What Is Ash Gourd?
Ash gourd (Ganoderma lucidum) is a plant native to India and Nepal. It grows up to 2 feet tall with a thick stem and leaves which are used for food or medicine. Its bark is used as a dye, fuel, fertilizer, and other industrial purposes. It is also known as “the tree of life” because it contains high levels of vitamin C.
The root of ash gourd is used as a laxative and tonic, but its main use is medicinal. Ash gourd has been used for centuries in Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medical system that was developed over 2000 years ago. The word “Ayurveda” means “science of health.” Ayurveda uses herbs to treat diseases and promote wellness through natural remedies.
There are many different types of ash gourds, including those with greenish-yellow flowers and those with red or purple flowers. Some ash gourds have long stems while others grow short. They range from 4 inches to 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide. Most ash gourds have three to five branches.
Each branch has multiple leaves and each leaf is edible when cooked like spinach or eaten raw like kale.
Ash gourd is rich in many nutrients, including vitamin C. It contains high levels of antioxidants and beta-carotene. These help to fight off free radicals that cause diseases like cancer. However, the ash gourd root should not be eaten raw.
It must be boiled or baked for at least 15 minutes before it can be eaten. The ash gourd root looks a bit like a white sweet potato. It has a mild taste and is often eaten as a substitute for potatoes.
The ash gourd has many uses in the home and in industry. Its wood makes great furniture, door frames, and walking sticks. It is also used to make charcoal, which is mixed with ink for drawing pictures or writing. The ash gourd’s flowers make good medicine and are used to treat headaches, colds, coughs, diarrhea lochia, and other minor ailments.
There is much ongoing scientific research into the ash gourd for its possible anti-cancer properties.
Ash gourd Benefits
The ash gourd is very nutritious. It contains high amounts of vital nutrients, vitamins, acid, and minerals that help keep our bodies healthy. The ash gourd has been used to treat several diseases in Ayurvedic medicine. Let’s look at some of the conditions that this amazing plant can help with:
1. Promotes Regularity
The ash gourd is known as a laxative. This means that it helps you to eliminate waste from your body regularly. It does this by increasing the frequency of your bowel movements and ultimately helping you to pass more solid waste. Some people use the ash gourd to treat diarrhea since it has been shown to have this effect.
In order to get the full benefit, make sure to not eat anything for three hours before and after taking the ash gourd.
2. Can Help Improve Type 2 Diabetes
Ash gourd has been shown to lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. This is because it has a low glycemic index and helps your body process sugars more effectively. This makes the ash gourd a great food to eat if you suffer from type 2 diabetes.
3. Lowers Cholesterol
The ash gourd contains compounds that help your liver process fats and cholesterol more effectively.
Sources & references used in this article:
Immediate effect of bitter gourd, ash gourd, knol-khol juices on blood sugar levels of patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus: A pilot study by G Selvakumar, G Shathirapathiy, R Jainraj… – Journal of traditional and …, 2017 – Elsevier
Effect of fruit size on seed quality of ash gourd (Benincasa hispida). by C Mini, PM Joseph, S Rajan – Seed Research, 2000 – cabdirect.org
Effect of different levels of Ash gourd pulp for manufacturing functional Kalakand. by J David – Research Journal of Animal Husbandry and Dairy …, 2013 – cabdirect.org
Seed pelleting and soil types on germination and vigour of seeds in ash gourd and ribbed gourd. by JR Devi, JA Selvaraj – Madras Agricultural Journal, 1995 – cabdirect.org
Floral biology of ash gourd. by MM Rahman, M Ali, MS Hossain… – Bangladesh Journal of …, 2000 – cabdirect.org
Genetic divergence in ashgourd (Benincasa hispida Cogn.). by B Lovely, DSR Devi – Bioved, 2004 – cabdirect.org