Snake Gourd   
Foto info
Snake Gourd
ative Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Snake Gourd • Hindi: चचिंडा Chachinda, चिचौंडा Chichonda • Kannada: adla balli, adla kaayi, bettada padavala • Malayalam: പടവലങ്ങ padavalanga, kaippam-patolam • Marathi: jangli padavala • Sanskrit: अमृतफल Amritaphala, bijagarbha • Tamil: புடலங்காய் pudalankaai, alakaipputal • Telugu: పొట్లకాయ potlakaaya, adavi potla
Botanical name: Trichosanthes cucumerina    Family: Cucurbitaceae (Pumpkin family)

Snake Gourd is a tropical or subtropical vine, raised for its strikingly long fruit, used as a vegetable and for medicine. The narrow, soft-skinned fruit can reach 150 cm long. Its soft, bland, somewhat mucilaginous flesh is similar to that of the luffa and the calabash. Leaf blade kidney-shaped or broadly ovate, 7-10 × 8-11 cm, membranous, deeply 5-7-lobed, lobes triangular or rhombic. The white flower is beautiful and lacy, and open at night. It is most popular in the cuisine of South Asia and Southeast Asia. The shoots, tendrils, and leaves are also eaten as greens. It is a popular vegetable in South India.
Medicinal uses: According to Ayurveda, the plant pacifies vitiated pitta, constipation, skin diseases, burning sensation, diabetes, anorexia, flatulence, constipation, worm infestation, fever and general weakness.

Identification credit: Navendu Pagé Photographed in Maharashtra.

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