The most important health benefits of snake gourd include its ability to reduce fever, detoxify the body, improve digestion, increase hydration, strengthen the immune system, treat diabetes, improve strength and quality of the hair, and aid in weight loss.
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What is Snake Gourd?
Snake gourd is a vine plant that climbs up a tree and then unfurls its flowers and fruits to hang down to the ground. Some of the largest specimens can grow up to five feet in length, which is why this gourd is often used to make the traditional Australian musical instrument, the didgeridoo. This plant is native to Southeast Asia, including Myanmar, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and other neighboring countries, as well as some parts of Australia and Africa. It may not be a type of vegetable that is well-known around the world, but certain cultures have been utilizing this unique food variety for hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of years.
The taste is bitter, but this often disappears when cooking, although once the vegetable is ripe, the bitterness is more difficult to eliminate. The leaves, tendrils, and other leafy parts of the plant are often used as vegetable greens, while the fleshy meat often replaces tomatoes in terms of culinary applications.
It is strange in appearance, name, and taste, but its health benefits cannot be denied. Let’s take a closer look at what specifically makes snake gourd such an important dietary staple in so many cultures around the world.
Snake Gourd Nutrition Facts
Snake gourd contains a rich variety of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are essential for human health, including significant levels of dietary fiber, a small number of calories, and high levels of protein. In terms of vitamins, it possesses vitamin A, B, C, as well as manganese, magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium, and iodine.
Health Benefits of Snake Gourd
Health benefits of snake gourd include the following:
In many tropical countries, fever can be a major danger to public health, regardless of its cause. Snake gourd can be turned into a decoction and given to people suffering from fever. Overnight, fevers tend to break and the natural healing process can begin.
Detoxifies the Body
Snake gourd has been used as a diuretic in traditional medicine for many years, as it stimulates the liver and increases urination, thereby speeding up the elimination of toxins from the body. It increases the creation of bodily fluids, which can eliminate dryness and dehydration, and help in the normal functioning of the kidneys and bladder. Juice from the leaves can also stimulate vomiting in case something toxic has been consumed.
Treats Digestive Issues
Children with bowel problems have been given snake gourd to ease their discomfort, as it acts as a mild laxative. Furthermore, the high fiber content of snake gourd can help anyone with bowel disorders and can eliminate constipation, reduce cramping and bloating, and optimize the nutrient absorption process in the body.
Improves Respiratory System
Snake gourd functions as an expectorant, loosening pus and phlegm in the sinuses and respiratory tracts so that they can be eliminated. This further benefits the immune system, as toxins and other foreign agents often get caught in phlegm and mucus to cause more serious conditions.
For people suffering from alopecia, snake gourd is said to stimulate the growth of new hair and protect weakening follicles from hair loss. This can be attributed to its rich mineral and vitamin content, particularly its high level of carotenes, which specifically care for the skin and hair. It is also claimed that snake gourd can reduce the frequency and intensity of dandruff.
Boosts Immune System
Some research has shown snake gourd to have antibiotic properties, and when combined with the levels of antioxidant carotenes and vitamin C found in the vegetable, this helpful gourd can significantly boost overall health. The specifics of what conditions the antibiotic effects are most useful for is still a subject of research.
The low-calorie, high-nutrient composition of snake gourd makes it a favorite anti-diabetic food source, and can also lessen the effects if the condition already exists. Obesity is one of the major signals of oncoming diabetes, and snake gourd functions as a great dietary option due to its effect of making you feel sated and satisfied without adding many excess calories.
In traditional medicine, snake gourd was often utilized to reduce heart palpitations and ease the nervous system to induce lower blood pressure. This is likely due to the presence of potassium in the vegetable, which acts as a vasodilator and reduces stress on the cardiovascular system.