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Luffa aegyptiaca Mill.

Synonyms:
Cucurbita luffa hort.
Luffa cylindrica M. Roem.
Luffa pentandra Roxb.
Momordica cylindrica L.
Momordica luffa L.
Luffa cylindrica M. Roem. var. insularum (A. Gray) Cogn.

Group: Dicot
Family: Cucurbitaceae - Cucumber family
Duration: Annual
Growth Habit: Vine, Forb/herb

Bangla/Vernacular Name: Dhundul.

Tribal Name: Phorul (Chakma), Sw-Bwoe-shi (Marma), Ui-Tha (Murang), Powgul (Tanchangya), Fwr Dalok (Tripura).

English Name: Sopnge Gourd, Smooth Luffa.

Description of the Plant:

An extensive climbing herb.Stem glabrous, sulcate-angulate, puberulous. Leaves are palmately lobed, lobes triangular. Plants monoecious Male flowers many in a raceme, peduncles some what robust. Female flowers solitary.Fruits cylindric, smooth, straight or slightly curved.

Chemical Constituents:

Fruit contains xylan, xylose, galactan, hydrocarbons, glycoproteins and free amino acids such as lysine, arginine, aspartic acid, glycine, threonine, glutamic acid, alanine, tryptophan, phenylalanine and leucines and choline and phytin. They also contain saponins, such as ginsenosides and lucyosides. Male flowers contain ß-sitosterol, apigenin and oleanolic acid. Seeds contain a saponin, a sapogenin and a bitter glycosidic principle, cucurbitacin B.

Two glycoproteins with ribosome - inactivating, cytotoxic and abortifacient activities have been isolated from the seeds. Acetyl gypsogenin and its lactone have been isolated from seeds. Leaves contain volatile hydrocarbons, essential oil, machaerinic acid, lactone and apigenin. Oil obtained from seeds contain a-Spinasterol, stigmasta-7,22,25-trienol and stigmasta-7,25-dienol (Ghani, 2003; Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1990 & 93).

Luffa aegyptiaca Mill.

Luffa cylindrica M. Roem.

Mode of Uses:

  • Oinment prepared from the fruit pulp is used in the treatment of skin disorders around the anus (Marma).
  • Young leaf extract is taken as blood purifier (Murang).
  • The immature fruits are cooked as curry and vegetables. Young leaves are used as vegetables (Bawm, Chakma, Marma, Murang andTripura).

Distribution:

Cultivated all over the country.

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