Botanical Name

Luffa echinata Roxb.




Momordica erinocarpa Fenzl ex Naudin.

Regional Name

English : Bitter Sponge Gourd, Bristly Luffa,  Bitter luffa, Rag gourd, Hindi : Bidali, Bindaal, Bindal, Ghagharbel, Dutar toru, Ghagarabela,  Ghusarana, Jangli-tori, Kakora, Kakoda, Khaksi, Sanskrit : Akhuvishaka, Bandala, Dali, Deodalika, Deotada, Devadali, Devatadaka, Devatadakah, Devedali, Kannada: Daivadali, Daevadaali, Daevadangaar, Daevadangari, Devadangar. Marathi : Daevadaagaree, Daevadangaree, Devadali, Devadangari, Kukadvel, Kukdavel. Tamil : Peypirkku, Kocaratacitta, Telugu: Paanibira, Panibira, Bengali : Deyatada, Gujarati : Kukurvel.

Part Used



The plant is a climber with slender sulcate, slightly hairy to smooth stem, leaves are kidney shaped, round, shallowly or deeply 5-lobbed. In India, it is mainly found in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Gujarat. The plant is also found in many parts of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and some parts of tropical Africa. The fruits are ashy, oblong, ovoid, 2-5 cm long, densely covered with 4-7 mm long bristles. Seeds are ovate, black 4-5 mm long, 3-5 mm broad and 2 mm thick.


Fruit contains chrysoeriol and its glycosides as principal flavonoids. The seeds contain cucurbitacin B, triterpene alcohols and sapogenin.

Ayurvedic Properties

Rasa : Katu (Pungent), Tikta (Bitter), Guna : Laghu (Light for digestion), Ruksha (Cause dryness), Virya : Ushna (Hot in potency), Vipaka : Katu (Undergoes Pungent taste after digestion), Karma : Tridosahara (Pacifies all the dosha), Vamaka (Induces Emesis), Vishagna (Controls the poisonous effect).

Ayurvedic Applications

Kustha, Sotha, Kasa, Antrasula, Suryavarta, Arsa, Svayathu (odema), Prameha (urinary disorders), Pilahayakritroga (hepato splenic infections).

Medicinal Uses

It is used for treatment of jaundice, rhinitis, cough, breathing, respiratory diseases, inducing purgation, diseases of the liver and spleen, during difficulty in labor to dilate the uterus. It is also used for haemorrhoids, tuberculosis, fever, inflammation, headache, sinusitis dyspnoea, treat urinary tract infections, dysmenorrhea and difficulty in micturition. It is also used to treat ascites, intestinal colic, intestinal worms and ingested poison, skin diseases, ringworm and purification of blood. The fresh fruit juice and whole plant is given to induce emesis and purgation in cases of ingested poison.


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