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Botanical Name : Luffa echinata

Family : Cucurbitaceae

Vernacular names

Common name: Bitter Sponge Gourd, bitter luffa, bristly luffa, rag gourd

• Bengali: deyatada

• Hindi:bindaal,ghagarbel,kakora

• Kannada:daivadaali

• Marathi:devadali,devadangari

• Nepali: Chyunke van toriya

• Sanskrit: jimuta

• Tamil: pey-p-pirkku

• Telugu: panibira


Bitter Sponge Gourd is a climber with bifid bristly or smooth tendrils.

 Stem is sulcate, slightly hairy to smooth. Leaves are kidney-shaped, round, shallowly or deeply 5-lobed.

Tip is rounded or rarely pointed.

Leaves are bristly on both surfaces, margin is minutely toothed.

 Leaf stalk is stout, bristly, up to 12 cm long.

Flowers are white, stalked, about 2.5 cm across.

Male flowers are borne in 5-12-flowered, up to 15 cm long raceme.

Sepal tube is about 5.6 mm long, hairy, sepals lance-shaped.

Petals are ovate, 1-1.2 cm long, blunt, hairy at the base.

Stamens are 3, with filaments united, 3-9 mm long, anthers entire or ± bifid.

Ovary is ovoid.

Fruit is ashy, oblong, ovoid, 2-5 cm long, densely covered with 4-7 mm long bristles.

Seeds are ovate, black 4-5 mm long, 3-5 mm broad and 2 mm thick.

The fruit is intensely bitter and used medicinally.

Flowering: August-September.

Ethnomedical Uses

Jaundice Fruit Fruit powder of described plant 250mg, with Whey, 2 times a day,

and nasal drops 4-4 drops of cold infusion, or snuff of fruit powder

250mg, is beneficial.

Enlargement of liver and spleen-Fruit Tincture of fruit of described plant 10-20 drops, 3 times a day, is beneficial.

Paralysis: Leaves Local application of paste, made of juice of leaves of described plant

and pure Mercury, for 15 minutes. If reddish occurs, apply some clarified butter. Repeat after 12 hours.

Leucoderma : Fruit Fruit powder of described plant 250 mg, seed powder of Alangium

salvifolium 250 mg, sugar cube powder 5g, with water, after 3 hours,

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