Benefits of Ash gourd

Ash gourd is also known as winter melon, white gourd, fuzzy melon or white pumpkin. It is easily available in market and many people avoid it because it is big and not so yummy looking vegetable. But after you read this article, you are going to include it in your diet very frequently.

What makes me say that? Here are some important qualities of the vegetable.

Benefits of Ash gourd

In Ayurveda, It is utilized to deal with epilepsy, lung diseases, asthma coughs, urine retention and internal hemorrhage. The rind is utilized to deal with diabetes and also the seeds to discharge tapeworms. The juice of the gourd is beneficial in cases of mercury poisoning and snakebites. Being extremely low in calories, the ash gourd is used to treat obesity.

For weight gain

If you want to increase your body weight in a healthy way, you can boil the pulp of the gourd and add sugar syrup along with it and consume. It will help you gain weight, reduce tuberculosis and anemia.

Light food for diabetic patients

Since it had very less calories or fat in it, it is an easy food to digest and keep your body weight under control. The vegetable contains 96% of water, helps in digestion too.

Promotes hair growth

The seed and skin/peel of ash gourd helps you get rid of dandruff in a single use.

How to use for hair growth:

  1. Peel the skin off the gourd and take a cup of the peel.
  2. Heat the peal along with coconut oil in a pan.
  3. Strain the oil well and allow it to cool.
  4. You can apply this oil on the scalp before hair wash.

It promotes hair growth and retains your scalp moisture.

Ash gourd

Peptic ulcer

Ash gourd helps in curing peptic ulcer. You can consume the extract derived from shredded ash gourd, combined with equal quantity of water each morning on an empty stomach (do not eat food for three hours after consuming this juice) to keep peptic ulcer at bay.

Thyroid disorder

Continuous consumption of ash gourd in the form of a juice or salad can also reduce the symptoms of thyroid ailments. Continuous here means, thrice a week or so.

Builds immunity

Consumption of ash gourd juice and pulp regularly will help you build immunity to common cold, cough, bronchitis, sinusitis and influenza. It also helps people who suffer from chronic asthma.

Kills worms

The seeds of ash gourd are anabolic. It also promotes tissue growth in children.

How to consume:

  1. Grate a coconut and squeeze some milk from it.
  2. Grind the seeds of Ash gourd along with coconut milk.
  3. Add a pinch of ginger powder and blend.
  4. Consume 150 -200 ml of this smoothie.

It will help in ejecting tapeworm along with other intestinal worms. This mixture can be given to kids once in 6 months (deworming).

Stops excess bleeding

When there is blood in urine, stools or lungs, the juice of ash gourd is used in Ayurveda to cure bleeding.

How to consume:

  1. Cut ash gourd into small cubes.
  2. Take one cup of ash gourd cubes and grind it.
  3. Strain well to get the extract.
  4. The extract of ash gourd can be consumed along with lime juice and a few drops of honey.

Ash gourd can be included in your diet in the form of these mouthwatering recipes too.

Ash gourd recipes

Ash gourd Raita

Ash gourd raita
Image source : https://www.flickr.com/photos/spersper/8569133290/

Ash gourd raita is a simple dish and can be served as a accompaniment with rice or bread. This can also be eaten separately like a salad. The curd in the raita and the ash gourd is great to cool the body and is also good for weight loss.

Steps:

  1. Cut ash gourd into small cubes (you can alternatively grate it).
  2. Grate some coconut and keep aside.
  3. Beat yoghurt or curd and add to the ash gourd cubes, add the coconut, sprinkle some salt and pepper powder and mix well.
  4. Garnish with cumin seeds powder (Jeera powder).
  5. Ash gourd raita is good to be eaten.

Petha (sweet)

Cut the Ash gourd in big square pieces, after peeling the skin and removing the seeds. Soak the cut pieces in lime water for 3-4 hours. Later, drain excess water and rinse it with tap water. Keep soaked pieces aside. Boil sugar and water in a pan for 10 mins. Then add the pieces in the syrup and let it boil in the syrup until the liquid becomes thick. Drain the cubes and let it dry for some time. You can have it immediately or store it in an airtight box for later use.

Ash gourd Halwa (Kashi Halwa)

I am personally a fan of salads and soups, but an occasional sweet dish couldn’t hurt!

Steps:

  1. Peel the skin and remove the seeds from the ash gourd. Pressure cook it for 3 or 4 whistles. You need not add excess amount of water in the cooker, because the melon itself contains water in it.
  2. Remove the cooked ash gourd from cooker and drain extra water.
  3. Mash it or grate it nicely, and keep it aside. Heat ghee in a pan and add the grated/mashed ash gourd in it.
  4. Cook it until the water evaporates.
  5. Then add sugar, cardamom and ghee, and fry until it becomes like a ball (ghee will slowly start getting separated).
  6. Remove the content and add ghee fried raisin, cashew and almonds on it. Serve hot!!

Live healthy!

Ramya Srinivasan, PDGBA, earned her Master’s degree in Business. As a result of her passion in native medicine, she got her Diploma in Traditional Siddha Medicine from Bharat Sevak Samaj registered under the Indian Planning Commission. She is certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.