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Benincasa hispida

English Name: Gourd
Botanical Name: Benincasa hispida
Nepali Name:     Petha, Kuvindo

Description and Composition
Ash gourd also known as white gourd or wax gourd, is an annual, hairly climbing herb. It is an ash -coloured, large fruit-vegetable like pumpkin. It is commonly cultivated for its nutritive and medicinal values.
 
An analysis of then ash gourd shows substantial amount of moisture and a little amount of protein, eat fiber and carbohydrates. Its minerals and vitamin contents are calcium, phosphorous, iron ,thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin C. Its calorific values is 15. The seeds contain a pale yellow oil.

Therapeutic Uses:

Healing Power and Curative Properties
   Ash gourd is wholesome and nutritive. Being low in calories it is particularly useful for diabetic obese people. It is cooling and laxative. This herb increase the secretion and discharge of urine. It promotes libido and useful in periodic attack of hysteria and convulsion.

Peptic Ulcer
   The dilute juice of ash gourd is beneficial in the treatment of peptic ulcer. The juice, squeezed out of grated ash gourd with an equal amount of water added to it ,should be taken daily in the morning on an empty stomach. No food should be consumed for 2to3 hours afterwards. This also relieves inflammation in the alimentary canal.

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

General Debility
  A delicious sweet prepared from pulp of the fruit by boiling its pieces in water and adding sugar syrup to it used as a medicine to increase weight, in tuberculosis, weakness of the heart, heat in the body, thinness of semen and anaemia.

Intestinal Worms
  Shelled seeds of ash gourd are anabolic - that promote tissue growth-especially when taken with coconut milk. They expel tape worm and other worms from the intestine.

Dandruff

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

Other Uses
Detoxifying Effects: Due to its diuretic action, ash gourd increases the output of urine and washes out waste product from the body.

   The unripe fruit is cooked as a vegetable. The ripe fruit is largely used for making sweetmeat. The young leaves and buds are also cooked. 




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