Ribbed Gourd – Properties, Nutritive Values, Synonyms and Medicinal Uses

The botanical name of the Ribbed gourd is Luffa acutangula that belong to the cucurbitaceae family.

Distribution and Morphology of the Ribbed Gourd

Ribbed gourd is also known as Ridge guard or loofah as the vegetable consists of ridges. Ribbed gourd is a common vegetable cultivated in the China and South East Asia. Ribbed gourd is cultivated throughout the India.

The trade name of the ribbed gourd is “Kukarvela”.

Ribbed gourd is a climber that consists of long leaves of 4 to 8 inches. Ribbed gourd consists of yellow flowers.

The fully ripened ribbed gourd is fibrous and it can be used as a scrubbing sponge.

Useful parts of the Ribbed Gourd & Forms of Use:

The useful parts of the plant are fruits, leaves, seeds and roots.

Ribbed gourd is used as a vegetable and also in the form of decoction and juice.

In China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Manipur, India (called Sebot) the luffa or patola is eaten as a green vegetable and eaten when it is young.

Synonyms of Ribbed Gourd:

  • Hindi – Torai
  • Sanskrit – Koshataki
  • English – Ribbed gourd
  • Gujarati – Kadavighisodi
  • Bengali – Thinga
  • Telugu – Aelavibua (Beerakaya)
  • Tamil – Peypirakam
  • Marathi – dodka (Ridge Gourd/luffa), ghosavala
  • In Pakistan – Turai
  • In Canada –  Chinese Okra

Properties of the Ribbed Gourd Fruit:

  • Ribbed gourd is a nutritive vegetable.
  • Ribbed gourd can be used as a diuretic.
  • Ribbed gourd acts as a bitter tonic.
  • Ribbed gourd has expectorant properties.
  • Ribbed gourd can be used as a demulcent.
  • Ribbed gourd also has hypoglycemic property.

Phytochemicals and Nutritive Values of Ribbed Gourd:

The phytochemicals which are present in the ribbed gourd are

  • Amino acids like arginine, glycine, threonine, glutamic acid, leucine
  • Bitter substances namely cucurbitacins
  • Terpenes
  • Saponins
  • Vitamins – Vitamin B2 (0.01 mg), Niacin (0.01 mg), Vitamin C (5 mg)
  • Carotene – 2.6 mg
  • Minerals like
    1. Calcium – 18 mg
    2. Phosphorous – 0.5 mg
    3. Iron – 33 mg
    4. Fluorine
    5. Iodine

 Medicinal Uses of Ribbed Gourd:

  • Ribbed gourd is a nutritive plant that can be used as a vegetable.
  • Ribbed gourd is a bitter tonic and also works as diuretic.
  • Seeds of the ribbed gourd act as an emetic and purgative.
  • Ribbed gourd is also used for the enlargement of the spleen.
  • Ipecacuanaha can be substituted with the leaves of the ribbed gourd in the treatment of the dysentery.
  • The root of the ribbed gourd has laxative properties.
  • The oil extracted from the seeds of the ribbed gourd is effective for treating skin diseases.
  • The leaves or the juice is used for dressing of sores, inflamed spleen, ringworm, piles, leprosy and for insect bites.
  • Juice extracted from the fruit or seeds is used as a natural remedy for jaundice.

Other Uses of Ribbed Gourd:

  • The fully ripened fruit of the ribbed gourd is used as a bath sponge (body scrub) or as a kitchen scrub. This sponge is marketed as luffa or loofah.
  • Ribbed gourd is used as a bath sponge.
  • These are used as food plants by the larvae of some insects.
  • In Paraguay, it is combined with other vegetable materials like recycled plastic for the preparation of panels. These are used for making furniture and in the construction of homes.
  • Ribbed gourd is also used for preventing premature greying of hair by mixing with coconut oil.


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