|Snake Gourd Quick Facts|
|Scientific Name:||Trichosanthes cucumerina|
|Origin||Native to Tropical south, southeast Asia and islands of Western Pacific.|
|Colors||Greenish to white or green, orange to red|
|Shapes||Soft-skinned, cylindrical long, 30 to 180 cm by 5 to 10 cm|
|Major nutrients||Vitamin B6 (869.23%)
Vitamin B1 (433.33%)
Vitamin B2 (207.69%)
|Health benefits||Lower fever, Diabetic treatment, Prevent heart ailments, Eliminate toxins, Respiratory health|
Snake gourd is loaded with various nutrients which provide numerous health benefits. It possesses meaningful amounts of carbohydrates, protein and soluble fiber. Vitamins such as Vitamin C, Vitamin A, riboflavin, thiamine and niacin are also present in Snake gourd. It contains high content of minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and iodine. The plant has high content of chemical constituents such as carotenoids, flavonoids and phenolic acids. Snake gourd offers fiber that supports digestive health, treats diabetes, detoxifies body and eradicates cholesterol from the body. It is useful to maintain healthy heart and liver. It also counteracts respiratory problems, acidity, cancer and worms. It provides relief from arthritis, promotes hair growth, boost immunity and promotes weight loss.
Snake gourd is monoecious and vigorous climbing annual herb having furrowed, angled green stem with 3 fid branched tendrils. It has whitish and tuberous roots. The plant bears simple, alternate, palmately 5 to 7 lobed leaves measuring 7 to 25 cm by 8 to 20 cm with dentate margins. Flowers usually male occurs on long peduncles in axillary racemes. Flowers have five lobed tubular calyx, five pubescent and white oblong petals and three stamens. Female flowers are solitary, sessile and have three stigmas. Flowers are replaced by soft skinned, slender, cylindrical long measuring 30 to 180 cm by 5 to 10 cm. The skin of the fruit is greenish to white or green when immature and becomes orange to red when ripened. Fruit have 1 to 1.5 mm thick brown and semi-ellipsoid flattened seeds having undulating margin.
Health Benefits of Snake gourd
Snake gourd is also called snake fruit due to its unique shape like eel elongated length between 30 to 180 cm by 5 to 10 cm. Scientifically known as Trichosanthes cucumerina belongs to the family Cucurbitaceae or squash and cucumber family. Snake gourd is a vine which climbs trees and unfurls flowers as well as fruits to hang to the ground. Snake gourd consists of fat, protein, soluble fiber and carbohydrate along with vitamins and minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin and carotene. Snake gourd have great anti-inflammatory properties which could prevent the chances of heart attacks, diabetes, cancer, stroke, sleep disorders, mood disorders, Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis. Snake gourd is widely used in alternative medicine for its curative properties.
- Lower fever
Snake gourd helps to lower fever. Add honey and chiretta to increase the efficacy of Snake gourd and to treat bilious fever. The mixture of Snake gourd and Coriander leaves are used to treat bilious fever effectively. It is also used to promote vomiting. It is also found to be effective for treating malarial fever. The decoction prepared from decoction is useful for treating fever.
- Diabetic treatment
Snake gourd is used to lower diabetes effects. In Chinese therapy, Snake gourd is included regularly to treat diabetes. This vegetable is a low calorie food. It is an ideal food that keeps the weight under control. The nutrition found in Snake gourd is helpful for the people with diabetes Type II. It also lowers the effects of existing condition. Obesity leads to oncoming diabetes. Snake gourd acts as perfect dietary option which makes it satisfied and sated without adding excess calories.
- Prevent heart ailments
The extract of Snake gourd is an aid for arterial disorders such as palpitation, stress and pain on heart. The extract helps to promote circulation and ensures to suffer less from heart problems. For the best results, take two cups of Snake gourd extract regularly. The extract of Snake gourd is helpful for disorders such as stress and palpitation on heart. It assist to improve blood circulation and ensures normal heart functioning. It lowers high blood pressure as it possesses potassium that functions as vasodilator. This helps to lower cholesterol level in the body. It promotes circulation of blood and lowers the chances of arterial disorders.
- Eliminate toxins
The juice extracted from Snake gourd helps to eliminate toxins from the body. It assists digestive process. Leaves act as emetic which eliminates the body from toxins and helps to cleanse bowels. Intake 1 to 2 teaspoons of Snake gourd juice in the morning daily to get whole benefits. The seeds of Snake gourd are used as moistening agent for the treatment of dry constipation. It assists in stimulation of liver and promotes urination and speeds up elimination of toxins from body. It promotes creation of bodily fluids which helps to prevent dehydration and dryness and assist in normal functioning of bladder and kidneys. Juice extracted from leaves provoke vomiting in case of toxicity.
- Respiratory health
Snake gourd acts as an expectorant which helps to loosen phlegm and pus in sinuses and respiratory tracts. It benefits immune health. Toxins and foreign agents if caught in mucus and phlegm causes more serious problems. With its expectorant properties, that helps to loosen mucous and phlegm in respiratory tracts and sinuses. It prevents blockage of respiratory tracts and provides relief from stuffed nose and breathing difficulties.
- Hair health
Alopecia is a scalp problem that causes loss of hair in patches which is an autoimmune disease. It might cause loss of hair in partial or complete in few months. It helps to provide nourishment to follicles and strengthens it. The people with alopecia might find Snake gourd helpful to stimulate growth of new hair and protects weakening of follicles from hair loss. Snake gourd has high content of vitamins and minerals particularly high content of carotenes, which might be helpful for hair and skin health. Snake gourd helps to lower the intensity and frequency of dandruff.
- Prevent liver problems
The studies show that Snake gourd possesses hepato-protective properties and is an aid to treat liver problems such as hepatitis and jaundice. The decoction made from coriander seeds and Snake gourd leaves helps to lower levels of bilirubin in blood if used two times in a day. It is a home remedy for jaundice.
- Lower acidity
Snake gourd lowers production of excess acids and is an aid for conditions such as gastritis, peptic ulcer, duodenal ulcer. It provides relief from symptoms such as acid reflux, heartburn and burning sensation. Snake gourd salad lowers incidence of Gastro esophageal reflex disorder.
- Skin care
Apply the paste prepared from seeds of Snake gourd to treat wounds. It belongs to cucumber family and is a great moisturizer for skin as it provides cooling effect to body and eyes. Like cucumber, the pulp of Snake gourd is used to promote skin complexion. It effectively reduces eye puffiness and reduces swelling around eyes. Place slices of Snake gourd to eliminate dark circles. It helps to remove wrinkles and tightens skin.
- Prevent cancer
Snake gourd has high content of antioxidants that prevents damage caused by free radicals. It bind free radicals and helps to neutralize them. Free radicals are the cause for cancer as it attacks healthy cells of the body. Add Snake gourd to the diet to obtain the health benefits.
History of Snake Gourd
Snake gourd is grown within the Asian countries as well as across Australia and Nigeria. Snake gourd is a well-liked veggie which is acquireable in India, within the southern regions both lengthier as well as smaller sizes can be obtained all year round on the market as well as in the northern regions it’s mostly cultivated in home gardens. Just the smaller sized types of snake gourds are located within the Indian groceries in the west. Its popularity is based on the dish known as aviyal, a vegetarian gravy covered with number of veggies and curd offered within the southern restaurants.
Types of Snake Gourd
Listed below are some popular varieties of Snake gourd with few of its description:
1. Snake Gourd, Long EX
This particular variety creates green skin fruits along with white stripes, 10-20 inches long. Plants develop intensely in warm summer and therefore are very profilic. For short period areas, it is strongly recommended to begin planting/seeding indoors as well as transplant later into open field once the weather permits. Choose young fruits for cooking use.
2. Snake Gourd, Hybrid Snaky
This particular freshly developed hybrid snake gourd has become extremely popular in Asia due to top quality and high producing of fruits. Plants are really energetic as well as work well in comfortable environments and raining period, very productive and resistant against illnesses. Green skin fruits along with lengthy white stripe are about 1.5″ x 18″ in size as well as 100-120 grams in weight. Flesh of young fruit is extremely crunchy and attractive, good for soups and stir fry. Plants are grown just about all year round in subtropical as well as exotic areas in Asia.
3. Snake Gourd, India Short
This particular Snake Gourd variety is indigenous to India. Fruits have got mild greenish white skin along with green stripe shoulder, about 12 inches lengthy and 2.5 inches in diameter. The plant is extremely energetic in warm climates as well as creates plenty of fruits for a long period. Fruits are collected when they’re young and therefore are extremely popular in Indian cooking.
4. Snake Gourd, Hybrid White Glory
This excellent snake gourd is really a new hybrid developed as well as introduced recently by the major seed company in Thailand. White skin fruits are about 38 cm x 3.5 cm in dimensions and 100 grams in weight. Plants grows intensely in hot climates, ideal for subtropical climate with higher rain. This particular vine plant is extremely profilic and also first fruit picks can be acquired 45-50 days after sowing. This particular variety is highly resistant to disease attacks, simple to grow.
5. Snake Gourd, Hybrid Thai Extra Long
This can be a new hybrid variety produced by a leading seed company in Thailand. Additional long fruit can reach 78 cm long with 3.6 cm in diameter, 370 grams in weight. Fruit is skin is light green with white stripes. Plants grow intensely in hot climates and incredibly productive. To get fruit in straight and very long shape, plants are best grown across the high supports. Fruits could be harvested at any stage, from young to full size. Simple to grow.
- In Ayurveda, Snake gourd is used to treat liver disorders.
- In Konkan, the juice of leaf is rubbed over liver for treating liver congestion.
- An infusion of dried capsules and tender shoots is considered to be aperient.
- Roots are used to eliminate intestinal worms.
- In China, roots are used to treat diabetes, skin problems such as furuncles and boils.
- An infusion prepared with coriander seeds and snake gourd leaves are an aid to counteract jaundice by lowering bilirubin levels.
- Apply the sap of Snake gourd externally to treat alopecia and dandruff.
- Make the concoction from honey, Snake gourd leaves and coriander. This helps to lower intestinal and bilious fever.
- Juice extracted from leaves helps to eliminate constipation by cleansing bowels.
- In the cause of poisoning, it is used to promote vomiting to purge one’s stomach.
- For severe cough and cold, the extract of Snake gourd helps to dissolve pus and phlegm in respiratory tract.
- In Ayurveda, the plant is considered to eliminate constipation, vitiated pitta, burning sensation, skin diseases, anorexia, diabetes, constipation, flatulence, fever, worm infestation and general weakness.
- Excessive consumption of Snake gourd causes stomach problems along with other few minor issues.
- Pregnant women should consume it in small quantities otherwise it causes damage to fetus.
- Consult the doctor by the people having health ailments.
- Consume it in moderate amounts.
- People who are allergic to Cucurbitaceae family such as gourds, squashes, citrouilles and gourdes should avoid it.
- Overdose of seeds causes nausea, gastric soreness, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea.
How to Eat
- Young fruit is consumed as vegetable and also added to curries.
- In South and Southeast Asia, Snake gourd is used as an ingredient in cuisines.
- Cook the leafy tendril shoots and leaves as greens.
- In Liberia, Sierra Leone, Benin, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria, pulp of ripe fruits are added to soups, stews and sauces and as a substitute for tomato puree or paste.
- Seeds are used to extract oil and made into flour.
- The pulp is used as a substitute for tomato.
- Snake gourd is used to prepare stew preparations and traditional Indian soups.
- Make a nutritional salad dish by adding chopped Snake gourd with tomato and capsicum.
- It is also used to make pickles.
- Snake gourd poriyal could be prepared by stir-frying snake gourd with black gram lentils, curry leaves and red chillies.
- Saute it into paste with other ingredients such as cumin seeds, sesame and lentils for preparing South Indian dish called thogayal.
- Prepare a snack (fritters) by dipping sliced Snake gourd into a paste of gram four and rice flour.
- The longest Snake gourd which was ever recorded measures 1.88 meters grown by a resident of Oman.
- Snake gourds could grow upto 200 cm long which turns to dark red at maturity.
- It is a member of pumpkin family.
- Snake gourds which are matured fully are so tough that it could be turned into traditional Australian musical instruments.
- The flower opens in the evening or early morning so that the plant could be pollinated by moths.
- An immature fruit provides unpleasant odor and slightly bitter taste.
- The mature fruit becomes too mature for consumption.