Snake gourd belong to Cucurbitaceae family which includes cucumber and squash.
Scientific name – Tricosanthes cucumerina
Synonyms – Serpent gourd, chichinda, Vopers gourd, Chinese cucumber
The name snake gourd is due to the unusual shape resembling a serpent.
- Due to its nutritional value, the fruit is consumed as vegetable. It is a great source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B and Vitamin A.
- possesses meaningful amounts of carbohydrates, protein and soluble fiber.
- high content of minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and iodine.
- high content of chemical constituents such as carotenoids, flavonoids and phenolic acids.
- Relieves acidity – Consuming snake gourd minimizes the production of unnecessary acids. Also, it is used in treating various conditions like peptic ulcers, duodenal ulcers and gastritis
- Treats and prevents Diabetes – This low-calorie vegetable, it will keep your body weight under control. It is specifically recommended to people who are dealing with Type-2 diabetes.
Snake gourd roots are used in anti-diabetic medicines in Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1Ayurveda dieticians prescribe Snake gourd among anti-diabetic diet.
- Improves the condition of Scalp and hair – Applying freshly extracted juice of snake gourd in the scalp and hair and leaving it for one hour before hair wash helps in reducing dandruff and minimizes hair fall.
- Healthy skin – This vegetable is packed multivitamins that restore skin tissues and cells making it youthful again. It improves the complexion and makes your skin radiant and lustrous. The water content found in the vegetable will keep your skin hydrated.
- Relieves respiratory symptoms – Snake gourd functions as an expectorant that relieves severe phlegm and pus found in respiratory tracts and sinuses. Also, relieves stuffy nose and breathing problems.
Snake Gourd Stir Fry recipe
Coconut oil – 1 tsp.
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp.
Curry leaves – few
Snake gourd – Cut and chopped into small pieces (Try to get locally grown organic snake gourd)
Carrot – 1, cut in to small pieces
Coconut – grated, 2 tbsp.
Turmeric – ¼ tsp.
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp.
Chili powder – ½ tsp.
Salt – to taste
Method of preparation –
Wash and chop off the top and bottom of snake gourd and cut it into small pieces. Heat oil in a small pan and when hot splutter mustard seeds. Add chopped snake gourd, Carrots, turmeric powder, and mix well. Add ½ cup water. Let it cook without lid on low-medium heat for 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally and continue cooking until the vegetables are tender. Now, in a blender add scraped coconut, cumin seeds and chili powder. Crush it and add with cooked vegetables. Add salt to taste. Serve warm with rice or flat bread.
- Yu, Ao et al. “Chinese Herbal Medicine Versus Other Interventions in the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials” Journal of evidence-based integrative medicine 23 (2018): 2515690X18781519.
Article prepared by – Arya Krishna
Image – Arya Krishna