One of the healthiest green vegetables is Sponge Gourd also known as lufa. Lufa is basically a fruit but consumed as vegetable. To make it edible, one needs to harvest it at early stage of development. The fully developed gourd is used as the scrubbing sponge in bathrooms and kitchens. This particular vegetable is considered to be originated from Arabic desserts and spread all over the world.
Climate and Harvesting
- The ideal temperature for cropping Sponge Gourd is between 25 and 30 degrees.
- It cultivates well in the warm weather.
- Low temperature kills the plants.
- High temperature like 35 degrees restricts fruit set.
- It can be grown on any type of soils.
- It takes around 60 days to be fully grown.
- The fruits should be harvested at early stage of production.
- In the temperature of 10 to 12 degrees the fresh Sponge Gourd can be stored for 2-3 weeks.
- Blood purifier: it is said to be an excellent blood purifier as it flushes out the pollutants from the blood.
- Prevent Diabetes: gourds have insulin which is extremely beneficial for diabetes.
- Good for stomach: it prevents indigestion which leads to healthy stomach.
- Skin care: fully grown gourds can be used as scrubber. It helps to eliminate dead skin cells from the body or face.
- Weight loss: it helps to prevent cholesterol therefore it helps to lose weight.
- As it is good for stomach it cures jaundice.
- Other than food, Sponge Gourd can be coupled with other vegetables to use plastic recycling.
To utilize land effectively farmers generally use vegetables in rotation. This is called intercropping. Sponge Gourd is an intercrop vegetable which is intercropped with Tomato and Spinach.
These gourds are sometimes arrow straight sometimes curved in shape. The fruit has ridge lines that run across the fruit skin. Due to that looks it is also known as Ridge Gourd. The fruit which is edible as vegetable is so tender that it can be cut into small pieces in any shapes and sizes. The hard Lufa is fully grown gourd. It has many fibers in their skin. It is so hard that it is used to clean the kitchen utensils and sometimes used to clean bathroom floor and such.
These gourds taste too bitter to consume. Sometimes after peeling off the skin it can taste less bitter. That is why Lufa is consumed after frying it or sometimes one can prepare a spicy curry with it.