Ash Gourd: The Versatile Vegetable with Amazing Health Benefits and Recipes

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Nutritional Value & Habitat
3. Ayurvedic Properties of Ash Gourd
4. Different types of ash ground
5. Health Benefits of Ash Gourd
6. Uses of Ash Gourd
7. Recipes
8. People Also Ask

1. Introduction

Ash Gourd botanical name is Benincasa Hispida, some other common names are wax gours, kusmanda, brhatphala, petha. It is also known as white gourd or wax gourd; it is an annual herb. It is an ash-colored, large fruit-vegetable like pumpkin and is commonly cultivated for its nutritive and medicinal values. Ash gourd is a plant that grows in warm areas of the world. It has been used by people for many centuries to treat various ailments. The seeds of this plant contain an alkaloid called paeoniflorin which has been found to have potent antioxidant properties.

It is a popular vegetable in many Asian cuisines. It is low in calories and high in fiber, making it an excellent choice for those looking to lose weight. It has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years. Ash gourd contains vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, and folic acid which is essential for good health.

 

ASH GOURD PLANT

2. Nutritional Value & Habitat

Ash gourd is a wholesome and nutritive fruit-vegetable, an analysis shows a substantial amount of moisture and a small amount of protein, fat, fiber, and carbohydrates. Its minerals and vitamin contents are calcium, phosphorus, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin C. Its calorific value is 15. The seeds contain a pale yellow oil. It's rich in carotenoids like beta-carotene which gives it its bright yellow color. Carotenoids help your body absorb certain nutrients such as vitamin A or E; they even give your skin a healthy glow! Eating a gourd is a great way to get some of the vitamins and minerals your body needs, especially if you have an active lifestyle. It is cultivated largely in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Bihar.

ASH GOURD

3. Ayurvedic Properties 

Ash gourd, also known as "Petha" or "Winter Melon," is a popular vegetable in Ayurveda with various medicinal properties.

Ayurvedic properties

1. Rasa (Taste): Ash gourd is believed to have a sweet (Madhura) taste.

2. Virya (Potency): It is cooling in nature (Shita Virya).

3. Vipaka (Post-digestive taste): The post-digestive taste is sweet (Madhura Vipaka).

4. Dosha Effects: Ash gourd is considered balancing for Pitta dosha and Vata dosha due to its cooling and sweet qualities. It can help pacify excess heat in the body.

4. Different types 

There are different cultivars or varieties of ash gourd that may vary slightly in shape, size, color, and texture. Here are a few common cultivars.

Pusa Navin: This is a popular variety of ash gourd known for its large size and elongated shape. It has a pale green to white skin and is commonly used in culinary preparations.

Pusa Hybrid: Another widely cultivated variety, the Pusa Hybrid ash gourd is known for its uniform shape and size. It has smooth, light green skin and is favored for its tender flesh and mild flavor.

Manipur Local: This is a traditional variety of ash gourd cultivated in the Manipur region of India. It typically has a round to oval shape with a slightly ribbed texture on the skin. The flesh is firm and sweet, making it suitable for both culinary and medicinal uses.

Chinese Ash Gourd: This variety is commonly grown in China and Southeast Asia. It tends to have a cylindrical or barrel-like shape with smooth, waxy skin. Chinese ash gourd is often used in Chinese cuisine for soups, stir-fries, and desserts.

Indian Green Ash Gourd: This variety is prevalent in India and is characterized by its deep green skin and oblong shape. It has a crisp texture and mild flavor, making it suitable for various culinary applications.

5. Health Benefits 

Ash gourd is low in calories and particularly useful for diabetic and obese people. It is a cooling and natural laxative; this herb increases the secretion and discharge of urine. It promotes libido and is useful in periodic attacks of hysteria and convulsions. It contains a compound known as lathyrismin, which is believed to have strong anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains a type of fiber called phytosterols (which have been shown to lower blood pressure). Ash gourd has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine for treating infertility, leukoderma (a skin disorder characterized by redness on exposed areas), anemia treatment, and other conditions. It is often recommended as a tonic for stomach ulcers, constipation, and liver problems. Ash gourd fruit is used in some parts of India to cure diabetes and obesity. It contains a compound called saponin, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Ash gourd is rich in iron, which helps in the production of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is an important component of blood that carries oxygen to all your cells and tissues. When you have anemia, your body does not produce enough hemoglobin because it lacks certain nutrients such as iron and protein. As a result, you will feel weak or fatigued due to a lack of energy and endurance.

Here are some health Benefits of Ash Gourd

Bleeding

Ash gourd is a blood coagulant, from ancient times, its fresh juice mixed with a tsp of amla or lime is used as a specific medicine to stop profuse bleeding from the lungs and nose, and also in piles and haematuria characterized by the presence of blood cells in the urine.

Dandruff

The peel and seeds of ash gourd boiled in coconut oil are useful in hair growth and prevent dandruff and dryness of the scalp.

General Debility

A delicious sweet prepared from the fruit's pulp by boiling its pieces in water and adding sugar syrup is used as a medicine to increase weight, treat tuberculosis, weakness of the heart, heat in the body, the thinness of semen, and anemia.

Intestinal Worms

Shelled seeds of ash gourd are anabolic- promote tissue growth – especially when taken with coconut milk. They expel tapeworms and other worms from the intestine.

Peptic Ulcers

Diluted juice of ash gourd is beneficial in treating peptic ulcers, fresh juice of grated ash gourd mixed with an equal quantity of water taken daily on an empty stomach is the recommended remedy. However, no food must be consumed for 2 to 3 hours afterward. This juice also relieves inflammation in the alimentary canal.

Other Uses

Detoxifying Effects: Due to its diuretic action ash gourd increases the output of urine and washes out waste products from the body. The unripe fruit, young leaves, and buds are cooked as vegetables. The ripe fruit is largely used for making sweetmeat.

Weight Loss

Ash Gourd is low in calories and high in fiber, making it an excellent choice for those looking to lose weight. The vegetable fiber can also help keep you feeling full for longer, reducing the chances of overeating.

Digestion

 Ash Gourd contains digestive enzymes that can help to improve digestion and reduce the risk of digestive disorders. It is also rich in water, which can help to prevent constipation and promote regular bowel movements.

Immunity

Ash Gourd is rich in antioxidants, which can help strengthen the immune system and protect against various illnesses and diseases.

Skin Health

The high water content in Ash Gourd can help to keep the skin hydrated and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also contains vitamin C, which can help to boost collagen production and promote healthy skin.

Diabetes

Ash Gourd is low in sugar and has a low glycemic index, making it a great choice for those with diabetes or those looking to regulate their blood sugar levels.

Lower Cholesterol

Ash gourd is a great way to lower your cholesterol. It contains fiber, which helps regulate the body's digestive process and also reduces cholesterol levels.

You can use an ash gourd to treat constipation. You need to eat about 4-5 pieces of it daily with water for about 30 minutes before going to bed so that it works effectively on your colon muscles and makes them softer, thereby lowering the chance of getting constipated again in the future.

The ash gourd is also good for diabetes. It contains low-glycemic sugar, which does not increase blood sugar levels significantly. So people with diabetes can eat it without worrying about any adverse effects.

Constipation

Ash gourd is a good remedy to treat constipation. It helps in relieving the symptoms of constipation and preventing it from occurring. Ash gourd is effective in improving digestion, thus making it an excellent food for people who suffer from digestive disorders such as dyspepsia or colitis.

Ash gourd is a good source of fiber. It contains an insoluble fiber called pectin, which helps to keep bowel movements regular and prevents constipation.

Stomach Ulcers

Ash gourd is a natural remedy for stomach ulcers. It can be used to make an infusion, which helps in curing these ailments. The infusion should be taken orally twice daily.

To prepare the ash gourd infusion:

Cut off the stem of the plant, then peel off its outer skin with a sharp knife or peeler; discard all parts that meet water when preparing it for consumption (like seeds).

Put them in a blender jar along with enough water to cover them completely and blend until smooth, then strain through cheesecloth or wire strainer until all pulp is removed from your mixture. Add the ash gourd juice to a pot and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat, then simmer for about 10 minutes until you get a thick consistency. Let it cool down before drinking; add some honey if desired.

Fight Stress & Depression

Stress is a common problem in today’s world, and it can cause depression. Ash gourd has anti-depressant properties that help to fight stress and depression.

Ash gourd extract has been used for centuries as an anti-depressant. It helps to reduce anxiety and restores mental clarity, making it an excellent addition to your daily routine if you suffer from any form of stress or depression.

Anemia

Ash gourd is rich in iron, which helps in the production of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is an important component of blood that carries oxygen to all your cells and tissues. 

6. Uses of Ash Gourd

Ash gourd is also known as bitter melon, chakalaka, or watermelon gourd. It has been used to treat symptoms such as stomach ulcers and kidney problems because it contains compounds that reduce inflammation in the body and thus help heal wounds or injuries faster than regular medication can do so alone. Ash gourd also helps prevent infections by increasing resistance levels against viruses like influenza A&B.

It has many uses and benefits including.

Cooking – You can use ash gourd in various dishes like stir-fried noodles, soups, curries, etc. You can add it to your food while cooking or just eat it raw directly from the skin of this vegetable!

Juice – The juice extracted from the skin of an ash gourd contains high amounts of vitamin C which helps in re-building collagen tissue in our body cells and improves the immunity system too! This will help you stay healthy throughout your life span.

Spice – If you don't like having spicy dishes then try mixing some chopped-up pieces with onions (green part only), tomatoes/capsicum, etc., salt & pepper powder into a paste consistency before adding it into hot oil heated on medium heat until golden brown color appears on top side only(do not burn). This mixture gives great taste when added to any kind of cuisine like gravies etc...

Chewable – If you have a sore throat or any kind of mouth ulcer then try chewing on the ash gourd's skin as it contains high amounts of vitamin C which help in re-building collagen tissue in our body cells. This will help you stay healthy throughout your life span.

7. Recipes of Ash Gourd

Ash Gourd Soup: This simple yet delicious soup is perfect for a cold winter's day. To make the soup, you will need:

  • 1 pound of Ash Gourd, peeled and cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until the onion is soft. Add the Ash Gourd and vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the Ash Gourd is tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ash Gourd Halwa: This sweet dessert is a favorite in many Indian households. To make the halwa, you will need:

  • 1 pound of Ash Gourd, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 tablespoons of ghee
  • A pinch of cardamom powder

In a pan, heat the ghee and add the grated Ash Gourd. Cook on medium heat until the Ash Gourd is soft and most of the water has evaporated. Add the sugar and milk and continue to cook until the mixture thickens. Add the cardamom powder and cook for a few more minutes. Serve hot.

Ash Gourd Juice: This refreshing drink is perfect for a hot summer's day. To make the juice, you will need:

  • 1 pound of Ash Gourd, peeled and chopped
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • A handful of mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of honey

Blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Strain the juice and serve chilled.

Ash Gourd and Coconut Soup

  • Ingredients: Ash gourd, coconut milk, vegetable broth, onion, garlic, ginger, green chili, curry leaves, mustard seeds, turmeric, salt, pepper.
  • Method: Sauté chopped onion, garlic, ginger, green chili, and curry leaves in oil. Add diced ash gourd, turmeric, salt, and pepper, and cook until tender. Pour in vegetable broth and simmer. Stir in coconut milk and simmer for a few more minutes. Serve hot garnished with fresh cilantro.

Ash Gourd Fritters

  • Ingredients: Ash gourd, chickpea flour, rice flour, turmeric, chili powder, cumin seeds, salt, water, oil for frying.
  • Method: Cut ash gourd into thin slices. In a bowl, mix chickpea flour, rice flour, turmeric, chili powder, cumin seeds, and salt. Gradually add water to make a thick batter. Dip ash gourd slices in the batter and deep fry until golden brown and crispy. Serve hot with chutney or sauce.

Stuffed Ash Gourd Rolls

  • Ingredients: Ash gourd, paneer (Indian cottage cheese), spinach, onion, garlic, ginger, green chili, garam masala, coriander powder, salt, oil.
  • Method: Peel ash gourd and cut into thin slices. Blanch the slices in hot water. Sauté chopped onion, garlic, ginger, and green chili in oil. Add chopped spinach and crumbled paneer. Season with garam masala, coriander powder, and salt. Place a spoonful of the mixture on each ash gourd slice and roll up. Secure with toothpicks and bake or grill until golden.

Ash Gourd and Prawn Curry

  • Ingredients: Ash gourd, prawns, coconut milk, onion, tomato, garlic, ginger, green chili, curry leaves, mustard seeds, turmeric, coriander powder, chili powder, salt, oil.
  • Method: Sauté chopped onion, garlic, ginger, green chili, and curry leaves in oil. Add diced ash gourd, turmeric, coriander powder, chili powder, and salt, and cook until ash gourd is tender. Add chopped tomato and cook until softened. Add prawns and cook until pink. Pour in coconut milk and simmer until flavors meld. Serve hot with rice or bread.

Ash Gourd and Jaggery Pudding

  • Ingredients: Ash gourd, jaggery (or sugar), coconut milk, cardamom powder, ghee, nuts (cashews, almonds), raisins.
  • Method: Grate ash gourd and squeeze out excess moisture. Heat ghee in a pan and sauté the grated ash gourd until it softens. Add jaggery, coconut milk, and cardamom powder, and simmer until thickened. Toast nuts and raisins in ghee and add to the pudding. Serve warm or chilled, garnished with more nuts.

8. People Also Ask

Q - What is ash gourd called in India?

Ash gourd is known by various names in India, depending on the regional language. Some common names for ash gourd include "Petha" in Hindi, "Kumbalanga" in Malayalam, "Boodida Gummidikaya" in Telugu, and "Kohla" in Bengali.

Q - Who should not eat ash gourd?

While ash gourd is generally considered safe and beneficial for most people, there are a few individuals who should exercise caution or avoid consuming it:

  1. Individuals with diabetes: Ash gourd is low in calories and carbohydrates, but it's always advisable for individuals with diabetes to monitor their blood sugar levels when introducing new foods into their diet.

  2. Those with a history of kidney stones: Ash gourd contains a moderate amount of oxalates, which can contribute to the formation of kidney stones. People with a history of kidney stones should limit their intake of oxalate-rich foods, including ash gourd.

  3. People on anticoagulant medications: Ash gourd has mild blood-thinning properties, so individuals taking anticoagulant medications should consult their healthcare provider before consuming it in large quantities.

Q - Can we eat ash gourd daily?

While ash gourd can be consumed regularly, it's always recommended to maintain a balanced diet and include a variety of fruits and vegetables for optimal nutrition. Moderation is key, and individual dietary needs may vary.

Q - Is ash gourd cold or heat?

In terms of its thermal properties, ash gourd is considered a cooling food in Ayurveda. It is believed to have a cooling effect on the body and can help balance excess heat. It is often included in Ayurvedic diets during hot seasons or for individuals with excessive body heat.

Q - Is Ashgourd good for liver?

Ash gourd is often praised for its potential benefits to liver health. It is believed to have hepatoprotective properties and can support liver function.

Q - Which gourd for fatty liver?

When it comes to fatty liver, bitter gourd (also known as bitter melon) is commonly recommended. Bitter gourd is believed to have properties that support liver health and may be beneficial for individuals with fatty liver.

Q - Is ash gourd good for kidney?

Ash gourd is generally considered safe for kidney health when consumed in moderation.

Q - Does ash gourd juice reduce body heat?

Ash gourd juice is often considered cooling in nature and is believed to help reduce body heat. It is a popular remedy in traditional medicine systems for managing conditions related to excess heat, such as heat stroke or inflammation.

 


Older Post Newer Post


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published