The bottle gourd a.k.a (calabash, opo squash) is a vine grown for its fruit. It can either be harvested in the young stage to be used as a vegetable or harvested in the mature stage, dried, and used as a bottle, utensil, or pipe.
The bottle gourd is yellowish-green in colour and usually in the shape of a bottle. The vegetable has a white pulp, with white seeds embedded in the spongy flesh. It is cultivated in the humid weather of Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, China, tropical Africa and South America. It is also locally known in many places as bottle squash, white gourd, trumpet gourd, lauki, doodhi, ghia and calabash gourd.
When lauki is cooked or juiced, it has proven to have sedative and anti-bilious properties. Eating lauki gives a relaxed feeling.
Bottle gourd – Calorie content
- 100 g of bottle gourd contains 15 calories.
- 100 g for edible portion contains 1 g fat. Its water content is 96%.
- It is low in saturated fat, cholesterol, high in dietary fibre, Vitamin C, riboflavin, zinc, thiamine, iron, magnesium and manganese.
Health benefits of including bottle gourd in your diet:
Bottle Gourd has multiple health benefits, few of them are:
- Bottle gourd is rich in dietary fibre, both, soluble and insoluble. Hence, it helps in curing constipation, flatulence and even piles. It is also easy to digest.
- It promotes weight loss. The vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre in lauki keep the body well-nourished and curb unnecessary appetite, especially if you drink its juice in the morning on an empty stomach.
- Its fat and cholesterol content is extremely low.
- It consists of approximately 96% of water and is therefore a great thirst quencher. It also prevents fatigue and keeps the body cool and refreshed during summers.
- Apart from the iron content it is also rich in vitamin B and C, and helps in anti-oxidative actions.
- It also contains sodium, potassium, essential minerals and trace elements, which regulate blood pressure and prevent the risk of heart ailments.
- High in sodium and potassium, bottle gourd is also an excellent vegetable for people with hypertension.
- It is a suitable vegetable for light, low-calorie diets as well as for children, people with digestive problems, diabetics and those recovering from an illness or injury.
- Bottle gourd is recommended by Ayurveda physicians for balancing the liver function, when the liver is inflamed and unable to process food efficiently for nutrition and assimilation.
Benefits of Bottle Gourd Juice:
Bottle Gourd Juice has a lot of health benefits such as:
- Drinking a glass of bottle gourd juice in the morning helps in treating grey hair.
- Mixing the juice with sesame oil provides an effective medicine for insomnia. Massage the scalp with this preparation every night.
- Bottle gourd juice is very helpful in treating insanity, epilepsy, stomach acidity, indigestion, ulcers and other nervous diseases.
- The bitter variety of calabash gourd is considered as a cardiac tonic, an antidote for poisoning and a tonic for alleviating bronchitis, cough, asthma, and biligenic infections.
- A glass of bottle gourd juice, mixed with a little salt, helps in preventing excessive loss of sodium from the body.
- Bottle Gourd Juice acts as an alkaline mixture which relieves burning sensation in the urinary passage.
- The juice extracted from the leaves of bottle gourd is beneficial in jaundice.
How to prepare Lauki Juice:
Following steps will teach you how to prepare Lauki Juice:
- First what you need to do is cut off a piece from the end and taste it. It is better not to use a lauki that tastes bitter.
- Then peel off off the entire skin from the lauki and cut it into pieces. Blend those pieces in a blender.
- Add black pepper and salt according to taste. Adding mint leaves can also enhance the taste.
- You can also add some pieces of lemon to make the lauki juice taste better and rich in antioxidants.
- It is not advisable to mix other vegetables with Lauki juice, as it might have a more negative affect on your health.
Worldwide, more and more people are accepting bottle gourd in their lifestyle after realising its health benefits.
Bitter bottle gourd is particularly good for alleviating bronchitis and asthma. One gets a feeling of relaxation after consuming it because it is light and low in calories. An infusion of seeds cures chills and headaches. However, bottle gourd should not be eaten in a raw state as it may prove harmful for stomach and intestines.
In short, bottle gourd is great for good health body and mind. Adopt it in your lifestyle to feel a world of difference.