Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sponge Gourd Cultivation

sponge gourd(luffa aegyptiaca)
Scientific classification

Kingdom         : Plantae
(unranked)       : Angiosperms
(unranked)       : Eudicots
(unranked)       : Rosids
Order              : Cucurbitales
Family              : Cucurbitaceae
Subfamily         : Cucurbitoideae
Tribe                : Benincaseae
Subtribe           : Luffinae
Genus              : Luffa Mill

Species

Luffa acutangula (Angled Luffa, Ridged Luffa, Vegetable Gourd)
Luffa aegyptiaca / Luffa cylindrica (Smooth Luffa, Egyptian Luffa, Dishrag Gourd, Sponge Gourd Loofa)
Luffa operculata (Wild Loofa, Sponge Cucumber)

Synonyms

Poppya
Trevauxia
Trevouxia
Turia

The luffa, loofah, or lufah  are tropical and subtropical vines comprising the genus Luffa, the only genus of the subtribe Luffinae of the plant family Cucurbitaceae. The fruit of  Luffa aegyptiaca (Luffa cylindrica), is grown, harvested before maturity, and eaten as a vegetable, popular in Asia and Africa.

sponge gourd seeds
luffa sponge


The ripe, dried fruit is also the source of the loofah or plant sponge. Luffas are also used to make the soles of beach sandals.

Luffa species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, including Hypercompe albicornis.

Parts of the plant are used to create bath or kitchen sponges, furniture and even houses. The term is also used to describe synthetic bath tools that serve the same purpose.

Uses

The fruit section of L. aegyptiaca may be allowed to mature and used as a bath or kitchen sponge after being processed to remove everything but the network of xylem or fibers. Marketed as luffa or loofah, the sponge

is used like a body scrub. Softly-textured luffa sponges are not derived from the luffa fruit, but are manufactured by folding in several layers of soft mesh-like fabric into a cloud-like shape; commonly used in tandem with shower soaps.

As a Sponge

It serves wonderfully when used as a kitchen and bathroom sponge. Its dried fibrous interior acts as a natural skin shiner. Like other sponges, loofah will collect bacteria if it is kept moist and warm, an environment common to bathrooms. As a dry brush, it will gently remove the surface layer of dead skin, leaving the skin smooth and conditioned.

When used as a kitchen sponge, it makes a great abrasive sponge for removing stubborn food particles from dishes and counter tops. It is also gentle enough to use on delicate things like coated cookware which cannot withstand normal abrasives.

In Paraguay, panels are made out of luffa combined with other vegetable matter and recycled plastic. These
sponge gourd extra long

can be used to create furniture and construct houses.

Sponge gourd is one of the popular variety among gourds. This is easily digestible. It can be cooked in may ways. The bhajia prepared with this vegetable are very popular among indian people.

Medicinal use

Sponge gourd contains a gelatinous compound called luffein. It has lot of medicinal use.

 * The oils  from the seeds are known to cure coetaneous complaints.
 * The roots have laxative effects .
 * The juice from the leaves is used to cure granular conjunctivitis of the eye, adrenal type diabetes,
     hemorrhoid and jaundice. The juice is obtained by pounding the bitter luffa and squeezing it through
     a cloth. Bitter luffa seeds and dry crusts are also available and can be used for the same purpose.
 * Sponge gourd possess many healing and medicinal properties and is quite useful in asthma, skin diseases and splenic enlargement. Researchers discovered that its regular consumption is helpful for rheumatism, backache, internal hemorrhage, chest pains as well as hemorrhoids.


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