuvalai leaves and wash them to get rid of any dirt. Now spread the leaves on a kitchen cloth to absorb all the moisture. Once there is no moisture left, spread on a plate and sun dry till crisp. While still crisp from sun drying, powder in a dry mixer, sieve and store in an airtight box.

Where To Get Thuthuvali Powder?

If you don’t want to make your own thuthuvalai powder or don’t have access to fresh leaves, you can also buy it from the shops. Here in Tamil Nadu, we get thuthuvalai powder in nattu marundhu kadai (shops that sell herbs and pooja items). You can also order it online.

Thuthuvalai Dosage & Side Effects:

Thuthuvalai has low toxicity and generally agrees with everyone. The general suggested dosage of thuthuvali powder is 1/2 tsp of thuthuvalai powder mixed with honey or hot water. Pregnant women should never over consume thoothuvalai, have it in moderation.

4 Best Thuthuvalai Keerai Recipes:

1. Thuthuvalai Dosai:

Thuthuvalai keerai dosai for cold

To make thuthuvalai dosai soak a cup of idli rice in the morning. In the evening, collect a handful of thuthuvalai leaves and wash them to get rid of any dirt. Now grind the soaked rice along with 1 green chilli,  1/4 tsp of jeera, five to six small onions, a small piece of ginger along with little salt.

Add in enough water and grind to a smooth paste. You can make the dosais in the night. I like to serve it with coconut chutney. This dosai tastes very nice and is very healthy, serve it to kids too.

2. Thuthuvalai Rasam:

Thuthuvalai keerai rasam

To Make thuthuvalai rasam, take 1/2 tsp of jeera, 1/4 tsp of peppercorns, 3 garlic cloves, 2 green chillies and a handful of freshly plucked thuthuvalai leaves in a mortar and pestle and pound lightly. Now soak a small piece of tamarind in a cup of water for 1/2 an hour and strain.

Now heat a tsp of oil in a pan, add in mustard and once it splutters, add in a small piece of asafoetida, 1 red chilli broken and few curry leaves. Now add in 1 finely cut tomato along with little salt and turmeric powder and sauté for a few minutes. Now add in the tamarind water along with salt and let it boil till the raw smell goes away.

Now add in the pounded thuthuvali mixture and once it is about to come to boil again, switch off and serve. Apart from treating cold and cough, this thuthuvalai rasam will also give good relief from stomach pain caused due to indigestion.

3. Thuthuvalai Soup:

Thuthuvalai keerai soup recipe

To make the soup, first collect five to six thuthuvalai leaves and wash them to get rid of any dirt. Pound 1/4 tsp each of pepper corns and cumin seeds along with 1 small garlic pod 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 and salt. Add the pounded mixture and boil till the leaves are cooked. Strain and your effective home remedy for cough and cold is ready! This thuthuvalai soup tastes really nice and is very comforting to drink.

It is especially nice to drink when we have a cold or cough and it gives very good relief. You can give this soup to children too, but reduce the amount of pepper for them. Try to use fresh thuthuvalai leaves for making the soup and don’t use more than a pod of garlic.

4. Thuthuvalai Thuvaiyal:

Thoothuvalai keerai thuvaiyal recipe

To make thuthuvalai thuvaiyal, collect a handful of thuthuvalai leaves and wash them to get rid of any dirt. Now heat a tsp of sesame oil in a pan. Add in a tbsp of bengal gram dal and fry till it changes color. Add in 2 red chillies, 1 big garlic clove, the washed thuthuvalai leaves and fry till the leaves wilts.

Now add in 1/4 cup of grated coconut along with little bit of tamarind and required amount of salt and fry for a few seconds. Let the mixture cool and then grind in a mixture to a thick paste. We serve it along with rice and ghee for lunch, tastes heavenly and is very good for our health too!

Thuthuvalai Keerai health benefits

16 Comments

  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 effects.email me, margaretjoy2011@gmail.com

  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 gnrsoumya@gmail.com

  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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