As its name suggests, ash gourd is grey or ash in colour and is a big vegetable like pumpkin. Its botanical name is Benincasa Hispida. It is also known with other names like white gourd, winter melon and fuzzy melon.
It is native to Southeast Asia, grown in India, China other East Asian countries. In India it is commonly known as Petha. It is usually cultivated for its medicinal and nourishing benefits.
CHARACTERISTICS OF ASH GOURD
It is a creeper which produces big yellow flowers. The leaves are long around 10 to 20 centimeters and have a hairy long stem. The fruits are usually oval in shape and grow up to 30 centimeters in diameter. Plant propagation is done by seeds.
This vegetable when immature has white thick flesh which is sweet. By the time it reaches maturity, it loses the hairs and a waxy coating is developed which provides a long shelf life.
It has several vitamins and minerals like phosphorus, calcium, riboflavin, iron, thiamine, niacin and Vitamin C. Ash gourd has lot of moisture content and also minute amounts of fat, fibre, carbohydrates and protein. It has a calorific value of 15. It has seeds which contain a light yellow coloured oil.
The nutrition values per 100 g of ash gourd are:
- Protein: 0.4 g
- Fat: 0.1 g
- Carbohydrate: 1.9 g
- Iron: 0.8 g
- Energy: 10K cal
THERAPEUTIC PROPERTIES OF ASH GOURD
- Ash gourd is beneficial for diabetic patients and obese persons.
- The cooling property of the juice induces relief in acidity and peptic ulcers.
- Ash gourd is known to stabilize nerve cells and combat general debility.
- Ash gourd seeds are anabolic and hence promote tissue growth.
- It eliminates constipation and soothes the gastrointestinal tract.
Ash gourd has several reliever properties. It has low calories making it a suitable edible item for obese and diabetic people. It has cooling effect and works as a laxative. Its relieving properties make it one of the most commonly used herbal remedy for various problems.
Ash gourd is useful in flushing out toxins from the body. It increases the urine output and is beneficial in reducing inflammation.
CARE FOR AILMENTS
- Peptic Ulcer: It is an efficient remedy for relieving peptic ulcer. Ash gourd juice mixed with equal quantities of water should be consumed in the morning on an empty stomach. There should be a gap of about two to three hours before any food is consumed. This juice is also beneficial in the inflammation of alimentary canal.
- Bleeding: It is used to stop profuse bleeding from nose and lungs. Ash gourd acts like a blood coagulant. The fresh juice of ash gourd should be mixed with a teaspoon of lime juice or amla juice for relief in conditions like piles and haematuria, a disease wherein blood cells are seen in urine.
- Intestinal worms: Seeds of ash gourd should be shelled and mixed with coconut milk. They are beneficial in promoting tissue growth and expelling tape worm and other parasitic worms from the stomach.
- General weakness: Pulp of ash gourd is boiled in water and sugar syrup is added to it to make it an edible mixture. This sweet pulp is useful in gaining weight, improves the efficiency of heart, produces heat in the body, and reduces tuberculosis and anemia.
- Dandruff: The seeds and the peel of ash gourd should be boiled in coconut oil and applied to hair which prevents dandruff, dryness of the scalp and promotes hair growth.
- Mouth ulcers: Gargling with the juice of ash gourd is beneficial in protecting the life of the teeth and gums. It reduces mouth ulcers and bleeding of gums as well.
- Thyroid: Regular consumption of ash gourd juice is beneficial in reducing symptoms related to thyroid disorders.
- Cough and cold: Consumption of ash gourd juice and pulp regularly will help to reduce common cold, cough, bronchitis, sinusitis and influenza. It is also beneficial in relieving chronic asthma.
SAFETY AND PRECAUTIONARY TIPS WHILE USING ASH GOURD:
There are no known side effects caused by the use of ash gourd juice or pulp for relieving ailments. But it is always better not to over indulge in consuming any herb as a medicine.
It is always better to consult a registered practitioner before consuming and using any of the herbs. We at Planet Ayurveda provide the best advice regarding management, supplements, herbs and Ayurvedic medicines which are made from 100 percent natural products. All our products are made without any chemicals and preservatives.
Our products, herbal supplements and medicines are vegetarian and the best quality herbs are used for preparing the formulations. Our products are not tested on animals. Choose Planet Ayurveda herbal products and reap the benefits of good health.
PLANET AYURVEDA PRODUCTS THAT USE ASH GOURD
As of now there are no Planet Ayurveda products which contain Ash gourd. But the below mentioned other products of Planet Ayurveda are useful in some conditions for which Ash gourd is used.
Planet Ayurveda products are manufactured as per the traditional Ayurvedic science, using only pure and natural herbs; no chemicals or preservatives are used in any of our products. Our products are also never tested on animals and are made under the most stringent quality guidelines. So opt for Planet Ayurveda herbs and supplements for a healthier you.