Benincasa hispida

Synonym ► B. cerifera Savi. Cucurbita hispada Thunb.

Family ► Cucurbitaceae.

Habitat ► Cultivated largely in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan and Bihar.

English ► Ash Gourd, White Gourd, Wax Gourd, White Pumpkin.

Ayurvedic ► Kuushmaanda, Kuush-maandaka, Kuushmaandanaadi.

Unani ► Pethaa, Mahdabaa, Kaddu-e-Roomi.

Siddha/Tamil ► Ven-poosani, Saambalpushani.

Action ► Leaves—cooling, juice rubbed on bruises. Fruit decoction—laxative, diuretic, nutritious, styptic (given for internal haemorrhages and diseases of the respiratory tract.) Juice of fruit— used for treating epilepsy, insanity and other nervous diseases. The ash of fruit rind—applied on painful swellings. Seeds—anthelmintic.

The fruits contain lupeol, beta-sitos-terol, their acetates and several amino acids. The fruit juice produces tran-quilizing activity and mild CNS depressant effect in mice.

The roots of mature plant contain a pentacyclic triterpene, which exhibits antiallergic activity against both homologous passive cutaneous ana-phylaxis and delayed hypersensitivity in mice. The fruit beverage contains pyrazine compounds.

Isomultiflorenol acetate, a penta-cyclic triterpene, has been isolated as the major constituent of wax coating of fruits.

Dosage ► Dried pieces of the fruit— 5-10 g (API Vol. IV.) Fruit juice— 10-20 m (CCRAS.)

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