You can safely eat raw eggplant, though there are a few basic considerations you should keep in mind when doing so. Eggplant, also called aubergine, is part of the nightshade family, along with potatoes and tomatoes, and does contain the toxin solamine. Most people can eat a reasonable amount of raw eggplant without experiencing adverse effects from the solamine, though some people can be sensitive to it and experience gastrointestinal discomfort. Depending on what type of eggplant is eaten, it may also be rather bitter when raw, though salting to remove moisture from the eggplant can solve this problem.
Raw eggplant is simply an eggplant that has not been cooked, though it can be prepared and treated in a number of different ways to give it different textures. Eggplant is quite high in dietary fiber, and contains small amounts of nutrients such as vitamins C and K. Raw eggplant is also quite high in carbohydrates, especially sugar, so many people consider it a carbohydrate with regard to balancing a meal.
If you are concerned about eating raw eggplant because it is part of the nightshade family, then you should simply monitor your intake of such plants. Potatoes and tomatoes are also part of this same family, and certain types of potatoes, green tomatoes, and eggplant all contain the toxic substance solamine. This substance is not typically poisonous for most people and can be safely consumed even when these foods are uncooked.
Some people may have sensitivity to solamine, in which case some gastrointestinal distress may be experienced. If you feel nausea or similar symptoms after eating raw eggplant, then you should consider the possibility that you are sensitive to solamine and adjust your diet accordingly. You may have eaten too many foods together that contain solamine, such as green tomatoes and potatoes, which could produce unusually high quantities of the toxin in your system. These foods can also be toxic to animals, especially small animals, so you should generally avoid feeding these raw foods to animals.
Preparing raw eggplant is a process that can have a tremendous impact on its taste and texture. Some types of eggplant, especially Asian varieties, may have a subtle and pleasant flavor when uncooked. Other eggplant can be quite bitter when raw, and should be thoroughly salted and allowed to drain. This salting releases moisture within the eggplant, which contains the bitterness, so you should rinse off and squeeze the eggplant dry before you eat it.