Scientific names    

Cucurbita siceraria Molina     
Cucurbita lagenaria Linn.     
Cucurbita lagenaria-oblonga Blanco      
Cucurbita lagenaria-villosa Blanco      
Cucurbita leucantha Duch.     
Lagenaria leucantha  (Duch.) Rusby     
Lagenaria siceraria (Mol.) Standley     
Lagenaria vulgaris Seringe     
Hu lu (Chin.)     

Common names

Buliangin (Sub.)
Kalubai (Bis.)
Labu (Sul.)
Opo (Tag.)
Sikai (Bis.)
Tabungau (Bon., Ilk.)
Upo (Tag.)
Bottle gourd (Engl.)
Calabash gourd (Engl.)
Common gourd (Engl.)
Bian pu (Chin.)
White-flowered gourd (Engl.)
White pumpkin (Engl.)
Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Hu, hu lu gua, hulu, hu gua, mao gua, peh poh
DANISH: Flaskegræskar, Flaskegraeskar, Kalabas.
DUTCH : Fleskalebas, Flessepompoen.
FINNISH : Pullokurpitsa.
FRENCH : Gourde bouteille, Cougourde, Calebassier, Calebasse.
FINNISH : Pullokurpitsa.
GERMAN : Flaschenkürbis, Flaschen-Kürbis, Trompetenkürbis, Kalebassenkürbis.
HINDI : Dudhi (Dudi, Dodi), Lokhi (Lauki).
INDONESIAN : Labu botol, Labu air, Labu putih
ITALIAN : Zucca da tabacco, zucca da vino
KHMER : Khlôôk.
LAOTIAN : Namz taux.
MALAYALAM : Sorekai.
MARATHI : Charanga.
NEPALESE: Laukaa, Tito tumba
ORIYA : Lau.
PORTUGUESE : Abóbora-carneira, Cabaco.
PUNJABI : Dudhi.
SINHALESE : Diya labu.
SPANISH : Calabaza vinatera, Cogorda, Cajombre, Calabaza, Guiro amargo.
SWEDISH : Kalebass, Flaskkurbits.
TELUGU : Beerakaya.
THAI : Namtao (Naam tao), Manamtao, Khi luu saa.

Upo is a coarse vine reaching a length of several meters. Leaves are rounded, 10 to 40 centimeters wide, softly hairy on both sides, 5-angled or lobed. Flowers, white, large, solitary, and monoecious or dioecious. Petals are ovate, 3 to 4 centimeters long. Calyx is hairy, with a funnel-shaped tube. Fruit is green, mottled with gray or white, usually club-shaped, up to 80 centimeters long and 15 centimeters across, but in other forms, ovoid to depressed-globose and nearly as thick as it is long.

- Cultivated throughout the Philippines.
- Naturalized in some parts of Mindanao.
- Pantropic in distribution.

- Phytochemical screening yielded triterpenoids, flavonoids and steroids.
- Fruit is a good source of iron, calcium, and phosphorus, vitamin B.
- Fruit is 6% sugar; the seeds contain a fixed oil and saponin.
- Study isolated a new withanolide
- Seeds yield a clear, limpid oil.
- Extract study of fruits yielded two flavonoids, a triterpenoid, and a mixture of sterols. Spectral analyses showed oleanolic acid, ß-sitosterol, campesterol, isoquercitrin and kaempferol.

- Fruit considered antibiotic, antidote, aphrodisiac, cardiotonic, cardioprotective, diuretic, febrifuge, lithotriptic, poultice, purgative, vermifuge.

Parts utilized
Pulp, fruit, shoots, leaves, seeds.


Edibility / Nutrition

- One of the commonest vegetables raised in the Philippines.
- Flesh is white and soft, boiled and seasoned or used in stews or with fish.
- Pulp is an ingredient in many confections.
- Fruit is a good source of iron, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin B.
- In West Tropical Africa, young shoots, leaves, and flower buds used as vegetable.
- Shoots boiled with milk or coconut milk to reduce the unpleasant flavor.
- Young fruits should be consumed within 2 weeks after harvest. Longer storage causes rapid water loss.
- In Japan, long strips of fruit skin are boiled, soaked in soya sauce with a little sugar, and used as sushi ingredient.


- Young shoots and leaves used for enema.
- Pulp used as purgative adjunct; also used for coughs, asthma, and poison antidote.
- Green fruit in syrup used as a pectoral.
- Leaf juice or sugared decoction used as emetic. Also used in jaundice.
- Crushed leaves used for baldness; applied to the head for headaches.
- Seeds also used as antihelminthic.
- Juice of fruit used for stomach acidity, indigestion and ulcers.
- Poultice of seeds used for boils.
- In the Gold Coast young shoots and leaves used for enema.
- Pulp occasionally used as a adjunct to purgatives. Also used in coughs, and as antidote to certain poisons.
- Externally the pulp is applied as a poultice and cooling preparation to the shaved head in cases of delirium and applied to the soles in burning of the feet.
- Seed oil used as emollient application to the head and as a means of relieving headache. Oil also administered internally.
- In China, used for diabetes.


- The dry shell of the fruit used for domestic utensils, bowls, pipes, bottles, horns or musical instruments.
- Half-fruit shell used as a hat.
- In Kenya, the Luo make a large bugle from the bottle gourds, blown during ceremonies and chasing away animals. Also used for smoking cannabis.


Diuretic: Study of the juice extract and methanol extract of LS showed significantly significant diuretic potential, comparable to that of furosemide.

Immunomodulatory: Study of the methanolic extracts of the fruit of LS showed significant dose-dependent delayed hypersensitivity reaction in rats with increase in white cell and lymphocyte count. Results suggest a promising immunomodulatory activity.

Antihyperlipidemic: (1) Study of fruit extract of L siceraria significantly reduced the total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides and suggests a potential household remedy for hyperlipidemia. (2) Study of methanolic extract of L siceraria demonstrated an antihyperlipidemic potential with significant elevation of HDl cholesterol. Results also provided a valid scientific basis for consumption for the treatment of coronary heart diseases in India.

Phytochemicals / Antihyperlipidemic: Study revealed the presence of flavonoids, sterols, cucurbitacin saponins, polyphenolics, proteins and carbohydrates. Results marked hypolipidemic and antihyperlipidemic activity of the extracts.

Anthelmintic: In a study using Pheretima posthuma as test worms, the methanol and benzene extracts significantly demonstrated paralysis and death of worms, compared to a standard of Piperazine. Results confirm the traditional use of the seeds of the plant as an antihelmintic.

Antioxidant: Results showed that fresh fruit extract exhibited higher DPPH radical scavenging activity than other samples. Both fresh and dried fruits may give relatively similar antioxidant effects.

Antioxidant / Biologic Activities: Extract was found effective as hepatoprotective, antioxidant, antihyperglycemic, immunomodulatory, antihyperlipidemic and cardiotonic. The various biologic activities may be due to the radical scavenging capacity of L siceraria.

Antioxidant / Seeds: Study showed an ethanolic seed extract to possess significant antioxidant activity and a potential source as an excellent natural antioxidant.

Anthelmintic / Antimicrobial: Study of extracts of leaves showed significant dose-dependent anthelmintic activity against earthworm Pheretima posthuma and tapeworm. Extracts also showed moderate antibacterial and antifungal activity against the microorganisms tested.

Antihyperglycemic: Study of a methanol extract of aerial parts of L. siceraria in STZ-induced diabetes in rats showed potent antihyperglycemic activity probably attributable to its rich flavonoid content.

Anti-Urolithiatic: Study of fruit powder of Lagenaria siceraria against sodium oxalate-induced urolithiasis in rats showed a beneficial anti-urolithiatic effect probably by decreasing CaOx excretion and preventing crystal deposition in the kidney tubules.

Central Nervous System Effects: Study evaluated the analgesic and CNS depressant effects of extracts of leaves. A petroleum ether extract showed maximum analgesia compared to the methanol and chloroform extracts. The extracts Inhibited both central and peripheral mechanisms of pain. n the study on CNS-depressant effect, the methanolic extract showed significant reduction of spontaneous motor activity, with potentiation of pentobarbitone-induced sleep time.

Cardioprotective: Treatment with Ls fruit juice showed a cardioprotective effect in isoproterenol-induced myocardial infarction in rats.

Hepatoprotective / Antioxidant: Study in carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity showed potent hepatoprotective activity of a methanol extract probably attributable to its significant free radical scavenging activity and high polyphenolic and flavonoid contents.


Source: stuartxchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Diuretic activity of Lagenaria siceraria fruit extracts in rats / B V Ghule et al / Indian Journ of Pharma Sciences / Year : 2007 | Volume : 69 | Issue : 6 | Page : 817-819 / DOI: 10.4103/0250-474X.39441

(2) Immunomodulatory effects of Lagenaria siceraria fruits in rats / Pharmacognosy Magazine / ISSN: 0973-1296 / Vol 4, Issue 16 (Suppl.), Oct-Dec, 2008

(3) Antihyperlipidemic activity of isolated constituents from the fruits of Lagenaria siceraria in albino rats / Int J Green Pharm / Year : 2008 | Volume : 2 | Issue : 2 | Page : 104-107

(4)Lagenaria siceraria - (Molina.)Standl / Bottle Gourd / Plants For A Future

(5)Antihyperlipidemic effect of the methanolic extract from Lagenaria siceraria Stand. fruit in hyperlipidemic rats / B V Ghule et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology • Volume 124, Issue 2, 15 July 2009, Pages 333-337 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2009.04.040

(6) Hypolipidemic and antihyperlipidemic effects of Lagenaria siceraria (Mol.) fruit extracts / B V Ghule et al / Indian Journ of Experimental Biology • Vol 44, Nov 2006, pp 905-909

(7)In-vitro Anthelmintic Activity of Seed Extract of Lagenaria siceraria (Molina.) Standley Fruit / Thube Smita et al / Journal of Pharmacy Research 2009, 2(7),1194-1195

(8)Antioxidant activity and HPTLC profile of Lagenaria siceraria fruits / P Erasto and Z H Mbwambo / Tanzania Journal of Health Research, Vol. 11, No. 2, April 2009

(9)Beneficial effects of Lagenaria siceraria Standley fruit epicarp in animal models / Indian Journ of Experimental Biology • Vol 46, April 2008, pp 234-2423

(10)Lagenaria siceraria / Catalogue of Life, China

(11)Sorting Lagenaria names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher, / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE

(12)Lagenaria siceraria (Molina) Standl. / PROTA

(13)STUDY THE ANTIOXIDANT ACTIVITY OF LAGENARIA SICERARIA SEEDS / Satvir, Singh, N.S,Gill.Rashmi Arora / International Journal of Natural Product Science 2012: Spl Issue 1:224.


(15)Effect of Lagenaria siceraria fruit powder on sodium oxalate induced urolithiasis in Wistar rats / Takawale RV, Mali VR, Kapase CU, Bodhankar SL. / J Ayurveda Integr Med 2012;3:75-9


(17)Cardioprotective Effects of Lagenaria siceraria Fruit Juice on Isoproterenol-induced Myocardial Infarction in Wistar Rats: A Biochemical and Histoarchitecture Study / A Upaganlawar and R Balaraman / J Young Pharm. 2011 Oct-Dec; 3(4): 297–303. / doi: 10.4103/0975-1483.90241

(18)Antioxidant and Hepatoprotective Activity of Lagenaria siceraria Aerial parts / P. Saha, U. K. Mazumder, P. K. Haldar, M. Gupta, S. Kundu Sen, A. Islam / Pharmacognosy Journal / DOI: 10.5530/pj.2011.23.10

(19)Triterpenoid, flavonoids and sterols from Lagenaria siceraria fruits / Gangwal A., Parmar S. K., Sheth N. R. / Der Pharmacia Lettre, 2010: 2 (1) 307-317