Published: 08/28/2018 - Updated: 03/08/2020
Author: Dra. Loredana Lunadei, PhD
The tomatillos, this green tomato known as tomatillo is much smaller than a conventional red tomato. Tomatillos are roughly the size of a guava fruit, and has a very peculiar green color. This tomato comes from Mexico, and is associated with the Pacific region, where it is still possible to find it growing wild. The word “tomato” comes from the Nahuatl term “ayacach tomatl”, which means etymologically “ayacach”, which means rattle, and “tomatl” means tomato.
The botany of tomatillos
Tomatillos are considered to be a fruit of the upright and branched herbaceous plant, and can sometimes have sparse hair that measures 15 to 60 cm in length. Its large, oval-shaped leaves measure from 2 to 8.2 cm in length, and 1 to 6 cm wide, approximately. The plant produces small, steady yellow flowers that sprout alone in the underarm of the leaves. The weak petals sometimes have blue or green marks, or sometimes brown. Tomatillos are berries with tiny, compressed seeds that are somewhere between yellow and brown in color.
Tomatillo can be used to make several of Mexico’s most important stews, as well as numerous salsa dishes, like traditional enchiladas verdes or chilaquiles.
Tomatillo application in natural medicine
Moxico’s natural medicine has used the shell and fruit from this plant for years to:
- Decrease blood levels.
- Grilled tomatillo can be used to treat amygdalitis cases (applied in a poultice as hot as possible), and respiratory problems like pertussis and coughing.
- The leaves, when used in an infusion, can treat stomach problems.
- The juice is used to treat ear aches.
- Useful when treating problems like baldness, dandruff, high blood pressure, diabetes, and vision problems.
Tomatillo possesses several nutritional properties; the following, of which, stand out:
- High vitamin C content
- Rich in antioxidants
- Important source of phosphorus, calcium, iron, and mineral salts.
- Contains powerful antibacterial, anti-carcinogenic, and hypoglycemic properties.
Bellow, we will provide you with a typical Salsa Verde Mexicana recipe:
- 6 tomatillos
- 3 jalapenos
- 1 chipotle chili
- 1/2 garlic clove
- a bit of oil
- a bit of chicken broth
- One cilantro stem
Directions: Blend all and serve. Delicious.
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