Do you make faces on hearing the name of Bottle Gourd? Well most of us do when it comes to this bottle shaped vegetable. However, very few of us know that Bottle Gourd, commonly known as ‘Lauki’ in the East is considered to be one of the best vegetables in Ayurveda. Its health benefits are immense and not only the vegetable but also flowers, leaves and roots are also used in healing.
Origin of Bottle Gourd
Before we jump straight into the Health Benefits of Bottle Gourd, lets have a quick look at the origin and history of this miraculous vegetable. There is a lot of debate on the origin of Bottle Gourd and how it migrated to different countries. However, the vegetable is mostly grown in the tropical and subtropical countries and many believed that it was first grown in South Africa. However, today it is grown in almost all the South Asian countries, Zimbabwe and also in America.
Bottle Guard has high water content, is slightly bitter in taste and has the cooling property. The entire Bottle Guard plant can be used for some or the other benefits. Ayurveda says that the roots of this plant are excellent for kidney stones and acts like a diuretic. The leaves of the plant can be used for certain infections of the skin and the flowers are immensely beneficial for the reproductive organs of the females.
Bottle gourd is a rich source of several vitamins and minerals. It is a power packed vegetable and contains vitamins like Vitamin C, B3, B5 and B6. It also contains essential minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, sodium, magnesium and zinc. As it has a high content of water, it keeps you hydrated all throughout the day and the essential nutrients present in it contribute to the well-being.
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Bottle gourd is very useful in diseases like Diabetes, Jaundice, Anaemia, Kidney stones, Ulcers, Asthma, Colic, Infertility, Obesity, Dehydration, Swelling and inflammation etc. to mention a few. For infertility in women the vegetable along with the flower has been found useful.
Health Benefits of Bottle Gourd
Bottle gourd is considered to be a wonder vegetable when it comes to its health benefits. Let us take a look at the key health wonders of this vegetable:
1. Combats Thirst
Bottle gourd has a high content of water and hence is excellent to combat thirst. It is very good for diabetes patients who feel thirsty all the time. Having a glass of lauki juice once in a day will keep you hydrated throughout the day. Also, your body will absorb all the essential vitamins and minerals present in this vegetable.
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2. Improves Digestion
Bottle guard is known to improve digestion and assist the liver in the process of digestion. It is both a diuretic and anti-bilious i.e. it reduces excess bile secretion which may lead to indigestion. The high content of Vitamin B present in this vegetable helps to break down carbohydrates and complex protein thereby easing digestion.
3. Supports Kidney Functions
As bottle gourd is a diuretic, it is extremely beneficial for the kidney. A lot of us suffer from kidney problems which include concentrated urination, burning while urinating and even kidney stones. All these problems can be eliminated by including lauki in your diet regularly. It makes the urine more alkaline and calms the burning sensation. It is equally useful for the stones and regular consumption can melt the same over a period of time.
4. Weight Loss
Bottle gourd increases the body metabolic rate. This, in turn, helps to burn carbohydrates and fat faster in the body and therefore reduces weight. Consuming a glass of bottle gourd juice especially in the afternoon can contribute to weight loss.
5. Prevents Greying of Hair
Bottle gourd contains Vitamin B which prevents the premature greying of hair and promotes hair growth. You can make a pack of yogurt and lauki juice and apply it on the hair once a week. Your hair will retain its natural colour and you will also see a difference in hair growth and texture.
6. Prevents Aging and Wrinkles
As Lauki contains Vitamin C and Zinc in abundance, it prevents wrinkles and premature aging. Vitamin C is required for our skin; therefore drinking a glass of fresh bottle gourd juice can prevent acne’s, pimples and dark circles. It also keeps you hydrated and prevents dry and patchy skin.
7. Lowers Blood Pressure
Lauki is also known to reduce cholesterol in the body and lowers the blood pressure. However, in severe conditions do not eat this vegetable.
8. Reduces Inflammation
Lauki is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and has been proved to reduce liver inflammation. It also reduces swollen and puffed eyes.
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How to Consume Bottle Gourd?
It is extremely important as to when and how to consume bottle gourd.
- First and foremost, it is effective if Lauki juice is taken in the afternoon mostly between 12noon to 3 pm.
- Do not take this juice during the night as it is cold by nature and may cause congestion and respiratory issues.
- You can have Lauki vegetable soup, curry, raita and kofta as per your choice.
- Lauki is even consumed in the form of Kheer and halwa(sweet dishes) in the Asian countries.
- It is advisable not to eat Lauki with bitter vegetables like bitter gourd or anything bitter as it decreases its effectiveness.
- Never drink Lauki juice by adding salt to it as salt has a high content of sodium and can increase the blood pressure.
- Also, it is better if you drink only 200ml of lauki juice at one time as the saying goes too much of anything is bad for health.
- As Lauki contains sodium, it is advisable to eat it before sunset.
- It is considered to be a weight loss tonic, hence do not add sugar to the lauki juice. On the contrary, you can add ginger and cayenne to your drink and consume it religiously about 200ml once in a day, preferably during the noon.
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Bottle Gourd (Lauki) is definitely a great vegetable for the health. It is versatile in nature; it acts like a medicine for diseases, acts like a tonic for weight loss and serves as a beauty product for the hair and skin. It is, therefore, better to include this vegetable in your diet regularly in some form or the other along with drinking a cup of Lauki juice regularly to get rid of any ailments. It is rightly said to be a wonder vegetable and has a lot of health benefits.
Hope you have found this article about Health Benefits of Bottle Gourd useful; in the case of any feedback or suggestion please share the same in the comments section below.