Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Bottle Gourd Nutritional Value

The bottle gourd is a vegetable grown as a vine and famous with other names called op squash, long melon. It is also called by scientific name called Lagenaria siceraria or calabash. There are multiple uses of bottle gourd which have wide usage as a vegetable when it harvested young and also used as utensil, pipe and bottle in the Caribbean when it is harvested after it is getting mature, dry. It is a common utensil used in Africa, especially in its South.

Many kinds of recipes are made with the bottle gourds and of course curries as the major recipe. In North India, it is quite famous with the dish called lauki channa. Not only is the flesh, the skin being also used in recipes. This skin is used in preparation of chutneys in Maharashtra in India.

The other non-recipe uses, apart from water storage container, it has been used as a floating object, while learning swimming. For this, completely dried and unpunctured bottle gourds are used. The hard rind of them, have made them to be used in the preparation of musical instruments. For such purposes, special bottle gourds from Madagaskar and Africa are used in the making of rudra veena, sitar and tanpura in India and Kora, XalamIngoni and goje, shegureh in West Africa.

These bottle gourds, though, were originated in Africa and then spread to the continents called Europe, Asia and America, have been cultivated in all these places. The word calabash had been originated from the local name of Spanish calabaza. In Arabic, it is called qar’a yabisa, which also give the meaning of ‘dry gourd’.

In India, it is called by various names local to the various states with lauki, didhi, ghiya, laau, aal, churakka, jatilao, lau, sorakaaya, anapakaya, dudhi=Bhopala, sorekayi, sajmain, suraikkaai.

History of Bottle Gourd

Interesting fact found in its history is that it is the first cultivated plant throughout in the world. Another interesting fact is that it used to be grown nor for the purpose of consuming it in vegetable or any other form, but for using it as a container for water, especially during the long journeys. It had been originated in Africa and the latter had been carried to other continents Asia and Europe. According to archeological evidences, the origin of them is found to be before eight to nine thousand years. The same evidences also say that there are bottle gourds available from Asia, before four thousand years. For thousands of years, it has been domesticated and grown in Asia, Africa, Europe and Americas.

From Africa, it had been travelling to America through the Atlantic Ocean, according to the existing dominating theory, which says that these seeds have been spread across the ocean with no intervention of human beings. However, with the archeological evidence and research done on the morphology of these bottle gourds, the bottle gourds, which species are available in the America are found to be close to the calabash or bottle gourd, which belong to Asian, according to the research done on the basis of morphological considerations and genetic considerations.

Another interesting fact is that they are brought right after the ice age to the new world, and destined to Paleo-Indians. Those were carried through the boats or most probably could be on foot over the land bridge, which is situated in between America and Asia.

It had been specified as one of the important 23 plants when discussed in ideal garden discussed by a poet, Reichenau.

Bottle Gourd Tree

Bottle gourd plants are creeping plants, grown widely both in tropical and subtropical countries.

Bottle Gourd Description

The skin of these bottle gourds is a light pleasant green and the flesh present inside it is in white color. It is looked in various shapes like majorly at the round, bottle shaped, serpentine and slim also. Sometimes they grow taller with even one meter height. Some of these bottle gourds form exactly in the shape of geese. They look dark green on external surfaces, with white horizontal short stripes on it. The rind of the bottle gourds is very thick and acts as a waterproof bowl, it had been used as a water container.

The flesh of these bottle gourds can occasionally contain cytotoxic content in more concentration. Some of them taste bitter, because of the tetracclic, triterpenoid and cucurbitacins. It may not be good for health with these toxicities and so, it should be completely avoided if they taste bitter. This toxicity does happen, only to the improper storage of them. It could be also because of the high swings of the temperature and also because of too much over-ripe. It is necessary to taste the bottle gourd with small piece and then should be consumed only if it is not bitter. Its juice should not be added with the other juices, as it would be difficult to identify its toxicity through its bitter taste.

Varieties of Bottle Gourd Available

The major variable of bottle gourd with round shape is called calabash gourds. Opo, Mao Gua or Hairy Squash are the major kinds of bottle gourds in Chinese.

Nutrients in Bottle Gourd

The bottle gourd is used for its carbohydrates, proteins in it. It contains the vitamin C, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B9 with good contribution of phosphorus, potassium and calcium.

Bottle Gourd Nutritional Value

All values are per 100gms
Water in Bottle Gourd
Protein in Bottle Gourd
Fat in Bottle Gourd
Minerals in Bottle Gourd
Crude Fiber in Bottle Gourd
Carbohydrates in Bottle Gourd
Energy in Bottle Gourd
Calcium in Bottle Gourd
Phosphorous in Bottle Gourd
Iron in Bottle Gourd

Bottle Gourd Health Benefits

Bottle Gourd Fasten digestion

It solves problems related to digestion, like constipation, acidity, piles and flatulence for its soluble and insoluble fiber in it.

Bottle Gourd gives good cooling effect

Its juice is good for summer, as it contains more levels of water.

Bottle Gourd is good for loss of weight

As 96% of its content is water and high fiber in it, it serves good for low calorie diets.

Bottle Gourd cures urinary disorders

When this juice added with a teaspoon lemon juice, this alkaline juice flushes the body with the diluted urine with acidic. It also treats the burning sensation during urination.

Bottle Gourd delays graying hair

Premature gray hair can be treated and natural graying of hair is delayed with this juice taken every morning. 

Bottle Gourd is good for the skin

The moisture is balanced to the skin with oil secretion and internal cleansing.

Bottle Gourd for good health

The juice of bottle gourd is good for health and should be consumed only if it is not bitter. The high amounts of nutrients and fewer fat and calories make it healthier to human.

Bottle Gourd in Indian Languages

Indian Language
Local Name
Bottle Gourd in Bengali
Bottle Gourd in Oriya
Bottle Gourd in Guajarati
Bottle Gourd in Hindi
Bottle Gourd in Kannada
Bottle Gourd in Kashmiri
Bottle Gourd in Malayalam
Bottle Gourd in Marathi
Pandhara bhopla
Bottle Gourd in Punjabi
Bottle Gourd in Tamil
Surai Kai
Bottle Gourd in Telugu
Other names

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