Squirting cucumber

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Squirting cucumber Quick Facts
Name: Squirting cucumber
Scientific Name: Ecballium elaterium
Origin Mediterranean region
Colors Bluish green
Shapes 4-5 cm (1.6-2 inches) long, oval capsule
Taste Bitter, somewhat acrid
Squirting cucumber is a perennial plant with a large fleshy root which raises several round and thick stems, branching and trailing. The name “Ecballium elaterium” is derived from the Greek word “ekballein” which means to throw out and the ejection of the seeds from the fruit as it ripens.

It is a fragile vine having small greenish to yellow flowers found in sandy roadsides, marshes and low woods. The stems forms several from same root and cylindrical, without tendrils and prostate. Leaves are alternate, heartshaped. The plant flowers in July. Blooms are symmetrical and bisexual. Male flowers in clusters having bell shaped and yellow green veined corollas. Females are monoecious and solitary followed by a small fruit which is elliptical greenish gourd covered with soft triangular prickles. The seeds are black, reticulated and compressed.

Medicinal Action and Uses

  • It promotes the flow of urine and used to treat dropsy.
  • It eliminates effused fluid.
  • The herb is helpful for lowering the painful sensation in neck of bladder.
  • As a purgative, it causes evacuation of water from bowels.
  • It is used to treat oedema related with kidney ailments, rheumatism, heart problems, shingles and paralysis.
  • Use it externally for painful joints and sinusitis.
  • It treats liver cirrhosis, sinusistis, edema, urinary tract infections.

Side effects

  • In minor doses, it may cause the symptoms such as hemorrhages, diarrhea and kidney injuries.
  • When used in excessive amounts, it causes gastro-enteritis and even death.
  • In large doses, it causes vomiting and nausea.
  • Not to be used by pregnant women as it can result in abortion.

References:

https://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/cucus124.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecballium

https://www.britannica.com/plant/squirting-cucumber

https://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/kings/ecballium.html

http://mediplantepirus.med.uoi.gr/pharmacology_en/plant_details.php?id=175

https://www.botanical-online.com/en/medicinal-plants/squirting-cucumber-toxicity

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