CUCURBITA MAXIMA Duch.

Family: Cucurbitaceae

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Mistikumra, Mithakumra, Mithakadu.

Tribal Name: Kuma Shak, Jhum Kumra (Tanchangya).

English Name: Melon Pumpkin, Red Gourd, Squash Gourd, Sweet Gound.

Description of the Plant

Large hispid climbing herbs. Leaves nearly orbicular in outline, 5-angled. Flowers monoecious, solitary, yellow, large, campanulate, Fruit fleshy, large, and greatly varies in size and shape.

Using Information

Fruit are diuretic, tonic, sedative, emollient and refrigerant; allays thirst. The fruit pulp is often used as a poultice to burns, inflammations and boils; it is also prescribed in migraine and neuralgia. The seeds are anthelmintic, diuretic and tonic; used as a remedy for tapeworm; its oil is nerve tonic.

Chemical Constituents

Fruits contain vitamin A, starch, protein and sugar. Flowers contain flavonoids. Seeds yield 30% unsaturated fixed oil containing sterols and triterpenes; linoleic, oleic, linolenic acids; ß- and ?-tocopherols; carotenoides – luteolin, ß-carotene and a-carotene; cryptoxanthin and flavoxanthin.

CUCURBITA MAXIMA Duch.
CUCURBITA MAXIMA Duch.

Seeds also contain stigmasta-dienol, stigmasta-dienol acetate, euglobulins, cucurbitacins, vitamins and minerals and yield a resin having vermicidal properties. Plants contain saponins. (Ghani, 2003; Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1990 & 93).

Distribution

Cultivated throughout the country.


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