Plants & Human Affairs - Introduction
Cherries.wmf (7140 bytes) Plants & Human Affairs (BIOL106)  Stephen G. Saupe, Ph.D.; Biology Department, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University, Collegeville, MN 56321;;

The Tomato Effect 

General Directions:   Read the article, "The Tomato Effect" and then answer the following questions:


  1. To where are tomatoes native?  Can you locate this area on a map?
  2. To where is Colchicum native?  Can you locate this region on a map?
  3. Global exploration has markedly influenced the plants associated with different cultures.  In what way was Italian culture influenced by the voyages of Columbus?

Tomato Effect

  1. Why might tomatoes have been considered an aphrodisiac when they were first brought to Europe?
  2. Why did North Americans originally consider tomatoes poisonous?
  3. Summarize, in your own words, the tomato effect.
  4. What is the placebo effect?
  5. What is a double blind study?

Medical Tomatoes - Colchicum

  1. What is gout and what is it cause?
  2. What part of the Colchicum plant is used to treat gout?
  3. When was colchicum first used to treat gout?
  4. Why was it abandoned?

Medical Tomatoes � Gold therapy

  1. What is rheumatoid arthritis?
  2. What was originally believed to be the cause?
  3. Why was gold thought to be a good therapy?  
  4. Why was gold therapy discarded?

 Medical Tomatoes � Aspirin 

  1. From what tree is the precursor to aspirin derived?
  2. What condition was aspirin used to treat? 
  3. Why was this therapy abandoned?

 Other Tomatoes?

  1. Explain how the �tomato effect� relates to our discussion of paradigms and science.

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Last updated:  09/19/2008 / � Copyright  by SG Saupe