Bottle gourd is an annual, climbing vine with large leaves and white flowers. This plant grows well in moist, well-drained, rich soil. They need a support such as a trellis or a pole to grow. The leaves are triangular, oval lobes. They cut the plant when it has grown 6-8 feet so that the fruits will grow more. It can reach a height of 9 meters in summer. The fruit is light yellowish green. They can grow up to 1 meter in length.
The common name of this plant is bottle gourd. In Hindi, we call it Lauki. Other common names include Opo squash, Chinese melon, Po gua, dudhi, Bhim, aal, calabash, white-flowered gourd, Lagenaria siceraria, long melon, suzza melon, New Guinea bean and Tasmania bean.
Botanical name or family
Its scientific name is Lagenaria siceraria. It belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family.
Geological places where Bottle Gourd plant grows
The bottle gourd has an African origin. You can see it in Asia, Europe, and America for the past thousand years or more. You find in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Indonesia. In America, it grows in the states of Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina among other places. In India, it grows in all the southern states of TamilNadu, Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. It also grows in Maharashtra, Bihar, and Punjab.
Bottle Gourd Medicinal Uses
Among vegetables, bottle gourd qualifies as one of the healthiest. It has plenty of water that helps hydrate your body. The mineral content keeps you nourished. It has good amounts of vitamin C, calcium, and vitamin K.
- Helps to lose weight: The bottle gourd has low calories and high fibre content. The key to losing weight is to include fibre in the diet. It has both soluble and insoluble fibre.
- Cools the body: Lauki has a cooling effect which helps the body maintain the temperature especially in hot climates. It makes the stomach cool. This reduces the body heat. The bottle gourd juice puts the water back into your system. You can avoid many heat related ailments such as pimples, ulcers, and nosebleed.
- Treats urinary tract infections: One of the most effective cures for urinary tract infections is to have the juice of bottle gourd and lemon juice together. The infection will vanish due to the antibacterial action of the vegetable.
- Helps solve stomach problems: It helps settle stomach rumblings but soothing the inner layer. You can give your digestive system a boost by having bottle gourd in your food often. Find foods to improve digestion system.
- Keeps the heart healthy: The Lauki reduces the cholesterol levels. This improves the heart health. Have bottle gourd juice on an empty stomach in the morning for the best results.
- Relieves stress: It works through the action of choline a neurotransmitter that works in the brain. The choline helps to remove depression and ease stress. You can even cure mental disorders by the use of bottle gourd. Find yoga poses to remove depression and stress.
- Has rich nutrient content: It has vitamins and minerals that make it one of the best vegetables for booting the nutrient content of your meal. It has vitamin C, iron, vitamin B, folate, vitamin A, potassium, vitamin K, manganese, and vitamin E. Add some lauki to the curries and salads to get an extra flavour and value. It has iron useful for many metabolic processes including blood platelet production.
- Reduces hypertension: Eating enough of bottle gourd helps bring down the tension. It gives you good sleep, which is essential for both weight loss and dealing with tension. Make it a point to eat this vegetable at least once or twice a week. Find natural remedies for good sleep.
- Suitable as a light low-calorie vegetable: When you are on a diet or even for normal use, lauki has an enormous impact. It banishes the hunger and keeps you full of vitamins and minerals.
- Balances liver functions: It is very good for flushing out the toxins and making your liver healthy. When the liver becomes inflamed it is unable to process food properly Eating bottle gourd will help improve the liver function and improve your digestion.
- High in dietary fibre: The high fibre content helps improve the digestion. It helps cure constipation by improving the bowel movement. The improvement in the GI tract helps rid flatulence. You can even cure piles by using bottle gourd.
- Prevents fatigue: Having a good content of nutrients, this vegetable can be of immense use in pepping you up when you are down. Have a drink of lauki when you are feeling tired and you will instantly become refreshed.
- Excellent post-workout drink: You need energy to pep you up after a workout. The best way is to have a glass of bottle gourd juice. Drink it without filtering it as filtering will remove the fibres that are so essential for boosting the metabolism.
- Good for diabetics: It helps to stabilize the blood sugar and keep it down to manageable levels. The fibres come to the fore again to reduce the glycaemic load and improve the digestive action.
- Prevent graying of hair: You can avoid the greying of your hair by having a glass of calabash juice in the morning regularly. It stimulates hair growth and prevents hair fall.
- Helps treat epilepsy: You can offset the symptoms of epilepsy by having bottle gourd. Add this vegetable to your diet and it will prove useful.
- Helps cure ulcers: For people suffering from ulcer, this vegetable proves useful. By drinking a glass of the juice of the calabash, the ulcers will gradually vanish. It helps reduce the stomach acidity and thus cure the ulcer.
- Cure for insomnia: Mix some sesame oil with the bottle gourd juice and apply it on your scalp if you suffer from insomnia. It will give you good sleep at night.
- Cure insanity: We give the calabash juice to insane people to help them regain their senses and gain a perception of the right things.
- Relieves nervous diseases: You get relief from nervous diseases by the soothing effect the lauki has on the mind.
We have seen instances where the bottle gourd juice showed extreme toxicity. So, before you make the juice taste the flesh to see it is bitter. In all the cases, the toxic calabash juice was bitter. Toxicity happens due to improper storage and over ripening.