Found in every kitchen of the Indian household, bottle gourd believed to have originated in Africa constitutes a major part of food in the Indian cuisine. Like it or not, this gourd has dominated the domestic main course menu for time immemorial. Locally known as “Lauki” (Hindi) or “Sorakkai” (Tamil), this veggie is not that popular in the western world.
What’s making this veggie popular these days is its enormous impact on the treatment of high blood pressure and heart disease. The myriad of health benefits of bottle gourd is least known to many, yet unknowingly it is consumed in the majority of the Indian families because of the low price tag it carries in the vegetable market and its wide availability.
- Bottle gourd is believed to help the liver function in a balanced fashion
- The juice from the leaves help cure jaundice and the juice from the gourd helps reduce graying of hair
- The gourd juice, helps treat burning sensation in the urinary passage if consumed with lime juice
- It reduces fatigue and keeps you fresh, especially during summer
- It helps fight constipation, as it is fiber rich. Because of its fiber and low-fat content, Ayurveda highly recommends this food for diabetic patients and young children
Ayurveda also recommends the juice of this gourd in the treatment of acidity, indigestion and ulcers as it serves as an alkaline mixture.
- Indian traditional medicine claims that bottle gourd acts as a nerve tonic and can help improve obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This claim has been confirmed by a study published in the journal Pharmacognosy Research where the investigators found that the plant possesses anti-compulsive (anti-OCD) activity although they are not certain about the mechanism of action of this plant.
- Bottle gourd is also considered one of the best weight loss foods since it is 96 percent water and provides just 12 calories per 100g of serving.
- It is rich in, thiamine, vitamin C, zinc, iron and magnesium, thus, helping in improving overall health.
- The juice from bottle gourd leaf helps in curing baldness and aids in preventing tooth decay.
So the good old “lauki”, though neglected the most, has both healing and cosmetic benefits that many people are unaware of. These easy growing climbers have made a great impact on the domestic gardening segment as well, due to its enormous health benefits.
- Prajapati RP, Kalaria MV, Karkare VP, Parmar SK, Sheth NR. Effect of methanolic extract of Lagenaria siceraria (Molina) Standley fruits on marble-burying behavior in mice: Implications for obsessive-compulsive disorder. Phcog Res 2011;3:62-6
Latest Publications and Research on Nutritional Guard - Bottle Gourd
- Molecular Genetic Mapping of Two Complementary Genes Underpinning Fruit Bitterness in the Bottle Gourd (Lagenaria siceraria [Mol.] Standl.). - Published by PubMed
- Bacterial communities in the gut of wild and mass-reared Zeugodacus cucurbitae and Bactrocera dorsalis revealed by metagenomic sequencing. - Published by PubMed
- Transcriptome changes in reciprocal grafts involving watermelon and bottle gourd reveal molecular mechanisms involved in increase of the fruit size, rind toughness and soluble solids. - Published by PubMed