Bottle gourd

Bottle gourd

The calabash or bottle gourd or opo squash or long melon(not to be confused with the calabaza) is a vine grown for its fruit, which can either be harvested young and used as avegetable or harvested mature, dried, and used as a bottle, utensil, or pipe. For this reason, one of the calabash subspecies which is longer and slimmer is known as the bottle gourd. The fresh fruit has a light green smooth skin and a white flesh. However the rounder varieties are called Calabash gourds.

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.

Benefits of Bottle gourd

  • Urinary Disorders :- Bottle gourd is very valuable in urinary disorders. A glassful of fresh juice prepared by grating the whole fruit should he 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. It should be given with sulpha drugs in the treatment of urinal infection. It acts as an alkaline diuretic in this condition.
  • Excessive Thirst :- The juice of bottle gourd is a valuable medicine for excessive thirst due to severe diarrhea, 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.
  • Insomnia :- This mixture of bottle gourd juice and sesame oil acts as an effective medicine for insomnia. It should be massaged over scalp every night. The cooked leaves of bottle gourd are also beneficial in the treatment of insomnia.

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