Sponge Gourd (Gilki) – You Can’t Ignore its Health Benefits

Sponge Gourd or Gilki is an integral part of the menu of most households. We eat it in one form or another. Mainly used as vegetable, Sponge gourd comes with several health benefits. Here we will try to discuss this plant which is loaded with several health benefits.

Health Benefits of Sponge Gourd

Scientific Name of Sponge Gourd

The scientific name of Sponge Gourd is Luffa Aegyptiaca. In India, it is known by various names like Gheora or Nenua. In some parts of the world, it is also referred to as Egyptian cucumber or Vietnamese Luffa.

Origin of Sponge Gourd

The exact place of origin of Sponge Gourd is not known. But it’s native to south and southeast Asia where it is found in India, Japan, the Philippines and Myanmar.

Farmers cultivate this plant for its fruit.

Different Uses of Sponge Gourd

Sponge Gourd or Gilki is primarily used for culinary purposes. However, it’s used for other purposes too. Here is how Sponge Gourd is used for different purposes.

Culinary Purposes

A large part of Sponge Gourd or Gilki is used for culinary purposes. Its fruits, shoots, leaves and flowers can be cooked and used for creating culinary delights. It is used as vegetable, soups, chutney and others things. Its seeds can also be consumed in roasted form.
Scrubbing Purposes

Besides culinary delights, Gilki or Sponge Gourd is also used for scrubbing purposes. Its fully developed fruit gets fibrous and can easily be turned into bath sponge. You can easily find sponge and luffa made from Sponge Gourd at various stores.

Oil Extraction Purposes

Edible oil can be extracted from the seeds of Sponge Gourd. The oil extracted from Gilki is well known for its medicinal uses. The waste material can be used for feeding rabbits and pets.

Art Work Purposes

Sponge gourd is also used for creating artworks in some parts of the world. In Israel, the dried up sponge gourd fruits are used for mosaic in churches and synagogues. The traces of decoration using sponge gourd has been found since antiquity.

Herb for Green Tea

The yellow flowers of Sponge Gourd can be used while making green tea.

Health Benefits of Sponge Gourd of Gilki

As we have already discussed the uses of Sponge Gourd in various forms. Now it is time to turn the spotlight on its health benefits. Here is it.

Improves Digestion

Due to high presence of dietary fibers, Sponge Gourd plays a pivotal role in maintaining digestive system. Those who have included Gilki in their diet plan have reported improved bowel movement, decrease in constipation and overall improvement in digestive health. Dietitians and nutritionists suggests adding sponge gourd to diet plan.

Boosts Immunity

The use of Sponge Gourd or Gilki is supposed to be a immunity booster. As it is rich in vitamins and minerals, it helps in boosting defence mechanism of the body. Improved immunity means you are less prone to diseases.

Regulates Blood Sugar

Those suffering from irregular blood sugar can find relief in sponge gourd due to its blood sugar regulating properties. Those suffering from diabetes are advised to include Gilki or sponge gourd in their diet. However, it is not a substitute to the regular medication.

Nourishes Skin

Besides other things, Sponge Gourd is also well known for its skin nourishing property. The high presence of vitamin C empowers it with these qualities. Its collagen producing features make skin soft and youthful. Gilki is also well known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-itching properties.

Boosts Hair Growth

Apart from the skin growth, Gilki or Luffa is also well known for its hair growth properties. The presence of vitamins and minerals contributes to its hair growth qualities. Due to this Sponge Gourd oil is the major constituent of hair care oils.

Adds to Weight Loss

Sponge Gourd is a low calorie food. Due to this. it has a pivotal role in weight management. Due to high fibre presence you stomach gets filled without adding much calories. Most nutritionists add sponge gourd into the diet of the clients who want to loose weight.

Good for Overall Health

We have previously discussed, Gilki or Nenua is rich in vitamins and minerals. It’s source of potassium that helps control the blood pressure level. Needless to say, regulated blood pressure has direct bearing on heart health.

Keeps You Hydrated

Sponge gourd is well known for its good water content. It’s what makes it a favorite among those who are looking for a food to keep themselves hydrated. Sponge Gourd is well known for maintaining body’s water balance.

Strengthens Bones

Minerals like calcium and magnesium are present in Gilki or sponge gourd. These minerals are well known for boosting bone’s health. Gilki is supposed to be boosting recovery in the case of osteoporosis.

Improves Vision

Sponge Gourd is also considered as the good source of Vitamin A. This vitamin is well known for its vision improving qualities.

Sponge Gourd Flower

Improves Brain Function

Sponge Gourd or Gilki is rich with iron that improves the intake of iron in the brain. It is needless to say, good intake of oxygen is necessary for health. Deficiency of iron may lead to conditions like loss of memory, restlessness and decreased brain function.

Good for Muscle Health

As Sponge Gourd is rich in potassium, it helps relaxing the muscle pain. Lack of potassium can lead to conditions like pain, spasm and cramp. Those consuming Giliki can rest assured that they can ward off muscle related difficulty to an extent.

Relieves Arthritis

Apart from other minerals, sponge gourd is a good source of copper which is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Due to this property sponge gourd offers great respite from arthritis that is characterized by stiffness and swelling in joints.

Detoxes Your Body

Want to detox your body? Sponge gourd could be a tool for this as it is well known for its detox properties. Detoxification improves your overall health.

Boosts Metabolism

Sponge Gourd has been found effective in boosting the metabolism of the body as it is rich in vitamins and minerals. Improved metabolism results in improved health.

Treats Anemia

Sponge Gourd is rich in vitamin B6 that is responsible for producing hemoglobin. It is hemoglobin that carries oxygen to blood cells. Regular use of vitamin B6 lowers the symptoms of anemia.

Sponge Gourd – Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different names of Sponge Gourd?

Sponge gourd is known with various names that include Gilki,Chinese Okra, Ridge Gourd, Turai, Turiya, Sponge and Smooth Luffa among the others.

Can Sponge Gourd be consumed raw?

In several countries, sponge Gourd is consumed in raw form as salad.

Can sponge gourd be farmed at home?

Even if you have very small piece of land you can grow it. You can also grow it in terrace garden.

Also Read

Terrace Garden – Tips on How to Build and Maintain a Roof Garden

Why should you use Sponge Gourd in your meal plan?

Sponge gourd is rich in vitamins and minerals. Besides, it also exhibits laxative properties. It is why it should be part of your diet plan.

Is Sponge Gourd useful for hair?

Sponge Gourd is good for hair health as it is rich in vitamins and minerals. Oil extracts from it, is used in production of hair oil.

Also Read

How to Set Up a Terrace Vegetable Garden

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