Snake gourd is a very common vegetable consumed all over India. It is greenish in color, and has a snake like shape, giving it its name. It has its origin in India. It is slightly elongated in shape, and basically has its roots in the cucumber family. Snake gourd is a creeper, which is a climbing herb which uses other plants to grow upon. The stem or tendrils of the snake gourd gets divided into 3 main parts. This tree has a lot of fruits and flowers. The color of the fruits vary from being white at the beginning, orange when it is just ripe, and by the time it matures, it turns into a nice ripe red. The leaves of the snake gourd are slightly peculiar shaped, which helps it to be easily discerned from other plants.The snake gourd is highly rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. Thus, calcium helps in building your bones, while the other minerals are all essential for your body in optimum quantity. Thus, snake gourd helps in maintaining proper body balance. This vegetable contains a lot of fibre or roughage, and thus helps a lot in the smooth working of the digestive and excretory system. It prevents constipation, and cleans up the alimentary canal. The major part of the vegetable consists of water, and thus it has low fat and cholesterol. Thus, it is a good dietary food. Hence, diabetic patients can consume it so that they can reduce their weight, while keeping the nutrition levels intact. The leaves of snake gourd, along with a correct proportion of coriander seeds, when grinded give a very commonly used cure for jaundice. Snake gourd is a natural antibiotic. It can also be used as a laxative sometimes. It has many anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties.
scientific Name: Trichosanthes cucumerina
Common Name: Snake gourd
How to grow and maintain snake gourd:
It’s all about soil and seeds. Gourds do incredibly well in permaculture soil. We’ve grown 3.5 foot long bottle gourds in the Cancer Institute’s permaculture-raised beds. You can also use regular potting mix. Ensure the soil is loose, well-drained and well-mulched.
Spread the lateral tubes on the raised beds of 120cm wide at 150cm spacing. Irrigate the beds by operating the drip system continuously for 8-12 hrs. Plant the seedings in the holes made at 60cm spacing.
Gourds can gift many seeds to the seed saver. To save seeds, let your fruit ripen on the vine.snake gourd left until it turns almost golden red.Pick the fruit when it is almost ready to burst. Extract the seeds and sun-dry them till they are toasted. Store in a seed bag, with some ash, in a cool dry place until the next growing season.
Gourds are secured with light fluff until they are prepared to collect. It’s a barely recognizable difference between a delicate gourd and an overripe one, so pick the gourd when the fluff has gone; it feels delicate to the touch yet measures overwhelming in the hand.
After you have bought the healthy and fresh snake gourd from the market, and say you want to have it after a few days; make sure that you keep it well-packed in an air-tight container, like a sealed box or a plastic bag. Keep it in the crispier drawers of your refrigerator. Keep in mind, that the more you keep your vegetables stored in the refrigerator, the more it will lose its freshness as time goes by. Hence, try to consume it within a few days of purchasing them from the market.