Family: Cucurbitaceae

Synonyms: Lageneria vulgaris Ser., Lageneria leucantha (Duch.) Rusby.

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Lau, Kadu, Pani Lau.

English Name: Boottle Gourd, Calabash, White Pumpkin.

Description of the Plant:
A large, softly pubescent climbing or trailing herb with 5-angled stem. Leaves large, 15 cm diam, ovate or orbicular, cordate, 5-angular or 5-lobed, hairy on both surfaces. Flowers large, white, solitary; petals 5, free, obovate, crumpled, hairy on both sides. Fruit large, usually bottle or dumbbell-shaped, some times ovate or oval, greatly very in size and shape.

Using Information:
The juice of the plant and leaves are powerful laxative. Pulp of the fruit is cooling, emetic, purgative, diuretic and antibilious; cures muscular pain and dry cough. The rind is good for piles. Fruit is also given in cholera. Seeds are nutritive and diuretic. Oil of the seed is cooling and used to relieve headache. Decoction of leaves mixed with sugar is given in jaundice. Warm juice of tender stem relieves earache (Yusuf et al. 2009).

Chemical Constituents:
Fruit pulp is a good source of vitamin B and ascorbic acid and contains soluble carbohydrates and albuminoids. Seeds contain 45% fatty oil, protein, amino acids, saponins, trypsin and serine proteinase inhibitors. Pollen grains contain flavonoids.  The seed meal is rich in protein and essential amino acids (Ghani, 2003). Palmitic, palmitoleic, stearic, oleic and linoleic acids has been isolated from seed oil. Seeds also contain rhamnose and stachyose (Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1993). Two triterpenoids – 22-deoxocucurbitacin D and 22-deoxoisocucurbitacin D have been isolated from fruits (Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1990).


Cultivated throughout the country.

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Retutn from LAGENERIA SICERARIA to Medicinal Plants: Part L