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Top 15 Health Benefits Of Bottle Gourd

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Bottle gourd, or our very own lauki, goes by the scientific name of Lagenaria siceraria [1] .

The common names of Lagenaria siceraria include - ghiya in Urdu, lauki or ghiya in Hindi, alabu in Sanskrit, bottle gourd in English, sorakkai in Tamil, tumbadi or dudhi in Gujarati and chorakkaurdu in Malayalam [2] .

An annual herbaceous climbing plant, Legenaria siceraria or bottle gourd is known for being used in the preparation of medicines in a number of countries.

Nutritional Value Of Bottle Gourd

100 grams of raw bottle gourd contain 95.54 g water, 14 kcal (energy) and they also contain

  • 0.62 g protein
  • 0.02 g fat
  • 3.39 g carbohydrate
  • 0.5 g fibre
  • 26 mg calcium
  • 0.20 mg iron
  • 11 mg magnesium
  • 13 mg phosphorus
  • 150 mg potassium
  • 2 mg sodium
  • 0.70 mg zinc
  • 10.1 mg vitamin C
  • 0.029 mg thiamin
  • 0.022 mg riboflavin
  • 0.320 mg niacin
  • 0.040 vitamin B6

Health Benefits Of Bottle Gourd

There are numerous health benefits associated with bottle gourd.

1. Keeps blood pressure under control

Bottle gourd is rich in flavonoids [3] . Studies have revealed that regular consumption of flavonoids is linked to a reduced risk for neurodegenerative disorders, cardiovascular disease as well as cancer [4] .

2. Has antiageing properties

Terpenoids found in bottle gourd are plant antioxidants [5] that are responsible for promoting overall health.

3. Promotes weight loss

Saponins in Legenaria siceraria also help to keep your body weight under control, by suppressing your appetite [5] as well as by inhibiting the formation of fatty tissue.

4. Relieves constipation

A decoction of the seeds of bottle gourd can provide quick and effective relief from constipation [6] .

5. Treats jaundice

Jaundice [7] can be effectively treated with the help of a decoction [8] of the leaves of bottle gourd.

6. Prevents liver damage

Bottle gourd is hepatoprotective [9] , meaning it has the ability to prevent liver damage. A decoction of the skin of young fruits of bottle gourd is seen to help in controlling uraemia [9] or elevated levels of blood urea in the body.

7. Improves respiratory health

The pulp of the fruit is known to promote respiratory health and is considered to be effective against asthma, cough, and other bronchial disorders [9] .

8. Aids in digestion

Bottle gourd is known to aid in digestion by the help of its emetic or vomiting-inducing as well as purgative or laxative properties [9] .

9. Helps in treating UTI

Fresh bottle gourd juice has been known to treat urinary tract infections. However, the juice of bitter-tasting bottle gourd should never be consumed as it has been known to even prove fatal in extreme cases [10] .

10. Cures depression

For many years, the practitioners of alternate medicine, especially Ayurveda, have been recommending drinking fresh bottle gourd juice first thing in the morning on an empty stomach as a remedy for combating depression [11] .

11. Cures skin diseases

In many countries, local people make use of bottle gourd as an important part of their folk medicine. Various skin diseases, [12] as well as ulcers, have been seen to respond well to a treatment with bottle gourd.

12. Boosts immunity

Saponins in bottle gourd help in boosting immunity as well.

13. Reduces kidney stones

Studies have revealed that Lagenaria siceraria fruit powder has been seen to bring about a reduction in sodium oxalate [13] deposits in the kidneys of mice.

14. Controls blood sugar levels

Bottle gourd is antihyperglycemic [14] or reduces elevated blood sugar levels, thereby controlling diabetes mellitus [15] . A decoction of the peels of bottle gourd, to be consumed a cup a day for three days, is known to help in controlling diabetes [16] .

In addition to the main benefits mentioned above, lauki also has numerous other benefits as well which include controlling the lipids in the body, reducing blood cholesterol levels [17] , treating hypertension, [18] and treating insomnia [19] .

Bottle gourd is a naturally occurring analgesic [20] or painkiller antibacterial [20] , antihelmintic [20] or possessing the ability to destroy parasitic worms, antitumour [20] , antiviral [20] , anti-HIV [20] , as well as antiproliferative [20] or having the ability to stop or control the rapid growth of malignant cells.

With so many health benefits, it is indeed very beneficial to include bottle gourd in your diet.

How To Consume Bottle Gourd

Usually, juice of bottle gourd is consumed for maximum benefits and is generally considered a health tonic.

Traditionally, the different parts of bottle gourd - leaves, fruits, seeds, oil [21] etc., have been used to treat a number of disorders. An effective vermifuge, the seeds of bottle gourd are a proven remedy for destroying as well as eliminating parasitic worms from the human body. While the juice of the leaves is used for curing baldness, plant extracts have revealed antibiotic activity.

Similarly, while the flowers of bottle gourd are used as an antidote to poison, the bark of the stem as well as the fruit rind are known to have diuretic properties, helping in the passing of urine.

Drinking fresh bottle gourd juice in the morning on an empty stomach is generally recommended by practitioners of Ayurveda and other alternate medicines. While there is a rapid sharing of information on the subject, usually through a digital platform, the standardization procedures are often not followed. Hence, sometimes, especially when the bottle gourd juice is bitter to taste, it does more harm than good [22] .

Side Effects Of Eating Too Many Bottle Gourds

1. Too much dietary fibre is bad for stomach

Presence of dietary fibres in bottle gourd helps in aiding digestion. The dietary fibres act as a laxative and too much of it can do more harm than good. Increased consumption of dietary fibre can lead to problems such as malabsorption, intestinal gas, intestinal blockage, abdominal pain, etc.

2. May increase the risk of hypoglycemia

Eating too many bottle gourds may lower the blood sugar to an abnormally low level causing hypoglycemia. So, people with diabetes should ensure that they consume bottle gourd in moderation.

3. Too many antioxidants can cause health issues

Bottle gourd is rich in antioxidants. Although, antioxidants provide ample health benefits, very high levels of antioxidants can be harmful. A study found that when in excess quantity, antioxidants not only target the cancer cells but also targets the healthy cells around them.

4. May develop allergic reactions in some individuals

Studies have found that bottle gourd can cause allergic reactions in some individuals. So, if you feel that consumption of bottle gourd has caused allergic reactions then exclude it completely from your diet.

5. May cause hypotension

Bottle gourd is considered beneficial for high blood pressure patients due to the presence of potassium in it. However, extremely high levels of potassium can lower the blood pressure to an abnormally low level giving rise to hypotension.

6. Bottle gourd toxicity causing indigestion

Due to the presence of toxic tetracyclic triterpenoid compound, cucurbitacin [23] , in bottle gourd, consuming too much of it can cause indigestion. Consumption of juice that is made from bitter bottle gourd has been seen to lead to severe vomiting [24] accompanied by upper gastrointestinal bleeding.

View Article References
  1. [1] Prajapati, R. P., Kalariya, M., Parmar, S. K., & Sheth, N. R. (2010). Phytochemical and pharmacological review of Lagenaria sicereria. Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine, 1(4), 266–272.
  2. [2] Prajapati, R. P., Kalariya, M., Parmar, S. K., & Sheth, N. R. (2010). Phytochemical and pharmacological review of Lagenaria sicereria. Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine, 1(4), 266–272.
  3. [3] Ramalingum, N., & Mahomoodally, M. F. (2014). The therapeutic potential of medicinal foods. Advances in pharmacological sciences, 2014, 354264.
  4. [4] Kozlowska, A., & Szostak-Wegierek, D. (2014). Flavonoids-food sources and health benefits. Roczniki Państwowego Zakładu Higieny, 65(2).
  5. [5] Grassmann, J. (2005). Terpenoids as plant antioxidants. Vitamins & Hormones, 72, 505-535.
  6. [6] Ramalingum, N., & Mahomoodally, M. F. (2014). The therapeutic potential of medicinal foods. Advances in pharmacological sciences, 2014, 354264.
  7. [7] Prajapati, R. P., Kalariya, M., Parmar, S. K., & Sheth, N. R. (2010). Phytochemical and pharmacological review of Lagenaria sicereria. Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine, 1(4), 266–272.
  8. [8] Ramalingum, N., & Mahomoodally, M. F. (2014). The therapeutic potential of medicinal foods. Advances in pharmacological sciences, 2014, 354264.
  9. [9] Ramalingum, N., & Mahomoodally, M. F. (2014). The therapeutic potential of medicinal foods. Advances in pharmacological sciences, 2014, 354264.
  10. [10] Verma, A., & Jaiswal, S. (2015). Bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) juice poisoning. World journal of emergency medicine, 6(4), 308–309.
  11. [11] Khatib, K. I., & Borawake, K. S. (2014). Bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) toxicity: a "bitter" diagnostic dilemma. Journal of clinical and diagnostic research : JCDR, 8(12), MD05–MD7.
  12. [12] Prajapati, R. P., Kalariya, M., Parmar, S. K., & Sheth, N. R. (2010). Phytochemical and pharmacological review of Lagenaria sicereria. Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine, 1(4), 266–272.
  13. [13] Takawale, R. V., Mali, V. R., Kapase, C. U., & Bodhankar, S. L. (2012). Effect of Lagenaria siceraria fruit powder on sodium oxalate induced urolithiasis in Wistar rats. Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine, 3(2), 75–79.
  14. [14] Katare, C., Saxena, S., Agrawal, S., Joseph, A. Z., Subramani, S. K., Yadav, D., ... & Prasad, G. B. K. S. (2014). Lipid-lowering and antioxidant functions of bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) extract in human dyslipidemia. Journal of evidence-based complementary & alternative medicine, 19(2), 112-118.
  15. [15] Verma, A., & Jaiswal, S. (2015). Bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) juice poisoning. World journal of emergency medicine, 6(4), 308–309.
  16. [16] Ramalingum, N., & Mahomoodally, M. F. (2014). The therapeutic potential of medicinal foods. Advances in pharmacological sciences, 2014, 354264.
  17. [17] Katare, C., Saxena, S., Agrawal, S., Joseph, A. Z., Subramani, S. K., Yadav, D., ... & Prasad, G. B. K. S. (2014). Lipid-lowering and antioxidant functions of bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) extract in human dyslipidemia. Journal of evidence-based complementary & alternative medicine, 19(2), 112-118.
  18. [18] Indian Council of Medical Research Task Force (2012). Assessment of effects on health due to consumption of bitter bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) juice. The Indian journal of medical research, 135(1), 49–55.
  19. [19] Prajapati, R. P., Kalariya, M., Parmar, S. K., & Sheth, N. R. (2010). Phytochemical and pharmacological review of Lagenaria sicereria. Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine, 1(4), 266–272.
  20. [20] Ramalingum, N., & Mahomoodally, M. F. (2014). The therapeutic potential of medicinal foods. Advances in pharmacological sciences, 2014, 354264.
  21. [21] Prajapati, R. P., Kalariya, M., Parmar, S. K., & Sheth, N. R. (2010). Phytochemical and pharmacological review of Lagenaria sicereria. Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine, 1(4), 266–272.
  22. [22] KhatIb, K. I., & Borawake, K. S. (2014). Bottle Gourd (Lagenaria Siceraria) Toxicity: A “Bitter” Diagnostic Dilemma. Journal of clinical and diagnostic research: JCDR, 8(12), MD05.
  23. [23] Khatib, K. I., & Borawake, K. S. (2014). Bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) toxicity: a "bitter" diagnostic dilemma. Journal of clinical and diagnostic research : JCDR, 8(12), MD05–MD7.
  24. [24] Verma, A., & Jaiswal, S. (2015). Bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) juice poisoning. World journal of emergency medicine, 6(4), 308–309.

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