Ivy Gourd

Ivy gourd is a fruit cum vegetable which is scientifically known as Coccinia grandis. It belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family and is characterized by ellipsoid to ovoid shape with a smooth texture and green longitudinal strips. It is a perpetual herbaceous vine native to semi-arid regions of Southeast Asia, Northern Africa, Southern Africa and Arabia to tropical South.

These deciduous plants are climbers with tuberous roots, long tendrils, and broad leaves of alternate patterns. They develop in a climate which favors a great place for receiving sunlight along with sandy soil. Their length ranges from 2 to 2.5 inches and has a sticky, thick skin with numerous flat seeds dispersed inside. They display a red color after full ripening.

Other Names

  • Scarlet Gourd
  • Gherkin
  • Cephalandra indica
  • Tonde Kai
  • Gentleman’s toes
  • Baby watermelon
  • Toruli
  • Kundri
  • Kowai fruit
  • Little gourd

Common Names in Different Languages

  • Kundru, kundree, tindora, kanturi, tindori, bimb, bimba (Hindi)
  • Telakucha (Bengali)
  • Kova, koval (Malayalam)
  • Tondili, tondali (Marathi)
  • Ban-kundri, kunduri (Oriya)
  • Kanduri, kundur (Urdu)
  • Donda kaya, kaki donda (Telegu)
  • Covay, kovai, Kotturukanni, tirattikkovai, vattakkovai, Vimpi, naripputu (Tamil)
  • Talung, phak talung (Thai)
  • Jivaka, Vimba, Vira, bimbika, patupami, bimbi (Sanskrit)
  • Pepino Cimarron (Spanish)
  • Akhu pami, van kiri, kundaruu, Gol Kankri (Nepalese)
  • Hong gua (Chinese)
  • Konde ball, Thonde balli, Tondikay, Kaagethonde, Thundike (kannada)

Nutrition Facts

Nutrients Value (per 100 gram)
Protein 1.2 g
Fiber 1.6 g
Fat 0.1 g
Water 93.5 g
Carbohydrate 3.1 g
Energy 18 Kcal
Phosphorous 30 mg
Calcium 40 mg
Iron 1.4 mg
Riboflavin 0.08 mg
Thiamine 0.07 mg
Niacin 0.7 mg
Ascorbic acid 1.4 mg
Potassium 30 mg
Vitamin C 1.4 mg
Vitamin B1 0.07 mg
Vitamin B3 0.07 mg
Vitamin B2 0.08 mg

Health Benefits

  • Its dietary fiber help in bowel movement and hence allows easy digestion
  • Juice is useful in maintaining healthy skin
  • Roots and leaves are helpful for diabetic patients as they lower the body sugar level
  • Contains antioxidants which reduce the free radicals present in the body
  • Boosts immunity
  • Possesses beta-carotene which is a beneficial nutrient to maintain good health
  • Regulates and manages the functioning of endocrine glands
  • Due to the presence of glucose-6-phosphatase, it proves to be effective for diabetic patients
  • Cures various skin infections such as psoriasis, leprosy, and scabies
  • Useful in treating diarrhea and tongue sores
  • Flowers help in treating jaundice
  • Extracts are administered in several medicines to produce tinctures and tablets
  • Assists in the treatment of bronchial inflammations and respiratory mucosae
  • Fruits, stems, and leaves balance high blood pressure
  • Treats skin diseases, asthma, inflammation and diabetes due to its anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, purgative and anticonvulsant properties
  • Root barks are enriched with cathartic features
  • Alleviates joint pain and aphthous ulcers
  • Powdered form cures weakness of liver, worm infestation, dysentery, vomiting, and gastrointestinal problems
  • Purifies the blood
  • Roots are used for treating high fever
  • In Ethiopia, crushed or boiled dried roots are in use to soothe sharp pain and heal kidney infections

Uses

  • Leaves are used in making tonics
  • Used as vegetable
  • Used in curries and soups
  • Eaten in fried and boiled form
  • Dried leaves are utilized in preparing a special herbal tea
  • Used for making pickles

During Pregnancy

There are no side effects, but some experts suggest avoiding its consumption during pregnancy. Therefore, before eating this fruit/vegetable one should consult a doctor.

How to Eat?

  • Wash ivy gourds with water
  • Make long slices with a sharp knife and prepare ‘gravied vegetable ’
  • Red ivy gourds are eaten raw
  • You can eat this by making curry, soup, sambhar, porridge, stir-fries, koloban, Comfited, etc.
  • You may chew its seeds too

Recipes

  • Tindora Fry
  • Stuffed kundru
  • Chutney
  • Tindora kaju fry
  • Curry
  • Shahi tindora masala
  • Kovakka thoron
  • Kundru sautéed
  • Pickles

Interesting facts

  • The plants of ivy gourd restrict the path of sunlight to the ground where it grows and hence kills other vegetation
  • In Hawaii state, it falls under the category of Noxious weed due to its invasive properties
  • Its stems and roots store water through the dry season

Storage

Ivy gourd can be preserved in refrigerator for a few days and even at room temperatures they can last for a couple of days.

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