Benincasa hispida Thunb. cogn. /
Ash Gourd, Wax Gourd,
White Gourd, White Pumpkin
The RAJA NIRGHANTU, an ancient book on
therapeutics, gives a long account of its virtues. Old ripe
fruits were selected in preparing medicine. The pulp was cut
into thin strips and the watery juice that oozed out
abundantly, was collected and preservedThe RAJA NIRGHANTU,
an ancient book on therapeutics, gives a long account of its
virtues. Old ripe fruits were selected in preparing
medicine. The pulp was cut into thin strips and the watery
juice that oozed out abundantly, was collected and
|It grows throughout India up to
an altitude of 1,200 ft. It is cultivated for its large
sized edible fruit which is used as a vegetable.
Morphology Description (Habit)
It is a large climbing or trailing herb with stout, angular
and hispid stems. Leaves are large and long petioled, 5-7
lobed, reniform-rotund, deeply cordate, upper surface
sparsely pilose and scabrous, lower rigidly hispid and
margin sinuate. The tendrils are slender and short. The
flowers are large, monoecious and solitary in leaf axils.
Calyx teeth, when young, are often narrow and scarcely
serrate. The fruits are fleshy, succulent and densely hairy
when young but thickly deposited with white easily removable
waxy bloom when mature. The flesh is white, and spongy.
The fruits contain 11 to 70mg of calcium/100 gm and 0.3-0.45
% of other minerals. Also 0.38 PPM of iodine and 3.5 PPM of
fluorine are present other than the numerous compounds1.
b -Sitosterol is identified by TLC method2.
It has acid neutralizing property and ulcer healing
No adverse effect is reported from this plant.
In Ayurvedic literature it is mentioned that the fruit has
tonic, nutritive and diuretic properties.
- AHEAD, Wealth of Asia-CD, CSIR, New Delhi.
- Quat. J. Crude Drug Res., 1976, 14, 163.