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Calabash Health Benefits and
Nutrition Facts

A calabash gourd

Calabashes are vegetables grown on a vine, and can vary in size from 15cm to a whopping three feet! The can either be harvested young and immature, with a light green, smooth skin and a white flesh, and used as an ingredient for soup, stir-fries and curries, or they can be harvested mature, dried and used as a bottle, utensil or pipe. The rounder varieties are often called calabash gourds, whereas the longer and slimmer kinds are usually known as bottle gourds. The calabash is the only cultivated crop known to have existed in both the Old and New Worlds in pre-Columbian times, mostly used as a vessel by hunters and gatherers.

The bottle gourd is low in fat (just 0.1 gm in 100 gm edible portion) and calories (15 calories in 100 gm) yet high in dietary fiber. Presence of dietary fiber in bottle gourd in very helpful in reducing constipation and even piles. So consume bottle gourd in any form like cooked vegetable, sweets and juices.

Bottle gourd is comprised of 96% water and provides multiple vitamins (vitamin C and some B vitamins) and minerals (iron, sodium, potassium, and trace elements). If you are on a low calorie diet eating bottle gourd is an excellent addition to your diet.

According to the website Ayurvediccure.com bottle gourd helps in keeping the functions of liver in a balanced state. Whenever the liver is unable to properly assimilate the food, consumption of bottle gourd restores the liver functions well. It prevents excessive loss of sodium, quenches thirst and prevents fatigue.

It is found useful in curing urinary disorders and helps in controlling acidity. It acts as an alkaline mixture and therefore reduces the burning sensation in the passing urine. The juice of bottle gourd is found potentially fit in breaking calculus (stones) in the body.

Bottle gourd that has a bitter taste is particularly good for alleviating bronchitis and asthma. An infusion of seeds cures chills and headaches. Mixture of bottle gourd juice and sesame oil acts as an effective medicine for insomnia. Drinking a glass of bottle gourd juice in the morning daily can be very useful for treating graying hair.

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