Bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria, Cucurbitaceae), popularly known as bottle gourd, calabash, lauki or ghiya, is a climbing plant which bears hard-shelled, bottle-shaped gourds as fruits. Bottle gourd (lauki) benefits are numerous. The fruit is composed of all essential constituents required for good health and quality human life. It is rich in vitamins, iron, and minerals.
Bookmark this post. After reading about lauki benefits, you’ll want to enjoy and drink up these bottle gourd recipes as soon as you can. Here’s a quick rundown of what we’ll cover in this article.
- Bottle Gourd Benefits (Lauki Benefits)
- Ayurvedic Health Benefits Of Bottle Gourd (Lauki)
- How To Cook Bottle Gourd (Delicious Lauki Recipes)
- Bottle Gourd Juice (Lauki Juice)
- Bottle Gourd Side Dish (Bottle Gourd Subzi)
- Lauki Ka Halwa (Bottle Gourd Sweet Pudding)
Bottle Gourd Benefits (Lauki Benefits)
According to one study, bottle gourd has many health benefits.1
- Extract of bottle gourd seeds shows antibiotic activity.
- Bottle gourd juice is helpful in constipation, premature graying, urinary disorders and insomnia.
- It has the highest content of choline among all the vegetables known to man to date. Choline is crucial for retaining and enhancing memory.
- Furthermore, Lagenaria siceraria is beneficial in the management of many diseases like cardiac disorders, hepatic diseases, and ulcers.
- Bottle gourd juice helps to regulate blood pressure with hypertension because of its high potassium content.
- It helps in losing weight quickly, because of its high dietary fiber, low fat, and cholesterol content.
Bottle gourd is referred to at various places in the Ayurvedic classical text Charaka Samhita. It has various names including ikshavaku, lamba, katukalabu, and tumbi.
It is indicated in cough, shwasa (dyspnea or asthma), visha (toxins), chhardi (vomiting), jwara (fever) and pratamyata (blackouts).
The most potent and useful parts of the plant are the leaves (collected before flowering), fruits and seeds. It is well known for its hridya (cardio-protective) and vishahara (anti-poisonous) properties.2
Ayurvedic master Atreya concluded that bottle gourd is useful for the treatment of Prameha or urinary diseases including diabetes.3
Ayurvedic Health Benefits Of Bottle Gourd (Lauki)
- Ayurveda recommends cooked bottle gourd for better digestion. It is cooling, calming, diuretic and anti-bilious (reduces bile and stops indigestion). B vitamins assist in increasing the body’s metabolic rate to better digest fats, proteins, sugar, and carbohydrates.
- It supports the kidneys and the urinary system of our body by reducing burning sensations from high acidic urination. It also reduces the chances of urinary infection because it is alkalizing and has a diuretic effect.
- It’s a nutritious vegetable for the female reproductive system.
- It is extremely popular for weight loss, especially bottle gourd juice or lauki juice when taken at noon.
- It is extremely popular for reducing high blood pressure and bad cholesterol.
- It is known to combat excessive thirst in diabetic patients. However, do not eat if the lauki is too bitter or with other bitter herbs.
- The fiber and minerals in the bottle gourd or lauki support healthy digestion and combat flatulence by killing intestinal parasites, constipation, colic pain, and ulcer.
- In Ayurveda, it is also known to prevent premature greying and improve hair growth. It will not change the grey hair to black, but it will stop more greying as it contains B vitamins and has a cooling effect on the scalp. Grate and apply to the scalp with yogurt or apple cider vinegar.
- Vitamin C and zinc in lauki prevent premature aging and wrinkles. Bottle gourd juice can be applied externally for skin care uses such as pimples, acne, dark circles, and puffy eyes.
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How To Cook Bottle Gourd (Delicious Lauki Recipes)
Lauki or calabash is mostly available in tropical countries however you can purchase lauki from Indian grocery stores. It is best to make soup with it. You can also slice it and stir fry it.
If you have experience with Indian cooking, you can use it in a light curry, raita, pickle or kofta (vegetable balls). It can also be used as a dessert such as halwa or kheer, an Indian milk-based pudding. Keep scrolling for bottle gourd recipes.
Bottle Gourd Juice (Lauki Juice)
- 1 cup grated lauki (bottle gourd)
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- Black pepper or salt (optional)
- First thing to do is, cut off a piece of the lauki from the end and taste it. It is best not to use a lauki that tastes bitter.
- Next, peel off the entire skin from the lauki and cut it into pieces. Blend those pieces in a blender.
- Add black pepper and salt according to taste. Mint leaves can also enhance the taste.
- You can also add some lemon to make the lauki juice taste better and boost its antioxidants.
Kapha individuals when juicing lauki can add parsley, cilantro or celery (for kidney cleanse). Add tulsi (Holy Basil) or mint leaves for heart health.
Ginger or turmeric (raw and very small amount) can be added for detoxing as well as digestive and respiratory health. You can also add a fresh pear apple, peach or apricot.
Bottle Gourd Side Dish (Bottle Gourd Subzi)
- 1 medium bottle gourd, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil or ghee
- ½ cup bengal gram (chana dal), soaked for about 30 minutes in warm water, then drained thoroughly
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp chili powder (optional)
- Salt to taste
- ¼ cup fresh grated coconut, for garnish
- Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the mustard and cumin seeds and wait until they sputter.
- Add the chana dal or bengal gram and stir for a minute.
- Add the turmeric and chili powder and stir quickly. Make sure you ventilate your kitchen because the fumes from this can cause some coughing and eye-watering.
- Immediately add the chopped lauki pieces and stir to coat with the oil and spices. Add salt to taste and stir.
- Add about 1/2 cup of water to the saucepan. Cover and let cook, stirring occasionally, about 25-30 minutes or until the gourd is really tender.
- Garnish with coconut. Serve hot.
Lauki Ka Halwa (Sweet Dessert)
- 3 cups grated lauki
- 3 Tbsp ghee or clarified butter
- 2 cups milk, almond milk, soy milk (according to your preference)
- 6 Tbsp brown sugar or jaggery
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- 2 Tbsp sliced almonds or nuts
- Squeeze all the water from the grated bottle gourd and reserve. You may use this to drink with some lemon juice and salt. It’s very nutritious so don’t throw it away.
- Heat the ghee in a pan or wok. Add the grated lauki and roast for 7-8 minutes until all the remaining water evaporates.
- Add almond milk, bring the mixture to a boil and let simmer for the next 20-25 minutes until the consistency gets thick and the lauki is cooked properly. Stir continuously.
- When it’s almost done, add the cardamom and chopped nuts. Check the sugar at this point and add more if required. Continue cooking over a low flame until the halwa gets thick. Serve hot.
When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.
1. International Research Journal Of Pharmacy, Article Received on: 12/03/2011 Revised on: 28/04/2011 Approved for publication: 09/05/2011 https://irjponline.com/admin/php/uploads/892_pdf.pdf
2. Prof. K.C. Chunekar, Commentator, Late Dr. G.S. Pandey, editor, Bhavamishra, Bhavaprakash Nighantu, Revised and enlarged edition 2010, Shakavarga, Chaukhamba Bharati Acadamy, Varanasi, pp 682.
3. Ram Karan Sharma and Vaidya Bhagwan Dash, Charaka Samhita, Vol VI, Sidhhisthana, Chap 11, shlok no. 5-6, edition 2nd 2005, Chaukhamba Sanskrit Series Office.