The fruit Kushmanada belongs to the family of Cucurbitaceae. Its botanical name is Benincasa Hispida . It is also known as ash gourd or wax gourd. This plant trails on ground and has hairy leaves. The young fruit is hairy. The fruit loses it hair and gets a waxy coat when matures. The length of matured fruit will be 1-1.5 ft . This plant is cultivated in south East Asia .The seeds of this fruit are flat and white in colour.
Fruits of this plant are widely used for cooking in India, Pakistan and China. Many delectable dishes like peta, (a sweet dish), soups and curries are prepared by this fruit.
According to texts of ayurveda this fruit is very light to digest and sweet to taste. It cools the body and acts as a brain tonic.
Health benefits of ash gourd
- Matured fruit balances all three doshas.
- Its pulp can be applied on burns and skin rashes. This reduces burning sensation and irritation.
- The juice of leaves help to reduce irritation caused by dry skin.
- The seeds help to reduce internal heat of body in summer.
- Ash gourd normalizes sleeping pattern and very helpful in patients with insomnia.
- It also increases memory power.
- The seeds of ash gourd are very effective on intestinal parasites.
- Patients affected by tuberculosis of lungs are benefited by the use of this fruit. It strengthens the lungs and body.
- It helps in cystitis and acts as diuretic.
- The pulp and seeds are very useful in kidney stones.
- The pulp of the matured fruit helps to increase quality and quantity of semen. Hence it is used in Vajikarana Therapy preparations.
- The herbal preparations of this fruit help to increase the body energy level and strength.
- Kushmanda helps persons who are recuperating from illness to gain back their lost energy and nutrients.
Home remedies using ash gourd or Benincasa Hispida
1. Apply crushed pulp of ash gourd on skin which is affected by burns. It cools the burns and help to heal quickly.
2. The juice of leaves can be used in same way.
3. Grate pulp of fully matured Benincasa Hispida (ash gourd) fruit. Squeeze it and extract its juice. Mix it with equal quantity of water. Drink this juice in empty stomach daily. This helps to increase memory power, heal stomach ulcer and reduce acidity. It also acts as a brain tonic.
4. Cut the matured fruit’s pulp into big cubes and boil them in water, till they are half cooked. Use this water for soups and consume the cooked fruit. This helps to relieve the constipation.
5. Including cooked pulp in diet or consumption of juice helps in condition like bleeding piles.
6. Regular consumption of slices of ash gourd treated with sugar syrup help to increase body weight in patients affected with tuberculosis.
7. Regular consumption of this fruit helps to increase quality and quantity of semen.
8. When heat boils appear on skin, mix juice of this fruit with besan flour and apply as pack on affected skin.