Q. I have heard that if you place pieces of eggplant in water for a couple of hours and then drink the water it helps reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Is this correct or do I have to put the eggplant in the fridge for four days and drink a small amount daily?
A. Several years ago a reader sent in the following remedy:
“Wash but don’t peel a medium eggplant. Dice it into 1-inch cubes.
“Place the cubes in a glass gallon jug and cover the eggplant with distilled water.
“Put the jug in the fridge for four days. Drink one ounce of the water per day, taking your blood pressure daily.
“After a week or so, the eggplant will begin to disintegrate; discard it but keep drinking the ounce of soaking water daily.”
Although eggplant is part of a dietary portfolio that lowers cholesterol (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Feb. 2005), Brazilian researchers have found that eggplant extract does not lower cholesterol. A recent analysis of eggplant compounds suggests that some may inhibit angiotensin-converter enzyme (ACE) and thus lower blood pressure (Bioresource Technology, May 2008). We don’t know if the eggplant soaking water will have that effect.