Health Benefits of Ridge Gourd - Luffa
What is Ridge Gourd
Ridge Gourd is an annual perennial plant. The scientific name of this plant is L. aegyptiaca. It grows as a vigorous vine. The flowers of ridge gourd plant are yellow in colour, pulp is white in colour, and the colour of fruit is dark green.
Other Names of Ridge Gourd
Ridge gourd is known in different names in different places.
Peerkangai in Tamil,Turai in Hindi and Beerakai in Telugu and peechinga in Malayalam, Heeraikai in Kannada, Luffa, Turiya, Turai, Tori, and Sponge gourd
Nutritional Information of Ridge Gourd (Luffa)
100 gms. of ridge gourd contains
Calories - 17
Moisture -95 gms
Carbohydrates - 3 gms
Phosphorus - 26 mg
Small quantities of iron, calcium, proteins and minerals.
Importance of Ridge Gourd (Luffa)
Ridge Gourd (Luffa) belongs to the family of cucurbitaceae, is a popular vegetable in Asia, especially in India. Because of its various health benefits, it is commonly used in Indian cuisine. It is a healthy diet and contains a good amount of vitamins, minerals, fibers, calcium, phosphorus, and iron.
10 Health Benefits of Ridge Gourds
1. Ridge gourds are high in carotene and hence good for eyes.
2. Consuming ridge gourds regularly is very good for patients suffering from kidney diseases because they contain nutrients like vitamin C, riboflavin, zinc, thiamin, iron, and magnesium which are necessary for their health.
3. For diabetic patients, the insulin-like peptides, alkaloids and charantin in ridge gourds lower blood sugar levels in blood and urine.
4. The fibre content in ridge gourds helps in relieving constipation problem and treating piles.
5. Ridge gourd is also good for weight loss because of its low content in cholesterol and fat, and high in water content which makes it a suitable food without much calories.
6. The blood purifying property of ridge gourd helps in the purification, restoration, and nourishment of the liver. Hence it is helpful in the liver detoxification resulting from alcohol intoxication.
7. Even for asthma, ridge gourd juice mixed with sugar, taken twice a day, is helpful.
8. Luffa is a good anti-inflammatory agent which is helpful preventing cardiovascular disease, stroke and cancer.
9. For urinary bladder inflammation and urethritis, ridge gourd is helpful. They are cut into small pieces and smeared with lime juice and eaten.
10. For diarrhoea, tea made with ridge gourd leaves is consumed.
Other Benefits of Luffa (Ridge gourd)
- The ripe fruit is dried and after removing its skin, it is used as a sponge and is rubbed against the skin to remove dead skin and stimulate blood circulation, while bathing. Luffa charcoal, which is prepared by heating luffa fibres, is applied directly to the skin for shingles in the face and eye region.
- The charcoal prepared with Luffa is applied directly to the skin for shingles in the face.
- This humble vegetable works against worms in the stomach. The boiled water of ridge gourd with a bit of salt is taken twice a day is helpful in killing the worms.
- The juice made from the leaves of ridge gourd is applied onto the skin as an ointment for treating all types of skin diseases.
- The leaves of Ridge gourd are used for curing diabetes and conjunctivitis.
- In the treatment of jaundice, ridge gourd is used as a natural medicine.
- Ridge gourd also helps in strengthening of the immune system and fighting against diseases.
- The pulp of ridge gourd is also useful. For stopping the bleeding on the wound, the pulp of the ridge gourd is ground and applied on the affected part.
What type of Ridge Gourds to be Used
Colour - It is very important to choose the right type of Ridge Gourd to get the maximum benefits. The ridge gourds with deep green in colour are good for use.
Young - Also, they should be tender to use for cooking and taking out the juice.
Dried - Fully matured and dried out ones are good for the use of a sponge.
Growing Ridge Gourds at Home
Ridge Gourds can be easily cultivated in our kitchen garden. Good seeds to be bought from the market or from the friends who had the experience of cultivating this humble plant. Adequate care to be taken while buying the good variety of seeds, and should be watered until the plant is ready to yield. I have grown it in my own garden with the seeds bought from online stores like amazon, and it gave us abundant yields.
Where to find Ridge gourd Seeds Online
Ridge Gourd Recipes
There are several types of tasty and delicious recipes using Ridge Gourd in Indian style. Some of the popular recipes are made with dal, with other vegetables, dry masala recipe in Telugu style, and ridge gourd cooked in milk. If you do a google search you can find numerous yummy recipes, made in different places, by different ways. In Karnataka, ridge gourd skin is used in preparing chutney, which is very tasty.
Ridge gourd with Masala as a dry Recipe
Ridge Gourd for Cooking as a Vegetable
For Asian cuisine, Ridge Gourd is a regular vegetable, used in several ways. There is an ancient saying - "If the diet is wrong medicine is of no use, and if the diet is correct medicine is of no need."
Ridge Gourd dish cooked in Milk
More by this Author
Thinking of adding flax seed to your diet? Find out about the various health benefits of flax seeds, and information about how to use them.
Learn about this magic herb called kizha nelli (Phyllanthus niruri) and its wonderful uses.
Like any other country, India too has got her own beliefs and superstitions.