Bottle gourd – Lagenaria siceraria

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Bottle gourd Quick Facts
Name: Bottle gourd
Scientific Name: Lagenaria siceraria
Origin Tropical Africa
Colors Light-green
Shapes Oval, pear shaped or elongated; Length: 1 m
Flesh colors White
Taste Nutty
Calories 16 Kcal./cup
Major nutrients Vitamin C (13.00%)
Zinc (7.36%)
Potassium (3.70%)
Vitamin B6 (3.54%)
Vitamin B5 (3.52%)
Health benefits Skin health, Lowers stroke, Treats cancer, Prevents colds and flu, Hormonal balance
Bottle gourd, Lagenaria siceraria, is a genus of tropical and subtropical vines in the Cucurbitaceae family. It is also called Calabash Gourd, Trumpet Gourd and Long Squash. The immature fruit of these species are consumed as vegetables. It is pear shaped with light green coloration. The immature fruit has white spongy flesh. The Bottle gourd may grow as 1 meter in length. Native to Tropical Africa, it is widely grown for the foods. The bottle gourd requires warm climate and well-drained soil to grow. The two varieties of Bottle gourd are: Pusa Summer Prolific Long and Arka Bahar.


Bottle gourds were the plants which were used by humans as long as 8,000 to 10,000 years ago in the form of musical instruments, containers and fishing floats. Firstly, it was cultivated in Africa, then Asia and finally reached to America.


The Bottle gourd plant is an annual, vigorous, monoecious, climbing herb often cultivated in warm climates. It grows as a vine with alternate, broad, deep green leaves that are 400 mm long and 400 mm broad. The stem is often thick, angular, ribbed, brittle and hairy which is about 5 m long. The plant yields flower during summer which is monoecious, white, obovate; 15 cm across and 10–15 mm long. The pear shaped smooth light green fruit has white and spongy flesh. The fruit is 1 meter long. It contains brownish seeds which are oblong, and 2 cm long.

Nutritional Value

The serving size of 116 grams contains 16 calories and provides 13% of Vitamin C and 7.36% of zinc. The same amount of Bottle gourd provides 174 mg of Potassium, 13 mg of Magnesium, 15 mg of Phosphorus and 2 mg of Sodium. Bottle gourd possess various amounts of nutrients, minerals, vitamins, lipids and amino acids.

Health Benefits of Bottle gourd

Bottle gourd possess high amount of fiber which prevents the constipation, piles and flatulence. The cholesterol and fat in Bottle gourd is very low. The richness in Vitamin B and C assists in anti-oxidant properties. It consists of 92% water. The juiced or cooked Bottle gourd possesses anti-bilious and sedative properties.

  1. Skin health

The high intake of Vitamin C reduces the wrinkles and dryness of skin. Vitamin C is an antioxidant which can lower the oxidative damage associated with stress, pollution and poor diet. Free radicals speeds up the process of aging whereas the adequate consumption of Vitamin C slows down the appearance.

  1. Lowers stroke

The study summarizes that the high intake of Vitamin C reduce the chances of stroke by 50%.  The people who consume veggies and fruit have high level of Vitamin C. One should include fruit and veggies to the diet in order to increase the intake of Vitamin C.

  1. Treats cancer

The high intakes of Vitamin C increase the cancer counteract effects of drugs that are used in chemotherapy. Vitamin C targets the cells that need the nutriments whereas the drugs harm the normal cells as well. Researchers view that Vitamin C is an effective cancer treatment for the lung and ovarian cancer.

  1. Prevents colds and flu

Vitamin C enhances the immune system and prevents from viruses and colds. It also lowers the chances of further health ailments such as lung infections and pneumonia. Vitamin C prevents the oxidative damage of white blood cells and maintains its proper function. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant in the body.

  1. Hormonal balance

Zinc plays a vital role in the production of hormones such as increase in testosterone. Zinc affects the female sex hormones and also involves in the creation as well as release of eggs from the ovaries. Zinc is essential for the estrogen and progesterone production in women that assist the reproductive health. The level of estrogen either too high or too low leads to the problems with menstruation, early menopause, mood swings, infertility and increase chances of cancers.

  1. Liver Health

Zinc helps to reduce the infection and damage of liver. It cleans the liver, lower inflammation, assists nutrient absorption, lower damage of free radicals and eliminates the waste from the body. Zinc enhances the liver health as well as assists its functions.

  1. Repair muscles

Zinc is vital for the growth and division of cells. It assists in repairment of muscles and maintains stamina in the skeletal and muscular systems. It also supports in the release of testosterone, hormone and insulin growth which builds healthy metabolism and muscle mass. It increases the testosterone in the body as it promotes the conversion rate of androstenedione to testosterone.

  1. Treats diabetes

Zinc balances the insulin hormone that regulates the blood sugar and cures the diabetes naturally. It benefits the level of blood sugar as it store insulin to the pancreas and release when the glucose is enter to the blood stream. It properly utilizes the digestive enzymes that are essential for the insulin to bind to the cells so that glucose could be used in the body as a fuel.

  1. Absorb nutrients

Zinc is essential for the body to use the amino acids. It is associated in the breakdown of carbohydrates which are the main source of energy in the body. Low level of zinc leads to the low level of energy and leads to the chronic or adrenal fatigue. The adequate amount of zinc promotes the healthy metabolism.

Traditional uses

  • Fruits are used as cardioprotective, general tonic, cardiotonic, aphrodisiac, diuretic, antidote to poisons and stings.
  • The juice of Bottle gourd is used to treat cardiovascular disorder, indigestion, stomach acidity and ulcers.
  • It is used to treat of allergic and inflammatory disorders such as rhinitis, bronchial asthma, bronchitis, rheumatism and diabetes.
  • A decoction of Bottle gourd is used to treat of ascites, anasarca and beriberi.
  • In India, the seeds are taken internally to cure headache.
  • In Indian medicine, leaves are used as a purgative and soup of young shoots is used against constipation.
  • In Benin, decoction of leaves is used for icterus.
  • In India and Nigeria, a decoction made from leaf is used to treat jaundice.
  • In Madagascar, a decoction made from root is used as enema.

Bottle gourd – Lagenaria siceraria Facts

The bottle gourd is a vigorous climbing vine which possesses white flowers that usually open at night. The plant bears hard-skinned fruits which are edible when immature. Due to its bottle like shape, it got its name as bottle gourd. The matured fruits are used as domestic utensils, water jugs and floats for fishing nets.

Name Bottle gourd
Scientific Name Lagenaria siceraria
Native Tropical Africa
Common/English Name Birdhouse Gourd, Calabash Gourd, Bottle Gourd, Dolphin Gourd, Hard-Shelled Gourd, Trumpet Gourd, Long Squash, White-Flowered Gourd
Name in Other Languages Algeria: Dubb’a;
Arabic: Qar’a Duruf
Berber: Laqttine;
Local French: Bouteille;
Angola (Umbundu): Mbinda,
Kimbundu: Dinango;
Arabic: Qar’a;
Adja: Étré,
Berba: Wambika,
Dassa: Igba,
Dendi: Tchiko,
Fon: Ka,
French: Calebassier,
Goun: Oka,
Gourma: Ko-Yégué,
Mina: Étré,
Natimba: Wanni,
Pédah: Ika,
Sahoué: Oka,
Somba: Dioni,
Yom: Djorokoroka,
Yoruba: Igba;
Bolivia: Porongo;
Brazil: Cabaça;
Portuguese: Porongo;
Akwa: Lendouma,
French: Calebasse;
Central African Republic:-
Sango: Kaoya;
Chinese: Hu Lu;
Czech: Kalabasa;
Busa: Kpê-On;
Danish: Flaskegraeskar;
Democratic Republic Of Congo:-
Akwa: Lendouma,
Shi: Murhandagule,
Yanzi: Lufun-La-Mbiin;
Dutch: Flessepompoen;
Eastonian: Harilik Pudelkõrvits;
Egypt: Qar’a Tawil;
Arabic: Qar’a Dubba,
Berber: Ouowi;
Agew-Awi: Qil,
Afaan Oromo: Buke,
Gedeoffa: Kkil;
Fiji: Vago;
Finnish: Pullokurpitsa;
Fruit: Calebasse,
Plant: Calebassier Grimpant,
Ornamental Club Gourd: Courge,
Trumpet Gourd: Gourde Trompette
Traveller’s Gourd: Gourde De Pèlerins;
German: Trompe tenkürbis;
Ghana (Adnagme-Krobo): Kpatu,
Akan-Asante: Adidi-Pakyie,
Dagbani: Tumbe,
Fante (Ga): Apakyi, Apakyiwa,
Gbe-Vhe: Adangagoe,
Grusi: Sunga,
Guang-Gonja: Kàtùrbí,
Moore: Wamde,
Twi: Apakyi;
Guinea (Fula-Pulaar): Horde,
Manding- Maninka: Fé Lemba;
Guinea-Bissau (Balanta): Fôóti,
Bidyogo: Omparsa,
Crioulo: Cabaça,
Fular-Pulaar: Core,
Manding-Mandinka: Mirandjô–Lô,
Mandyak: Pucúo,
Mankanya: Udungue,
Pepel: Ecanda;
Hebrew: Qara;
Hunagrian: Lopotök;
Andra Pradesh, Telangana:  Anapakaya,
Assamese: Lau,
Bengali: Lau,
Gujarati: Dudi,
Hindu: Kaddu,
Kannada: Halugumbala,
Malayalam: Choraikka,
Manipuri: Khongdum,
Marathi: Charanga,
Oriya: Lau,
Punjabi: Dudhi,
Sanskrit: Katukalambuni,
Tamil: Cenkotakakkoti,
Telugu: Anapakaaya,
Urdu: Maghz Kaddu-I-Shirin;
Indonesia (Java): Labu Botol,
Italian: Zucca Da Nuoto;
Japanese: Maru-Yougao;
Khmer: Khlôôk;
Laotian: Mak Nam Tao;
Liberia (Mano): Gah ();
Libya: Dubb’a;
Arabic: Qar’a Duruf,
Berber: Ouowi,
Local French: Bouteille,
Madagascar: Voatavominta;
Malaysia (Besisi): Labu Air Berleher
Sakai: Sinu,
Semang: Tokal,
Pangan: Tukal;
Mali (Dogon): Gabá Íí,
Manding-Bambara: File;
Mexico: Lek;
Morocco: Qar’a Dubba;
Arabic: Qar’a Aslawiya,
Berber: Laqttine,
Rabat Drug Market: Qer’aa,
Local French: Bouteille,
Tatouane Province: Grac Slawiya;
Niger (Songhai): Tàndà Tàndà;
Nigeria (Abu): Òt,
Agwagwune: Urok,
Akpet: Ekori,
Akpet-Ehom: Aboh,
Anaang: Ìkpч`,
Arabic-Shuwa: Gumbul,
Atte: U-Bene,
Ayu: Ice,
Bade-Ngizim: Kurtu,
Ba’ban: Otoh,
Berom: Kácч`oŋ,
Bokyi: Diba,
Bole: Liggide,
Busa: Mkpini,
Chawai: Ajingvwo,
Chawai-Kurama: Ne-Jááró,
Dera: Gwák q ´rák,
Ebira: Mgbana,
Edo: Uko ẹ`kpérẹ,
Efi k: Ekpat,
Engenni: ạ`gbị`nạ`,
Epie: Egbele,
Evant: U-Kwlobu,
Fula-Fulfulde: Dumbaare,
Ga’anda: Kurupta,
Gure_Kahugu: Wara,
Gwanto: Kucha,
Gwari: Esshi,
Huasa: Godo,
Hwana: Ďέŋdà, Kußana,
Hyam: Hep,
Ibie: Ukoko,
Icen: Mwetsa,
Icheve: E-Tse´nde´ge´,
Idoma: S bàtu, Ógò,
Izon: Ùgbégbé,
Janjo: La,
Jara: Gila,
Jukun: Kwi,
Kaje: Kashiom,
Kaka: Ŋgap,
Kanufi –Kaninkhon: Kergba,
Kanuri: Jiwi,
Karekare: Jewi,
Karshi: Igwa,
Katab: Kurum,
Khana: Ékób,
Kpan: U-Kpán,
Longuda: Gwaraki,
Ndora: Tongi
Ngamo:  Gŏbo, Shókó,
Nupe: Evo,
Obolo: Ògbòkót,
Ogori- Magongo: ọbọ-Ukwa,
Okpamheri: Oko,
Okpe: Apele,
Oring: Ù-Gà,
Otank: I-Jendir,
Piti: Ribo,
Shall: Nba,
Shanga: Fiê Fiê Küe,
Tera: Bungda,
Tera-Pidlimndi: Bungdi, Dı`°Rbí,
Tiv: Ikpokpo,
Ubaghara: Ikim,
Uhami-Iyayu: Ugban,
Ukpe: Eki,
Urhobo:  Okpan,
Uzekwe: Lì-Ggó,
Yedina: Hebi, Maruadde,
Yoruba: Aha,
Yungur: Dagumra;
Nepalese: Laukaa;
Pakistan (Urdu): Lauki;
Papiamento: Kalabas Di Kore Abou;
Paraguay: Duchubire;
Peru: Chucña;
Philippines (Bisaya): Kalubai,
Bontok: Tabungau,
Illoko: Tabungau,
Subanum: Buliangin,
Sulu: Labu,
Tagalog: Upo;
Polish: Tykwa Pospolita;
Portuguese: Cajombre;
Russian: Kalebasa;
Rwanda: Inzuzi Z’ibamba;
Diola: Ka Tuk,
Manding- Bambara: File,
Mandinka: Kalamaa,
Serer: Limb,
Wolof: Mbag;
Sierra Leone:-
Bulom: Taga,
Gola: K-Pali,
Kissi: Hemdo,
Kono: Ta,
Krio: Kalbas,
Limba: Kale˚mã;
Loko: Kua,
Mende: Tawa,
Vai: Koŋgoe;
Singapore (Hokkien): Peh Poh;
South Africa:-
Afrikaans: Kalbas,
North Sotho: Moraka;
Tswana: Segwana,
Xhosa, Zulu: Iselwa;
Spanish: Calabaza;
Sri Lanka (Sinhala): Diya Labu;
Sawhili: Mmumunye;
Swedish: Kalebass;
Thai: Manamtao;
Tibetan: Ku Ba;
The Gambia (Diola): Ka Tuk,
Manding- Mandinka: Miran;
Togo (Adélé): Difrimi,
Ewé: Tréka,
French: Calebasse,
Gurmantché: Kingkitom,
Moore-Nawdam: Filinga,
Tem: Dschola;
Tunisia: Dubb’a;
Arabic: Qar’a Duruf;
Berber: Ouowi,
Local French: Bouteille,
West Cameroons (Bafok): Eyengo,
Duala: Èkáŋgà, Mbàmbe,
Kundu: Ekondokia,
Long: Eyengo,
Lundu: Ekodokon,
Mbonge: Efi mbiriki,
Tanga: Ekodokori
Plant Growth Habit Annual, vigorous, monoecious, climbing herb
Growing Climate Warm climate
Soil Well-drained soil
Stem Angular, ribbed, thick, brittle, hairy; Length: 5 m
Leaf Alternate, broad, deep green, Length: 400 mm, Breadth: 400 mm
Edible parts of the plants oung shoots, flower buds and leaves: It is eaten as vegetables.
Fruit: The fruit is boiled till soft and consumed as snack or used as pickles. The fruits are added to curries and stew.
Seeds: Less bitter seeds are roasted and eaten as snack. The seeds are cooked and added to soups.
Flowering Season Summer
Flower Monoecious, obovate, white, Across: 15 cm; Length: 10–15 mm
Fruit shape & size Oval, pear shaped or elongated; Length: 1 m
Fruit color Light-green
Flesh color White
Fruit skin Smooth
Fruit Taste Nutty
Seed Brownish, oblong, Length: 2 cm
  • Pusa Summer Prolifi Long
  • Arka Bahar
Major Nutritions Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) 11.7 mg (13.00%)
Zinc, Zn 0.81 mg (7.36%)
Potassium, K 174 mg (3.70%)
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.046 mg (3.54%)
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) 0.176 mg (3.52%)
Manganese, Mn 0.077 mg (3.35%)
Copper, Cu 0.03 mg (3.33%)
Magnesium, Mg 13 mg (3.10%)
Carbohydrate 3.93 g (3.02%)
Calcium, Ca 30 mg (3.00%)
Health Benefits
  • Skin health
  • Lowers stroke
  • Treats cancer
  • Prevents colds and flu
  • Hormonal balance
  • Liver Health
  • Repair muscles
  • Treats diabetes
  • Absorb nutrients
Calories in 1cup (116 gm) 16 Kcal.
  • Taste a small bit of bottle gourd before extracting the juice to ensure that it is not bitter. The bitter should be avoided for consumption because it leads to the health ailments such as diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
  • The bottle gourd juice should not be mixed with other juice.
  • Symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea and stomachache are experienced if poisonous juice is taken which may result to gut bleeding, shock and death.
How to Eat
  • The fresh ones are added to stews and curries.
  • Halwa could be prepared from the Bottle gourd.
  • Bottle gourd is added to stews with poultry, meat and seafood.
  • The juice is extracted from the Bottle gourd.





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