Sponge gourd facts

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Sponge-gourd-factsSponge gourd which is also known as dishcloth gourds or vegetable sponge, loofah is cultivated for its fibrous tissue skeleton. It is an annual climbing vine. The mature plant is used as a kitchen sponge or organic bath.

Name Sponge gourd
Scientific Name Luffa aegyptiaca
Native Tropical Africa and Asia but now grown throughout Asia and the United States for food and scrubbers.
Common/English Name Common Luffa, Bath Sponge, Dish Cloth Gourd, Sponge Gourd, Dish-Cloth Gourd, Towel Gourd, Dishrag Gourd, Vegetable Sponge, Rag Gourd, Wash-Rag Sponge, Smooth Luffa, Scrubber Gourd, Wild Vegetable Sponge
Name in Other Languages Arabic: Luff, Lûf;
Bangladesh: Dhundol;
Bolivia: Estropajo;
Brazil: Bucha, Gonçalinho;
Chinese: Si Gua, Shui Gua;
Chuukese: Mororof;
Columbia: Estropajo;
Cook Islands (Maori): Pō‘Ue, Puru;
Czech: Tivuk Egyptský, Lufa Válcovitá;
Danish: Egyptisk Luffa, Vegetabilsk Svamp;
Dutch: Loofah, Sponskomkommer;
French: Courge Cylindrique De Chine, Eponge Végétale;
German: Luffa, Netzgurke;
Guatemala: Estropajo;
Honduras: Estropajo;
Hungarian: Halostök, Szivacstök;
Assamese: Bhatkakrel, Bhol,
Bengali: Dhundul, Hastighasha,
Hindu: Dhodka, Ghia-Torai,
Kannada: Araheere, Tuppahire,
Malayalam: Cattu-Picinna, Puttilpiram,
Manipuri: Shebot,
Marathi: Ghadaghosali, Paroshi,
Sanskrit: Dhamargava, Sapitaka,
Tamil: Mulukkupperakkai, Vatukikam,
Telugu: Netibirakaya, Neti Beera;
Javanese: Blestru, Blustru,
Madurese: Bludru, Ghludhru,
Malay: Blustru,
Sundanese: Bulustu, Emes,
Sumatran: Ketola, Hurunh Jawa;
Italian: Luffa, Zucca Da Spunge;
Japanese: Hechima, Naga Ito-Uri;
Khmer: Ronôông Muul;
Korean: Su Sa Mi Oe;
Laotian: Mak Bouap, Bwàp Khôm;
Malaysia: Ketola Manis, Petola Buntal;
French: Courge Torchon, Pétole;
Mexico: Estropajo
Nepal: Palo, Ghiu Toriya;
Nicaragua: Estropajo;
Pakistan: Ghia Tori;
Panama: Estropajo
Peru: Estropajo;
Persian: Khujar;
Philippines :-
Bisaya: Tabobog, Patola,
Bikol: Patola,
Bontok: Kabatiti,
Iloko: Tabau-Tabau, Kabatiti-Aso,
Spanish: Pepinillo De San Gregorio,
Sulu: Patula-Amu,
Tagalog: Patola, Tabobog;
Polish: Trukwa Egipska;
Portuguese: Lufa, Fruta Dos Paulistas;
Samoan: Meleni Vao;
Russian: Ljufa;
Spanish: Esponja, Paste;
Sri Lanka (Sinhala) : Vatakolu;
Swedish: Luffa;
Tahitian: Aroro, Huerhaho;
Thai: Buap-Rom, Buap- Klom;
Tibetan: Ra Dza Ko Sa Ta Ki;
Tongan: Fangu ‘A Kuma, Mafa‘I;
Turkish: Luf;
Uganda (Luganda): Kyangwe,
Runyoro, Rutooro: Ekyangwe;
Venezuela: Estropajo;
Vietnam: Mướp Hương;
Wallisian: Mafa‘I
Plant Growth Habit Annual vine, coarse, vigorous, monoecious
Growing Climate Tropical and subtropical
Soil Well-drained
Plant Size 30 ft. (9 m) long
Stem Five angled stems
Leaf Ovate-reniform, dark green with silvery patches topside
Edible parts of the plants Fruit, flowers and leaves: It is used as a vegetable which is prepared like squash or consumed raw as cucumbers.
Flowers buds: It is used as vegetables.
Young fruit: It is boiled with coconut milk by slicing for sambal or sayur.
Seeds: It is prepared with salt and consumed by roasting as a delicacy.
Flowering Season Summer
Flower Yellow, monoecious, diameter: 5-7.5 cm
Fruit shape & size Cylindrical, smooth, fusiform, length: 24 in (61 cm) and diameter: 3 in (7.6 cm);
Fruit color Green
Flesh color White
Fruit peel Thin and smooth
Fruit Taste Resemble zucchinis
Seed Flat ovate, smooth, black, 1–12 cm long
Varieties/Types Angled luffa, Smooth luffa, Taiwan luffa
Fruit Season Long season
Major Nutritions Vitamin A 463 µg (66.14%)
Carbohydrate 25.53 g (19.64%)
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) 0.892 mg (17.84%)
Manganese, Mn 0.397 mg (17.26%)
Potassium, K 806 mg (17.15%)
Copper, Cu 0.151 mg (16.78%)
Total dietary Fiber 5.2 g (13.68%)
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.176 mg (13.54%)
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) 10.1 mg (11.22%)
Magnesium, Mg 36 mg (8.57%)
Iron, Fe 0.64 mg (8.00%)
Phosphorus, P 55 mg (7.86%)
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.082 mg (6.83%)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.075 mg (5.77%)
Vitamin B9 (Folate, Folic acid) 21 µg (5.25%)
Health Benefits
  • Prevents eye ailments
  • Cardiovascular benefits
  • Prevent diabetes
  • Prevents muscle pain
  • Reduce arthritis
  • Treat Anemia
  • Skin health
  • Migraine headaches
  • Brain function
  • Type 2 diabetes
Calories in 1cup (178 gm) 100 Kcal.
Traditional uses
  • In folkloric ethnomedicine, various parts of the plant are used.
  • It is supposed to be pectoral, carminative, cooling to the blood, anthelmintic, antiseptic, facilitate circulation, emmenagogue and galactagogue.
  • It is used to treat haemorrhage from bladder or bowels, hemorrhoids, smallpox, toothache, and scarlet fever.
  • The fruit is believed to be demulcent, cooling and warming to the stomach, tonic to the genital organs and beneficial to the intestines.
  • After steeping the dried fruit, it used as an emetic.
  • The juice of leaf is used in Java to treat amenorrhea and in India to treat snake bites and dysentery.
  • The leaves are used to treat skin diseases and orchitis in the Philippines.
  • The seeds are noted as cathartic and emetic.
  • The infusion of seeds is used as an anthelmintic drastic and purgative.
  • The root is reported as cathartic and hydragogue.
  • The root and vine extracts is used for ozoena, tooth decay, and parasitic affections.
  • The leaf extract is used in Western Uganda to induce labour during childbirths.
Precautions     Luffa is safe in food amounts for pregnant and breast-feeding women whereas the intake in huge amounts should be avoided.
How to Eat
  • The flowers, buds, and soft young fruits are cooked and consumed like okra or squash.
  • It could be sauteed in a little olive oil or sliced in a stir-fry.
  • The flowers are added to the salad.
  • It is used as an ingredient in stir-fried dishes and soups.
  • Chutney could be made from the skin.
  • It is added as a vegetable in chutney, curry and stir fry.
Other Facts
  • The juice is used to cure jaundice.
  • It is used as bath sponges.





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