What is Ash Gourd?
The ash gourd, also known as Benincasa hispida, is a peculiar melon that is primarily consumed in India and China. In Asian cooking, it is frequently cubed and used in soups & at someplace sweet dishes are also made out of it. It is a vine-grown melon that develops into a round or oblong melon that is similar in size and appearance to a watermelon.
When the fruit is fully mature, the fuzzy covering transforms into a powdered ash-colored coating, which lends the fruit its name. This melon’s juvenile flesh has an oval shape and a sweet flavor. The width of a developed ash gourd can reach 30cm.
Ash Gourd Names in Different Places
|Language & Region||Common Names|
|Across the globe (apart from India)||wax gourd, winter melon, Chinese watermelon, white gourd and white pumpkin|
|Sanskrit [mostly in Karnataka Mattur]||Kushmanda, brihatphala, ghrinavasa, gramyakarkati, karkaru|
|Manipuri (a northeastern state of India)||Torobot|
|Marathi (Maharashtra and parts of neighbouring states of Gujarat (in Surat, Vadodara)||Kohla|
|Tamil (Indian state of Tamil Nadu)||Neer poosanikai|
|Malayalam (state of Kerala and the union territory of Lakshadweep)||Kumbalanga|
|Telugu (Andhra Pradesh and Telangana)|
|Kannada [Karnataka]||Budekumbalakayi, boodu gumbala|
|Bengali (West Bengal, Assam, and Tripura)||Kumra, chalkumra|
|Assamese (Assam state)||Komora|
Ash Gourd Benefits As Per Ayurveda
Moreover, because of its high proportion of “prana,” or vital life energy, the Yogis of India have recognized ash gourd as one of the most naturally invigorating meals. Ash gourd has been used for centuries in all of these areas. Chinese manuscripts from the 5th and 6th centuries AD contain descriptions of the gourd’s medical properties.
Since ancient times, ash gourd has been used in the preparation of ayurvedic additives and herbal supplements to treat illnesses such as fevers, jaundice, heart ailments, and musculoskeletal diseases in its vegetable, leaf, root, and juice forms, which are imbued with powerful and effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory plant components.
1. Combats Cold & Fever– The phytonutrients or plant components found in ash gourd have a natural ability to lower temperature. When the leaves of the ash gourd are rubbed on a person with a high fever, they provide instant relief, lowering body temperature and tiredness symptoms. Furthermore, because normal metabolism is disrupted by fevers, ash gourd leaves aid to eliminate excess water and salts from the body, allowing for optimal electrolyte balance.
2. Aids in the treatment of Jaundice- Cucurbitacins are derived from the leaves of the ash gourd, and they serve an important part in the body’s defense mechanism and liver function. In addition, ash gourd leaves are high in Vitamin C, which boosts the body’s immune function and antioxidant capacity in people who have jaundice. To treat jaundice, an ayurvedic therapy consists of mashing ash gourd leaves with coriander seeds and drinking it twice a day.
3. Used in Heart Illnesses Treatments- Palpitations, irregular heartbeats, difficulty breathing, excessive blood pressure, and atherosclerosis are among conditions that ash gourd extract is thought to help with. An intake of 2 glasses of ash gourd juice is given to people suffering from cardiac problems in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to enhance blood circulation and alleviate the difficulties in conducting normal day-to-day activities.
4. Illnesses of the Joints are Recovered:- Ash gourd juice decreases bone and muscle pain and treats joint problems such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, rheumatism, and fractures by acting as an anti-inflammatory. It also contains the three vital bone-fortifying minerals calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, all of which assist to strengthen bone mass and restore flexibility in bones and ligaments.
5. Immunity is strengthened:- It is an effective agent to increase immune system activity in illnesses since it is high in vitamin C and a variety of flavonoids and carotenoids. Because organ function is reduced during disease, eating ash gourd vegetables provides vitamin C to blood cells, which is then delivered to other organs, allowing them to regain their peak operating levels.
6. Thyroid hormone management:- In certain patients, thyroid hormone levels fluctuate and increase over the usual range, resulting in hyperthyroidism. Iodine is abundant in ash gourd, which is important for lowering excessive levels of hormones, as well as zinc, which is important for enabling enzyme performance and improving thyroid concentrations.
7. Insomnia is relieved:- Its juice contains a lot of vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, which helps to monitor brain functioning and allow neuronal pathways to flow freely. As a result, a glass of ash gourd juice can help to reduce neurotransmitter activity and encourage sleep in cases of sleeplessness or acute sleep deprivation.
8. Renal Capabilities are Boosted:- It has a high moisture content, which helps to chill the body and balance the internal tissues of the liver and kidneys. It can also be used to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs), kidney stones, dysuria, bowel problems, control renal functions, and ensure smooth bowel and bladder motions.
Ash gourd Nutrition Fact
Ash Gourd Harvesting and Usage
The leaves and stems of ash gourd are also edible and can be collected at any time and cooked like other greens. Flowering occurs 45 to 100 days after sowing, and you may begin harvesting immature gourds about a week after the flowers appear. Picking and cooking immature fruit is similar to that of summer squash. Young fruits should be consumed within a week of harvesting. You can also let the gourds grow completely.
After flowering, mature gourds should be left on the vine for 30 to 40 days, or until they develop their typical white, greasy coating. Because of their unique taste, they are frequently used in curries, soups, and Asian stir-fries. Mature fruit can be stored for up to six months in a cool, dry area, but juvenile gourds should be eaten within a week of harvesting.
14 Health Benefits of Ash Gourd
Let’s look at the top winter melon therapeutic advantages now that we know the nutritional information (Petha). Because this fruit is often available in local markets, you can consume it in a variety of ways, including eating it raw or making winter melon juice. You may also get a variety of winter melon teas to brighten your mood and taste buds.
1. Winter melon has eye-health benefits:- The lack of riboflavin, often known as vitamin B2, is considered to cause the majority of vision impairments. Vitamin B2 is present in abundance in winter melons. In only one single serving, it provides around 11% of your daily nutritional requirements. You can easily help to reduce your risk of eye diseases by increasing your diet of winter melon. The other antioxidants also aid in reducing oxidative stress in the cornea and retinal impairment.
2. Winter melon has heart-healthy properties:- Potassium and vitamin C are abundant in it. As a result, it is a tried and true guardian of cardiovascular health. Potassium works as a vasodilator, lowering blood pressure by releasing tension in the blood arteries and veins, allowing blood to circulate freely throughout the body. This makes it much more difficult for cardiac problems to arise, lowering the risk of coronary artery disease. Vitamin C, which is found in winter melon and ash gourd, is also proven to lower the chance of a heart attack.
3. Immunological advantages of winter melon:- Because it contains vitamin C, which increases the production of white blood cells, Ash Gourd is a potent immunity booster. It also contains a good amount of zinc, which is an important component of immunity.
4. Winter Melon promotes development and growth:- Vitamin C in winter melon enhances immunity while also facilitating collagen formation, which is necessary for the building and repair of bones, ligaments, blood vessels, tissue, muscles, and cells.
5. Effects of Winter Melon for Gastrointestinal Issues:- Ash gourd’s dietary fiber content aids digestion and prevents a variety of gastrointestinal disorders such as stomach upsets, hemorrhoids, dysentery, cramping, and inflammation. Another advantage of ash gourd is that it might help lower cholesterol levels.
6. Winter Melon boosts your Energy levels:- Ash gourd is rich in vitamin B2 and it is essential for human metabolism because it ensures that the nutrients absorbed are converted into useful energy. The high amount of vitamin B2 in winter melon affects an individual’s hormonal balance and well-being, allowing us to work effectively.
7. Winter melon is good for your brain:- It contains a considerable amount of iron, making it an excellent choice for improving blood circulation to all parts of the body. We all know that iron is a crucial element in the formation of red blood cells; hence, consuming iron ensures improved circulation of fresh, oxygenated blood. Winter melon, also known as ash gourd, helps to prevent anemia, provide appropriate blood flow to the brain, and improve memory, attention, and focus.
8. Purification of the body with Winter Melon:- In traditional Chinese & Indian ayurvedic medicine, ash gourd is used as a diuretic. It aids in the detoxification of the body. Winter melon promotes detoxification, and all excess fats, toxins, water, and salts are excreted from the body during urination.
9. Promotes body fat loss:- Because of its high fiber content and low-calorie count, winter melon is frequently recommended as a weight-loss aid. It will help you feel full, reducing your desire for between-meal munchies and binge eating. The combination of important nutrients and minerals found in ash gourd increases muscular building and strengthens the metabolism, resulting in increased weight reduction results.
10. Kidney disorders can be helped by winter melon:– Having winter melon regularly can help preserve the kidneys by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels, all of which are healthy to the heart and kidneys. It effectively boosts immunity and improves renal function. Winter melon acts as a diuretic, which aids in the detoxification of the body by removing harmful waste through the urine or stool.
11. Diabetic individuals should eat winter melon:- The therapeutic and restorative benefits of winter melon have long been known to aid diabetics. It can also be included in a diabetic’s diet because it is low in calories & has a low glycemic index profile.
Also Read: Benefits of Muskmelon
12. Pacify Ulcers:- The antiulcer qualities of Ash Gourd may be beneficial in alleviating ulcer pain. If you have ulcers, an ash gourd can help.
13. It’s good for your face and hair:- It’s not Ash Gourd, but it can be used for cosmetic purposes. When applied to the skin with lemon juice or as part of another face pack, the juice is said to eliminate dark spots and give the complexion a natural glow. This vegetable is great for your hair. Its juice is one of the most effective and long-lasting dandruff remedies. Before shampooing, apply the juice to your hair to get rid of dandruff. If you’re going to use coconut oil on your hair, throw in some Ash Gourd and ginger seeds.
14. It has Cancer-fighting potential:- Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects the body from the harmful effects of free radicals, pollution, and poisons. When food is exposed to tobacco, smoke, or radiation, free radicals are generated in the body. Free radicals play a role in the development of conditions such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and osteoarthritis.
Tempting Recipes made out of Ash Gourd
1. Ash Gourd Dosa
1. 200 gms. soaking rice
2. 100 gms urad dal (black urad) (if you have white then you can have that also )
3. White pumpkin, 100 gms
4. 2 red chilies, whole
5. 50 g coconut grated
6. according to personal preference take Salt
Step:- Make a fine paste out of everything. It would be healthy to rest it for 30 minutes and then make it like regular dosa.
2. Winter Melon Soup
1. 250 g white pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks
2. 10 shallots [onion variety], to taste Season with salt
3. 1 tbsp garlic ginger paste
4. 1 tsp. jeera powder and roasted pepper
Step:- Boil all the ingredients for 15 minutes, then season with salt, turmeric, and roasted pepper jeera powder.
3. Winter Melon Curry
1. Ash gourd (250 gms) Boiling pieces
2. 1 cup coconut grated
3. Three shallots
4. Four garlic cloves
5. 3 red chili peppers
6. 2 tbsp yogurt
7. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, salt to taste
Step 1:-Bring the ash gourd to a boil, then stir in the fine coconut paste, jeera, red chilies, and garlic.
Step 2:-Add the salt and turmeric, cook for 10 minutes on low heat, then add the 2 tablespoons of curd and stir thoroughly.
Step 3:-In a separate pan, heat the oil, mustard, curry leaves, and half a red chili, then add it (this is a weight-loss dish).
4. Ash Gourd Halwa
1. 2 cup crushed ash gourd
2. A quarter cup of ghee
3. A quarter cup of sugar
4. 6 to 8 cashews
5. A quarter teaspoon of cardamom powder
6. 5-6 strands of saffron
Step 1:-Peel and finely grate the ash gourd. Take out the seeds.
Step 2:-Take a frying pan. Add the grated ash gourd to the mix.
Step 3:-Dry all the water from the ash gourd. The ash gourd should be completely dry.
Step 4:-Mix in the sugar thoroughly.
Step 5:-Add pinch of saffron and 2tbspn. Ghee
STEP 6:-Cook, stirring constantly, until the halwa separates from the ghee.
Step 6:-Mix in the cardamom powder thoroughly.
Step 7:-Add cashews & other dry fruits of your choice. The halwa is now ready to eat.
5. Ash Gourd Juice
Step 1:- Take white Ash Gourd first to prepare Ash Gourd juice.
Step 2:-peel it off and remove all the seeds
Step 3:– Chop into small pieces after eliminating all of the seeds.
Step 4:- Grind these ingredients in a juicer.
Step 5:– Take a big bowl, cover it with a clean cotton cloth
Step 6:– Pour the ground thick juice into the bowl
Step 7:- by pressing and squeezing the cloth, try to bring clear juice out of it
Step 8:- after squeezing, clear juice will get collected inside the bowl & residue will be at top of the cotton cloth
Step 9:- pour the juice into a glass
Step 10:– add ice cubes, roasted cumin seed powder, and a pinch of black salt and serve!
Side Effects of Winter Melon
Winter melon comes with a slew of advantages, but it also has some drawbacks. it should be consumed in small amounts by obese people. It’s also not a good idea to take it if you have asthma, a cold, or bronchitis because it’s known to promote Kapha. There are no known harmful effects from using ash gourd juice or pulp to treat illnesses. However, it is always best not to take too much of any herb as a treatment. Before drinking or taking any of the herbs, it is always a good idea to seek advice from a licensed practitioner. This is suggested since old stock may contain pathogens and pesticide residues.
Many essential trace minerals can be found in ash gourd. As a result, excessive ingestion can be detrimental, as dangerous quantities of these metallic elements can build up in the body. Patients with a high fever or frequent changes in body temperature should avoid eating ash gourd since it causes the body to chill, even more, slowing down the healing process.
The botanical name, health advantages, ayurvedic applications, and negative effects of ash gourd have been thoroughly examined, as it is critical to comprehend all of these aspects to obtain an understanding of its nutritional worth. In general, ash gourd is excellent for one’s bodily well-being as well as the appearance of one’s skin and hair. Ash gourd is commonly used in Ayurveda as an excellent home cure for a variety of diseases, in addition to improving fitness in healthy people. Large green leaves and stout stalks covered with coarse hairs identify this plant.
Although ash gourds are rarely infested with disease or insects, they can attract mites, aphids, squash bugs, cucumber beetles, or squash vine borers. Ash Gourd has skin and hair advantages. The juice of the ash gourd can be prepared quickly at home. Along with its benefits, be sure to read up on the information on petha loss before incorporating it into your diet.
1. Are ash gourds and pumpkins the same?
Not exactly, The ash gourd, also known as winter melon or white pumpkin, is a big fruit that grows into a vegetable. It has a sweet taste and white flesh, but as it matures, it develops a waxy exterior, which is why it is also known as a wax gourd.
2. Who should not drink ash gourd juice?
Patients with a high fever or frequent changes in body temperature should avoid eating ash gourd since it causes the body to chill, even more, slowing down the recovery process.
3. Can we store ash gourd juice?
It should be kept in the refrigerator. If a piece of fruit gets cut, wrap it in newspaper and keep it.
4. How long can we store ash gourd juice?
Sensory scores of the juice during storage did not alter significantly (P > 0.05). The blended juice was found to be microbiologically safe and suitable for six months.
5. Is ash gourd acidic or alkaline?
Because it is alkaline, it works as a coolant.
6. Is Ash gourd juice poisonous?
The bitter taste and toxicity of bottle gourd are caused by toxic tetracyclic triterpenoid chemicals called cucurbitacins, which are found in the Cucurbitaceae family. Because there is no known treatment for this toxicity, physicians simply treat patients for their symptoms.
7. Can we drink ash gourd juice at night?
As a result, a glass of ash gourd juice can help to reduce neurotransmitter activity and encourage sleep in cases of insomnia or severe sleep deprivation.
8. Does ash gourd juice reduce BP?
Yes, Palpitations, irregular heartbeats, chest pain, excessive blood pressure, and coronary heart disease are among conditions that ash gourd extract is thought to help with.