Luffa offers many health benefits, women use luffa to restore absent menstrual periods. Nursing mothers use it to increase milk flow.
Nigeria local name :
- kankan Ayaba or eeso ewe yewuru(Yoruba)
Common name :
- Bath Sponge
- Dish Cloth Gourd
- Dish-Cloth Gourd
- Towel Gourd
- Dishrag Gourd
- Vegetable Sponge
- Rag Gourd
- Wash-Rag Sponge
- Smooth Luffa
- Scrubber Gourd
- Wild Vegetable Sponge
Benefits Of Vegetable Sponge
- It lower blood and urine sugar levels without increasing blood insulin levels and i
- beneficial for weight loss.
- It is low in saturated fat and cholesterol
- high in dietary fibre, vitamin C, riboflavin, zinc, thiamin, iron, magnesium and manganese.
- Great for liver problems
- Helps with jaundice and anemia.
- Used as an external application to sores and the bites of venomous animals.
- Useful in asthma, skin diseases and splenic enlargement
- It is used internally for rheumatism, backache, internal hemorrhage, chest pains as well as hemorrhoids.
- The dried fruit fibers are used as abrasive sponges in skin care, to remove dead skin and to stimulate the circulation.
- The fruits are useful in fever, syphilis, tumours, bronchitis, splenopathy and leprosy.
- The vine is most commonly grown for the fibrous interior of the fruits.
- Kernel of seed is expectorant, demulcent and used in dysentery.
- Seed oil is used in leprosy and skin diseases.
- Fruit is intensely bitter and fibrous. It has purgative property and is used for dropsy, nephritis, chronic bronchitis and lung complaints.
- It is also applied to the body in putrid fevers and jaundice.
Luffa grows best in tropical and subtropical climates and thrives in well-drained soils. It is a coarse, vigorous, monoecious and annual vine that bears cylindrical and smooth fruits which are used as culinary vegetables.
The plant bears flowers during summer. There are three varieties of Luffa such as: Angled luffa, Smooth luffa, Taiwan luffa.
How to eat
The buds, flowers and young fruits are consumed as okra or squash after cooking. Luffa fruit could be either sautéed in a little oil or sliced in a stir fry.
The flowers could be added to the salads. In stir-fried dishes and soups, Luffa Fruit could be added as an ingredient. The skin could be used to make chutneys. It could be stir fried or used in curry as a vegetable.
Pregnant and nursing women should consume but should be limited. While others can consume at will because luffa currently does not have serious side effects.