Monday, February 23, 2009

Luffa acutangula ROXB.

English Name : Sharp Cornered Cucumber

Family : Cucurbitaceae

Origin : India

A large, annual climber with slender shortly pubescent, 5-angled stems; tendrils usually 3-branched. Leaves alternate, orbicular in outline, 15 to 20 cm long and wide, 5 to 7 angled or lobed, scabrid on both sides, base cordate, lateral lobes usually obtuse, central lobe acute to subacuminate; petioles 5 to 12 cm long, angular scabrid. Plants monoecious; male flowers yellow with 3 stamens, borne in 10 to 20 flowered racemes, 10 to 15 cm long; female flowers yellow, solitary, in same axils as males, on 5 to 10 cm long peduncles. Fruit cylindrical or club-shaped, tapering towards the base, usually 15 to 30 cm long and 5 cm in diameter, smooth, with 10 prominent, narrowly angled, longitudinal ridges. Seeds compressed, slightly corrugated on edges, not winged, black or white when ripe.

Parts Used : Fruit, fruit-juice, seeds, root and leaves.

Herb Effects
Emetic and purgative (seeds); demulcent, diuretic, bitter-tonic and nutritive (fruit); abortifacient, antipyretic, expectorant, hypoglycemic, laxative, tonic and vermifuge.

Active Ingredients
Arginine, glycine, threonine, glutamic acid, leucines, serine, alanine, g-aminobutyric acid and pipecolic acid.

Medicinal Use
In granular conjunctivitis of children, as poultice in haemorrhoids, leprosy and splenic enlargement (leaves); as an antidote for snake poison (plant).

As demulcent: 1.5–2 g to 10 seed.
Fruit juice: 5–10 g.
Infusion: 28–56 ml


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