The bottle gourd is a common vegetable in India. It is yellowish green, having the shape of a bottle. It has white pulp, with white seeds embedded in spongy flesh.
Origin and Distribution: The bottle gourds have been cultivated since time immemorial and they are, probably one of the earliest vegetables cultivated by man. It appears to have originated in Africa where it occurs spontaneously as it also does in India. It is now widely cultivated throughout the tropics, especially India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, China, tropical Africa and South America. The bottle gourd is a warm season crop and grows best in a warm humid climate.
Botanical Name : Lagenaria siceraria
Indian Name:- Lauki, Doodhi Bhopala, Ghia and Kaddu.
Family : Cucurbitaceae
Botany: The bottle gourd is a hairy, rapid growing trailing or climbing annual herb, extending 30 feet or more in length. It has stout 5-angled stems, long-stalked, 5-lobeq. leaves and large yellow flowers. The fruits which may exceed 5 feet in length vary in shape. In India, their woody shells serve as utensils and as sounding boxes for the sitar and ektara used by the bauls of Bengal. The pulp of the fruit is eaten as a cooked vegetable. Raw juice of this fruit is used.
|Food Value||Minerals and Vitamins|
|Minerals||0.5%||Small amounts of Vitamin B Complex|
|Calorific Value 12|
|*Values per 100 gms edible portion|
Benefits of Bottle gourd and Bottle gourd juice
- The cooked vegetable is cooling, diuretic, sedative and antibilious. It gives a feeling of relaxation after eating it.
- Bottle gourd is very valuable in urinary disorders. A glassful of fresh juice prepared by grating the whole fruit should be mixed with teaspoonful of lime juice. It should be given once daily in the treatment of burning sensation in urinary passage due to high acidity of urine. It serves as an alkaline mixture.
- The juice of bottle gourd is a valuable medicine for excessive thirst due to severe diarrhoea, diabetes and excessive use of fatty or fried foods. A glassful of plain juice with a pinch of salt should be taken everyday in this condition. Its use during summer prevents excessive loss of sodium, quenches thirst and helps in preventing fatigue.
- Mixture of bottle gourd juice and sesame oil acts as an effective medicine for insomnia. It should be massaged over scalp every night
- The Gourd fruit juice is used in the treatment of insanity, epilepsy and other nervous diseases.
- The juice of the fruit is used in the treatment of stomach acidity, indigestion and ulcers.
- Bottle Gourd helps in constipation. Bottle gourd is not only rich in essential minerals, iron, protein and trace elements; it is also rich in fibre. Fibre is known to be missing in the modern diet, the absence of which is the cause of not only constipation but other digestive disorders like flatulence and even piles. Hence diet using different preparations made from this vegetable are useful.