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कुष्माण्डं बृहणं वृष्यं गुरु पित्तास्त्रवात्नुत् | बालं पित्तापाहं शीतं मध्यमं कफ़कारकम् ||
वृद्धंनातिहितं स्वादु सक्षारं दीपनं लघु | बस्तिशुद्धिकरं चेतोरोगहृत्सर्वदोषजित || Ref. भा.प्र.
The Ash Gourd belongs to the family of Cucurbitaceae and Benincasa hispida is its binomial name. In Ayurveda it is also known as कुष्माण्ड. It is recognized for its medicinal properies in Ayurveda System of Medicine. It is also commonly known as Wax Gourd, Winter Melon, Green Pumpkin or पेठा. It is not just the fruit, which is useful, but its seeds and seed oilis equally useful. Ash gourd is easily available throughout India.
Understanding the Key benefits of Ash Gourd
It helps in treating Acid reflux syndrome (अम्लपित्त) with the help from its active principles such as Terpenes, Flavanoid C, glycosides and sterols, sincethey have antioxidant effects which help in inhibiting gastric mucosal damage.
It helps in treating Purpura (रक्तपित्त)
Due to its alkaline property it is used as diuretic or bladder purifier (बस्तिसुद्धिकर)
It also acts as an Aphrodisiac i.e. a substance, which increases sexual potency (वृष्य) and as an Appetizer (दीपन)
It is an important ingredient in various Ayurvedic medicines for treating bleeding disorders and helps in improving body weight and is ideal for diabetic patients
It helps in combating general debility and treats mental disorders (चेतोविकार) by stabilizing nerve cells.
It often has bronchodilator effect on patients, through an antihistamine activity (H1 receptor-antagonism)
It also acts as an Antidiarrheal agent and provides relief from constipation
The pulp of Ash Gourd is a rich source of vitamin B and C and is also an excellent remedy for tapeworms.
With the help of Ash Gourd one can also get relief from symptoms of morphine withdrawal
In case of a burn, topical application of Ash Gourd pulp is also highly beneficial.
Classic Ayurvedic medicines which are prepared with Ash Gourd
- Kushmand Avleha
- Kushmand Khanda
- Kushmand Rasayan
How it is used, across India?
- In Northern India it is used to prepare a candy called “Petha”
- In South Indian cuisines, it is traditionally used to make a variety of curries.
- Soup or vegetable dish also can be possible
- In Southeast Asia winter melon tea or Winter melon punch is famous