7 Great Susumba Benefits You Need To Know About

What Is Susumba? Susumba is a wild plant that packs a lot of healthy nutrients. People in the Caribbean and other places use Susumba for food and medicine.

Susumba is the Jamaican name for the plant known in most places as Turkey berry or Wonder berry. Another local name for Jamaican Susumba is Gully bean.

In other countries common names for Susumba are Devil’s fig, Pea eggplant. Sundakkai plant, Plate bush, and Susumber are common names as well.

The  plant’s Botanical name is Solanum torvum. But, most people know it as Turkey berry.

Jamaican susumba
Jamaican Susumba

Benefits of Turkey Berry

More recent preliminary studies confirm some benefits of the Susumba plant.

Researchers examined different sections of the Susumba plant and isolated a number of compounds that make up the plant. They identified a number of areas where turkey berry may provide benefits.

Here are seven potential health benefits of Turkey berry that the researchers identified

Let’s look at seven potential health benefits of the Solanum torvum plant.

Protect the Liver

 Recently phenolic compound from Turkey berry leaf was extracted and tested to determine if the Susumba plant can protect the liver.  

The test was carried out in labs and on mice that suffered liver damage after they were given Acetaminophen. 

The test determined that the chemical extract taken from Solanum torvum leaves could potentially be used as an agent for protecting and treating liver damage caused by Acetaminophen.

Treat Anemia

Solanum torvum is rich in plant based Iron. Anemia is often caused by Iron deficiency. Because Turkey berry contains so much Iron it may be useful in helping resolve Anemia.

Because it is a low-cost, nutrient rich food, in many locationsTurkey berry is consumed by pregnant women to help stimulate the production of red blood cells.

However, some studies show that the body may not easily absorb the Iron in Turkey berries. 

Therefore, it may be necessary to take the berries with some foods that contain Vitamin C to help with Iron absorption.

Foods rich in Vitamin C include Citrus fruits, Papaya and Strawberries. They also include Kale, Broccoli, Tomatoes, and Bell peppers to name a few.

Reduce Oxidative Stress

 According to numerous medical resources, oxidative stress is behind a number of serious diseases. 

Diseases that are caused by Oxidative stress include Parkinsons and Alzheimers diseases, chronic fatigue, heart and blood vessel disorders, heart disease, and others.

Examination of Solanum torvum fruit and leaf samples found that they contain natural chemicals that can help reduce Oxidative stress. This may prevent the body from falling victim to a number of diseases. 

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Repair Kidneys

Some medication used for treating diseases such as cancer can cause damage to organs like the kidney.

An animal study was done to see whether Solanum torvum Extract could repair Kidney damage caused by some cancer treatment medication. 

At the end of the study period Researchers determined the damage done to the kidneys of animals treated with Turkey Berry extracts improved,  

The report states the Doxorubicin (DOX) caused significant structural damages to kidneys.

Some damage include tubular necrosis, renal lesions and glomerular congestion. Treatment with Solanum torvum reversed the kidney damage.

This validated claims that Solanum torvum extracts help repair kidney damage.

Preserve Vision

Vitamin A is one of the important micronutrients found in the berry. Vitamin A is essential for good eyesight. 

And Vitamin A performs other important roles as well. The vitamin helps organs such as the heart and lungs function properly. 

Vitamin A is also important for reproduction, development, and the immune system.

Because Turkey berries are rich in Vitamin A they are good for helping you preserve your vision.

Prevent Gastric Ulcers

A 2018 study of Solanum torvum leaves revealed that they may be potentially useful for preventing gastric ulcers.

Examination of the leaves revealed that they contain active flavonoids and triterpenes with anti-ulcer properties.  

In the study the ani-ulcer properties reduced gastric acid secretion thereby inhibiting the formation of gastric ulcers. 

Control Hypertension

Early research shows that Turkey Berry has natural compounds that may be helpful in lowering blood pressure.

Active compounds identified in Susumba plant inclue include gallic and ferulic acid which demonstrate great potential.

One animal study was done to see how the berries affected high blood pressure. In the six-week trial, rats were fed fructose to increase their blood pressure.

Then they were treated with Turkey Berry extracts. The results showed that treatment reduced the animal’s blood pressure.

This confirms Solanum torvum potenial use as a blood pressure lowering agent.

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Jamaican Susumba Uses

Susumba: In Jamaica a popular way to use Susumba is to cook it as a stew.  Young berries are cooked, combined with salted mackerel or some other form of salted protein. 

Coconut milk, onions and tomatoes are added to the mixture  and it is served of white rice.

Susumba Leaf: Fresh or dried leaves are brewed and the tea used as treatment for coughs, colds and respiratory illnesses.

Here is how the berries and other sections of the Susumba plant are used in some areas:

  • The Caribbean:. In other Caribbean islands it is also used in stews, soups, chutneys, and teas.
  • Sierra Leone: Turkey berry tea is given to children for sore throats and stomach aches.
  • India: In some areas in India. the dried berries and leaves are ground into a powder which is used to make a paste that is consumed in Indian cuisine.
  • The powder is consumed as diabetes medicine as well.
  • The Philippines:  The plant’s root is dried and used to make a syrup for treating stomach aches, indigestion and gas.
  • Senegal: Tea made from ripe berres is given to children for supressing coughs.

Turkey Berry Side Effects

Solanum torvum has some compounds which can cause problems if you ingest too much of it. 

Some users report nausea and confusion, dizziness, stomach ache and diarrhea after using Susumba.

Solanum torvum belongs to the Nightshade family of plants. People who are allergis to Nighshade may not be able to tolerate this plant.


Is Susumba Poisonous? A poisonous variety of Susumba has been identified in Jamaica. The plant appears almost identical to the non-toxic berry.  

There have been reports of people experiencing serious effects after consuming this variety of Jamaican Susumba.

However, examination revealed that the poisonous variety contains larger amounts of Solamargine, and other steroidal glycoalkaloids than the non-toxic variety. 

Reported severe reactions include dizziness, slurred speech and upper body weakness after consuming this variety of Turkey berries.


Susumba is the Jamaican name for the plant known as Turkey berry in many other contries.

Susumba berries are used in Jamaican cuisine while the leaves are used for brewing a medicinal tea.

Turkey berries have been though many aimal studies. And results show that Susumba plant may be used for medicinal purposes one day.

However, these tests are preliminary. Much more through examination of the plants benefits need to be done.

Disclaimer: This website is for informational purposes only. Nothing stated here should be viewed as medical advice. Please consult with a Professional Healthcare Provider about your medical care.

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