Articles>> Volume 4 Issue 1, 2020

Therapeutic and culinary uses of Benincasa hispida (Alupuhul)
S.K.P. Waidyarathna and E.R.H.S.S. Ediriweera
J Convent Knowl Holist Health 4 (1): Art. ID 203 (2020)
Benincasa hispida (Thunb.) Cogn. (Cucurbitaceae) is commonly called as winter melon or ash melon. It is a popular vegetable crop, especially among Asian communities both for nutritional and medicinal purposes. It has been used as a medicinal plant by Ayurvedic and Sri Lankan traditional physicians since antiquity. It is used singly or in various formulations in combination with different medicaments in Ayurveda and traditional medicine. The literature for the present review was gathered from Ayurvedic texts, traditional medical texts, books on plant science, modern medicinal texts, journals and online scientific tools. The fruits, pericarp, seeds, stems, roots and leaves of this plant are used in various preparations. It is used in internal treatment for urinary disorders including calculi, dysuria, pain in pelvis and genitals, disorders like gastritis, gastric ulcers, worm infestation, hiccough, hyperdipsea, anaemia, jaundice, diabetes mellitus, piles, fever, internal haemorrhages, hemoptysis, general debility, epilepsy, cough, hoarseness, all kinds of asthma, bronchitis, tuberculosis, ulceration of lungs, heart diseases, testosterone-induced prostatic hypertrophy and especially in the vitiated condition of Pitta Dosha. Externally, it showed anti-inflammatory, anti-asthmatic and antimicrobial effects. Rejuvenate, antioxidant, anti-ageing, nutritive, tonic, diuretic, aphrodisiac, nephron protective, styptic, vermin fugue, antidiabetic, hyperlipidemic, anxiolytic, muscle relaxant, antidepressant and antimicrobial in properties of Benincasa hispida are scientifically proven. It is concluded that Benincasa hispida is with multi-faceted medicinal values.

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