About Jali, Bitter Gourd, Beniecasa Hispida?
The humble Ash gourd also has immense medicinal properties that come in handy in treating various diseases and ailments. Low in calorific value, ash gourd prevents converting sugars into fat and is highly useful for diabetic and obese people.
“Ash Gourd aids in better digestion, improves lung health, increases energy levels, treats ulcers naturally, contains anti-coagulant properties, provides a cooling effect, relaxes the body, regulates excretory system, treats dandruff, contains moisturizing property”-
Did you know Petha, a popular dessert and a speciality of Agra, is a product of ash gourd? Similarly, Sandga, an Indian heritage product, utilises the pulp of ash gourd in combination with various pulses like Bengal gram, green gram, and black gram. It is a highly nutritious food and has a long shelf life. The immense nutritional and medicinal values of ash gourd necessitate its processing into various value-added products.
It is a creeper plant by nature. The plant’s bright yellow flowers morph into ash gourd. Uniquely shaped leaves of this creeper have an average height of 15cm. The young flesh of this melon has an oval shape and a sweet taste. A matured ash gourd can be as wide as 30cm.
The Ayurveda medicinal system believes ash gourds have immense medicinal properties. Many communities use ash gourd as a home remedy for fever, dysentery, and other illnesses. One such example is the Mizo community of North East India. They treat severe dysenteries with ash gourds. Indian spiritual traditions and yoga are also wide users of this vegetable.
Cambodian and Vietnamese cuisines make pork stews with ash gourds. Chinese consume a candied version of this gourd called winter melon candy. Their New Year’s festival is a place to witness these candies. Different states in India use ash gourds in distinct dishes.