Bottle Gourd {Lagenaria}: Health Benefits, Uses and Side Effects

Lagenaria species are vines that can be grown annually throughout the state-wide, originating in Africa. Lagenaria is closely related to cucumber, squash, and melon. Dried gourds with viable seeds have survived seawater for at least 200 days. Lagenaria siceraria, known as bottle gourd in English and Lauki in Hindi, is a common vegetable in India. It contains essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, dietary fibers, etc., and provides numerous health and beauty benefits.

North and South American specimens were most similar to wild African ones. However, it could have drifted across the ocean more than once and could have happened as long ago as 10,000 years ago. Bottle gourds come in many different sizes and forms.
Bottle gourds have been used traditionally to help with many health conditions like fever, cough, pain, and asthma.

Cultivation

Bottle gourds are cultivated by direct seeding or transplanting 15 to 20 days old seedlings. During the growth season, the plant demands lots of hydration and a warm, sunny location. It may be grown in tiny spaces, such as a pot, and let grow on a trellis or roof. The vine may eventually reach the tree’s crown if planted beneath a towering tree.

Toxicity

Gourds are members of the Cucurbitaceae family and are typically not harmful when eaten, although large amounts can be cytotoxic. However, people have died from ingesting gourd juice in severe circumstances. The problematic cases are frequently the result of the gourd being used to manufacture juice, which users claim is exceptionally bitter. This is caused to improper storage (temperature fluctuations or excessive heat) and over-ripening.

Health Benefits

1. Helps In Treating Urinary Tract Infection

Diuretic properties of bottle gourd help prevent and treat urinary tract infections. It enhances the frequency and flow of urine, which aids in the removal of toxins, pollutants, excess fluids, salts, and other undesirable things from the body. Furthermore, vitamin C and other antioxidant substances, such as phytonutrients and polyphenols, protect essential organs from free radical damage, such as the liver and kidneys.

2. Reduces the likelihood of insomnia

Bottle gourd’s high nutritive profile promotes restful sleep and lowers the risk of insomnia and other sleep problems. In addition, bottles include Vitamin B complex, which relieves tension and anxiety and allows us to sleep well. Inadequate or poor quality sleep can lead to various health concerns, including an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, neurodegenerative illnesses, etc.

3. Maintain Skin Health

Bottle gourd is a good vitamin C and zinc source that may offer several skin benefits. Vitamin C is essential for overall skin health and may protect the skin from the damage caused by ultraviolet radiation. It also helps strengthen the skin barrier by enhancing the production of skin barrier lipids.

4. Obesity

Bottle gourd is rich in dietary fiber and contains low fat and cholesterol. You can add it to your regular diet to help you manage weight. However, before using any herbal remedy for weight loss, you need to consult your healthcare provider about its potential uses and side effects.

5. It has a cooling effect.

Because of its high water content, bottled gourd keeps us hydrated and gives a cooling effect (around 92 percent). Water is necessary for many biological and cellular activities, including moisturizing joints and tissues, increasing metabolism, helping digestion, and preserving the health of essential organs such as the liver and kidneys.

6. Brain

Bottle gourd contains compounds that may show pain-relieving and central nervous system (CNS) depressant activity by acting on the brain. This activity might indicate its possible effects on calming the mind. If you are concerned about the psychological or physical effects of drinking bottle gourds, you should contact your healthcare provider for help.

7. Strengthens Immune System

In the bottle gourd, vitamin C and other antioxidant compounds like phytonutrients, polyphenols, etc., protect our immune cells, aka white blood cells, from free radical damage, thus strengthening our immunity. In addition, zinc, iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B complex, etc., also significantly enhance our immune system.

8. Helps With Detoxification

Toxins, pollutants, and other undesired things are eliminated from the body by the detoxifying qualities of bottle gourd fibers. In addition, toxin removal lessens the strain of detoxification on the liver and kidneys, enabling them to focus on other duties. Also, antioxidants like vitamin C and other essential substances like phytonutrients and polyphenols protect vital organs from damage caused by free radicals and help the body get rid of toxins.

9. Promotes Hair Growth

Bottle gourd contains abundant essential nutrients, like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc., that promote hair growth and prevent premature aging. For example, antioxidants like vitamin C protect our hair follicles and scalp from free radical damage and minimize signs of premature aging like greying or splitting hair, dry hair, split ends, etc.

10. Improves Cardiovascular Health

The abundance of essential nutrients in the bottle gourd keeps our hearts healthy and improves our cardiovascular health. Bottles contain fiber which reduces LDL cholesterol and thus reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, a leading cause of various cardiovascular problems. Potassium is a natural vasodilator that relieves hypertension or high blood pressure that gives rise to various cardiovascular issues like heart attack, heart stroke, coronary artery disease, and other health problems.

Side Effects of Bottle Gourd

Bottle gourd is a common vegetable used across India, and it may be consumed in amounts used in foods and dishes. Overconsumption of any food or vegetable can lead to toxic effects, so avoid over-eating. Children should eat vegetables under the supervision of their elders. Before you do so, consult with your doctor or healthcare professional.

Conclusion

Lagenaria is closely related to cucumber, squash, and melon. The plant prefers well-drained, moist, organic-rich soil with plenty of moisture in the growing season and a warm, sunny position.

Bottle gourd contains compounds that may show pain-relieving and central nervous system (CNS) depressant activity by acting on the brain. If you are concerned about the psychological or physical effects of drinking bottle gourds, you should contact your healthcare provider for help. Bottles contain fiber which reduces LDL cholesterol and thus reduces the risk of atherosclerosis. Potassium is a natural vasodilator that relieves hypertension or high blood pressure.

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DISCLAIMER OF MEDICINE

This information is not meant to provide medical advice or replace a personal physician’s advice or treatment. All readers of this information, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should check with their doctors before initiating any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program. In addition, the statements and goods on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

 

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