Synonyms: C. cordifolia (L.) Cogn., C. indica Wight & Arn., Cephalandra indica Naud.

Family: Cucurbitaceae

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Telakuch, Telakucha, Kakjhinga, Kawoaluli, Kanduri, Mamakola, Kuchila, Vinbu.

English Name: lvy Gourd.

Description of the Plant

A rather extensive climber. Tendrils slender, simple. Leaves 5-10 cm long and broad, obtusely 5 angled, base cordate. Flowers solitary, large, white; corolla 2.5 cm long. Fruit fusiform-ellipsoid, slightly beaked, 2.5-5 cm long, marked when immature with white streaks, bright, scarlet when ripe.

Using Information

Juice of the plant is used in diabetes. It is also used in anorexia, epilepsy, asthma, fever, dropsy, catarrh and gonorrhoea. Leaves are externally used in skin eruptions. Leaf juice is taken in the morning for 7 days to normalize hypertension.

EtOH and aquous extract of sun dried and defatted root powder, when given orally showed hypoglycaemic activity in rabbits. It also showed hypoglycaemic activity in glucose-fed albino rat. EtOH (50%) extract of root is antiprotozoal. Water soluble alkaloid fraction of leaves and whole plant show hypoglycaemic activity of short duration (Asolkar et al., 1992).


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Chemical Constituents

Aerial parts contain protein, fat, carbohydrates, mineral, vitamin C, sterols, ß-sitosterol, phenolic compounds, triterpenoids, ß-amyrin, ß-amyrine acetate and lupeol, bitter glycoside constituents; alkaloids, cephalandrine A and B, alcohol, cephalandrol, tritriacontane, heptacosane. Fruits contain ß-amyrin, lupeol and a bitter glycoside containing cucurbitacin B. ß-Sitosterol, ß-carotene, lycopene, cryptoxanthin, apo-6'-lycopenal, taraxerone, taraxerol and ethylcholesterol gluciside have also been isolated from fruits.

Ripe fruits contain carotenoids. Roots contain lupeol acetate, ß-amyrin acetate and ß-sitosterol. They also contain a new saponin, 3-O- ß- (a-L-arabino-pyranosyl-(1-2)-ß-D-glucopyranosyl-(1-3)- ß-hydroxylup-20(29)-en-28-oic acid and stigmast-7-en-3-one (Ghani, 2003; Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1990 & 93).


Throughout the country in fallow lands and on fences.