Scientific name     

Solanum lycopersicum Linn.      
Lycopersicum esculentum Mill.     
Lycopersicum cerasiforme Dunal     

Common names

Kamatis (C. Bis., Tag., Bik., Sul., Ig.)
Kamatis-bundok (Tag.)
Umli (If.)
Tomate (Span.)
Fan qie (Chin.)
Tomato (Engl.)
General info

There are around 7,500 varieties of tomato. In 2009, about 150 million tons of tomatoes were produced worldwide. China, the largest producer, accounted for almost 30 % of the global output. Depending on shape or size, tomatoes are categorized into: Slicing or globe, beefsteak, oxheart, plum, pear, cherry, grape, and campari.


Kamatis is a hairy annual herb, typically growing 1 to 3 meters in height, with ascending or spreading hairy and branched stems. Stem is weak, often sprawling over the ground or vines over other plants. Leaves are pinnate and alternate, oblong-ovate, 10 to 40 centimeters long. Leaflets are irregular and toothed or lobed. Inflorescence is racemose or cymose, 5 to 8 centimeters long, and few flowered. Flowers are yellow, 1 to 1.5 centimeters long. Fruit is variable in shape; in the wild and naturalized forms it is rounded or pear-shaped; 1 to 1.5 centimeters in diameter; in the commonly cultivated form, the fruit is rounded and compressed, lobed, 4 to 10 centimeters wide, red when ripe, smooth, fleshy, juicy, subacid, containing numerous seeds.

- Found throughout the Philippines in its original form.
- Extensively cultivated; grown in gardens and farms as vegetable.
- Cultivated worldwide.


- Plant yields solanine and fixed oil.
- The fruit yields the carotene lycopene, of the most powerful antioxidants. The red color found in tomatoes is due to lycopene; therefore, the redder the tomato, the higher the lycopene content. Yellow and green tomatoes are relatively low in lycopene.
- 100 gm of tomato contains: Water 94%, protein 1 gm; fat 0,3%, carbohydrate 4%, fiber 0.6%, vitamin A 1,100 IU, Vit B 0.2mh. vitamin C 23 mg, nicotinic acid 0.6%, pantothenic acid 0.31 mg, vitamin E 0.27 mg, biotin 0.004 mg, malic acid 150 mg, citric acid 390 mg, oxalic acid 7.5 mg, sodium 3 mg, potassium 268 mg, calcium 11 mg, magnesium 11 mg, iron 0.6 mg, copper 0.1 mg, manganese 0.19 mg, phosphorus 27 mg, sulfur 11 mg, chlorine 51 mg.
- Natural genetic variation has yielded a genetic plethora of genes that produce lycopene, carotene, anthocyanin, and other antioxidants.
- Seeds contain globuline, vitamins A, B, and C, solanine, etc.


- Considered a mild aperient, a promoter of gastric secretion, and a blood purifier.
- Also considered an intestinal antiseptic, with a cleansing effect in the enteric portion of the intestinal tract.
- Considered antioxidant from the carotene lycopene.

Lycopene / Hepatoprotective: Lycopene is considered a better antioxidant than other carotenoids. In a study on acute injury caused by oxidant carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), results showed that tomato juice, with its lycopene and ascorbic acid content, exhibited a strong effect on oxidative damage of CCl4 in rat liver.

Lycopene / Prostate Cancer Prevention / No Magic Tomato / A Negative Report: A study reported no significant difference between those who had prostate cancer and those who did not in relation to the concentration of lycopene in their blood stream. In fact, researchers noted an association between beta-carotene, an antioxidant related to lycopene, and an increased risk for aggressive prostate cancer.

Lectins / Mucosal Immunogen: Lycospersicum esculentum lectins studies suggest it to be a potent mucosal immunogen, enhancing immune responses to antigens.

Tomatoes in Gene Therapy: Jure Piskur et al from the Lund University, published study results suggesting the tomato gene could be of value in future treatment of brain tumors.

Antimutagenic / Anticlastogenic: Study evaluated the combined effect of tomato and garlic against DBMA-induced genetic damage and oxidative stress in mice. Results suggest a broad spectrum of antimutagenic and anticlastogenic effects may be achieved through a combination of functional foods.

Radioprotective: Radioprotective effects of an aqueous extract of tomato extract was studied in chromosome aberration in cells of bone marrow in irradiated mice. Pretreatment with the extract resulted in a significant reduction in the percentage of aberrant metaphases as well as in the different types of aberration scored. The extract showed not toxicity at 1500 mg KBW.

Prevention of Lead Adverse Effects: In a rat study, lead was showed to cause significant reductions in many hematologic and laboratory parameters with significant increases in the percentage of neutrophils and plasma malondialdehyde concentration. Tomato paste significantly prevented the effects of lead acetate.

Decreased Plately Aggregation: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study evaluated the use of a tomato extract as dietary supplement to prevent platelet aggregation. Results showed significant reductions in es vivo platelet aggregation induced by ADP and collagen. Results suggest tomato extract, as a dietary supplement or functional food, may have a role in primary prevention of cardiovascular disease by reducing platelet activation, which could contribute to thrombotic events.

In The News

Fruitflow / Antithrombotic / Aspirin Alternative: Study claims that Fruitflow, a tomato extract, can reduce the risk of blood clots, which can trigger heart attacks and strokes. Results of a human clinical trial compares Fruitflow with aspirin, with its ability to reduce platelet aggregation by 28% through three different biologic pathways (vs aspirin, 60% reduction, in a single pathway).


Commercial cultivation.

 Source: stuartxchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1)Protective effects of tomato consumption against the oxidative damage caused by CCl4 in rat's liver / Tuncay Altug et al / Adv Mol Med 2007; 3(4): 183-188 / DOI 10.2399/amm.07.183

(2)Medicinal (Healing) Applications of Tomatoes / HolisticOnLine

(3)Tomato genes could be used as future treatment in gene therapy: Study / The Medical News

(4)Tomato and garlic by gavage modulate 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced genotoxicity and oxidative stress in mice / V Bhuvaneswari et al / Braz J Med Biol Res, July 2004, Volume 37(7) 1029-1034 (Short Communication)

(5)Aspirin may have a new anti-thrombotic rival / Elaine Watson / Headlines / FoodManufacture

(6)Tomato / Wikipedia

(7)RADIO-PROTECTIVE EFFECT OF LYCOPERSICON ESCULENTUM EXTRACT AGAINST RADIATION INDUCED CHROMOSOMAL ABERRATION IN SWISS ALBINO MICE / Tekchand Dhirhe, B.K Maheshwari, Presenjit Raut, Sangeeta Dhirhe / International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review and Research, Volume 7, Issue 1, March – April 2011

(8)Lycopersicon esculentum (Tomato) Prevents Adverse Effects of Lead on Blood Constituents / Salawu, Emmanuel O. / Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences, Vol. 17, No. 3, 2010, pp. 13-18

(9)Tomatoes and Tomato Products as Medicine / Jade Teta, ND, CSCS; Keoni Teta ND, LAc CSCS; and Julie Sutton ND, LAc, CSCS / Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients

(10)No Magic Tomato? Study Breaks Link Between Lycopene And Prostate Cancer Prevention / May 17, 2007 / Science Daily

(11)Lycopene / Health Information / Mayo Clinic

(12)A Review of Epidemiologic Studies of Tomatoes, Lycopene, and Prostate Cancer / Edward Giovannucci / Experimental Biology and Medicine, 2002

(13)Effects of tomato extract on platelet function: a double-blinded crossover study in healthy humans / Niamh O'Kennedy, Lynn Crosbie, Stuart Whelan, Vanessa Luther, Graham Horgan, John I Broom, David J Webb, and Asim K Duttaroy / American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2006

(14)Effect of a tomato-rich diet on markers of cardiovascular disease risk in moderately overweight, disease-free, middle-aged adults: a randomized controlled trial / Frank Thies, Lindsey F Masson, Amelia Rudd et al / American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2012

Scientific name   
Allium cepa L.    

Common names
Sibuyas (Tag.)
Cebollas (Span.)
Cebuyas (C. Bis.)
Lasona (Ilk.)
Common onion (Engl.)
Onion (Engl.)
Scallions (Engl.)
True onion (Engl.)
Yang cong (Chin.)
Other vernacular names

ARABIC: Bassal.
BENGALI: Piaaj, Pinaaj.
BOSNIAN: Crni luk, Crveni luk, Ljetnji luk, Luk.
BURMESE: Kyet thun ni.
CHINESE: Yuan cong, cong tou.
CROATIAN: Crni luk, Crljenac, Crveni luk, Črlenec, Luk, Sijanac.
CZECH: Cibule, Cibule kuchyňská.
DUTCH: Ajuin, Ui.
FINNISH: Sipuli, Punasipuli , Ruokasipuli.
FRENCH: Oignon.
GREEK: Kremmydi.
HEBREW: Bazal, Besalim.
HINDI: Pyaaz, Pyāja sanyantra.
HUNGARIAN: Hagyma, Vöröshagyma.
ITALIAN: Cipolla
COUNTRY: Tama negi.
KHMER: Khtüm barang.
KOREAN: Yang pa.
LAOTIAN: Bwàx fàlangx, Phak bouo.
MALAY: Bawang besar (Brunei), Bawang Bombay (Indonesia).
ORIYA: Piaja.
PERSIAN: Piyaaz.
POLISH: Cebula, Cebula jadalna, Cebula zwyczajna, Czosnek cebula.
RUSSIAN: Luk repchatyi.
SANSKRIT: Palandu.
SERBIAN: Arpadžik, Crni luk , Crni lukac , Crvenac , Crveni luk, Kapula , Kromid , Kromit , Kromiti luk , Luk.
SLOVAK: Cibuľa, Cibuľa kuchynská.
SLOVENIAN: Čebul, Čebula.
SPANISH: Cebolla, Cebolla macho.
SWAHILI: Kitunguu.
SWEDISH: Lök, Vanlig lök, Vitlök.
THAI: Dton bpa ser gor, Dton hom hua yai, Hom yai, Hom huayai, Hua hom.
URDU: Pyaaz.
VIETNAMESE: Củ hành tây, Hành tây.

Sibuyas is a low herb, with leaves shorter than the scape, cylindric, hollow, 8 millimeters in diameter, narrowing upward to a slender apex, shorter than the inflorescence. Scape is inflated, about 30 centimeters high, 1 centimeter thick in the middle, narrowed at both ends. Flowers are stellate, numerous in a dense and rounded umbel, with pedicels 5 to 7 millimeters long. Perianth segments are oblong, acuminate, 5 to 6 millimeters long. Filaments are longer than the petals.


- Cultivated as market produce.
- Originated in western Asia, from where it spread to Greece, Italy, and Egypt.

- Onion bulb yields 0.005 per cent of its weight of a dark-brown essential oil. The main portion of the oil consists of a compound, C6H12S2.
- Outer skin of the onion bulb yields a yellow coloring matter (quercetin), C15H10O7, allyl propyldisulphide, inulin, carbohydrate (6%), protein (2.4%), fat (0.1%), ash (0.3%), and vitamin C.
- Bulb constituents are reported as: essential oil (0.015%), quercetin, quercetrin, allyl disulphide, allyl
- Study isolated seven compounds from the ethanolic extract of seeds of A. cepa: tianshic acid, N-trans-feruloyl tyramine, beta-sitosterol-3 beta-glucopyranoside-6'-palmitate, sitosterol, daucosterol, tryptophane, and adenine riboside.


- Carminative, demulcent, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, rubefacient, stimulant.
- Juice is disinfectant, rejuvinative, antispasmodic.
- Oil is considered stimulant, diuretic, and expectorant; bulb is emmenagogue, externally stimulant and rubefacient.

Parts used


Edibility / Nutrition

- Onions are used as both food and condiment.
- In the Philippines, medicinal use of onion is limited.
- Bulb, cooked and mixed with coconut oil, used as ointment and applied to the abdomen to promote diuresis.
- Bulb is emmenagogue, stimulant, diuretic, expectorant; externally, is rubefacient.
- Mixed with common salt, is used for fever, catarrh, chronic bronchitis.
- Juice of onion, mixed with honey, ginger juice, and ghee, used as aphrodisiac.
- Bulb applied as cooling poultice for boils, bruises, and wounds; applied to the navel in dysentery and body heat.
- Juice is used like smelling salts for faintness, in infantile convulsions, headache, epileptic and hysterical fits.
- Juice dropped warm into ears to relieve earaches; applied hot to the soles of feet for convulsive disorders.
- Juice inhaled in epistaxis; applied to the eyes in dimness of vision.
- Mixed with mustard oil in equal proportions and applied to rheumatic pains and other inflammatory swellings.
- Onions are eaten to mitigate cough in phthsis.
- Mixed with vinegar for use in sore throat; cooked in vinegar for jaundice, splenic enlargement, and dyspepsia.
- In malarial fevers, eaten twice daily with two or three black peppers.
- Eaten with jaggery to stimulate growth in children.
- Decoction of onions used for strangury.
- Roasted onion mixed with sugar candy and cow's ghee used as soothing demulcent and stimulant.
- Juice or slices of raw onion is applied to insect bites and stings or burns.
- Juice of the bulb mixed with mustard oil or coconut oil is used for rheumatic and inflammatory swellings.
- Onion and garlic juice used for nervousness, insomnia, and rheumatism: 3 tbsp daily.
- Juices of onion, garlic carrot, radish, garlic and lemon: Used for bronchitis, asthma.
- In Mexico, bulb is used as diuretic and vermifuge.
- Bub taken internally to stimulate peristalsis. Also used for jaundice, hemorrhoids, and anal prolapse.
- In India, the onion is more popular as a medicine, used for fever, dropsy, catarrh, and chronic bronchitis. Mixed with common salt, used as a remedy for colic and scurvy; eaten raw as diuretic and emmenagogue.


- Peeled and eaten raw, powdered, juiced, infused or decocted as tea, infused.


Antifertility: The bulb of AC has yielded kampferol, B-sitosterol, ferulic acid, myritic acid and prostaglandins. Study showed the ethanolic extract of Allium cepa to possess antifertility activity through an antiimplantation mechanism rather than antiovulatory effect.

Hypouricemic / Antioxidant: Study showed beneficial effects of Allium cepa and its major flavonoid on hyperuricemia and oxidative stress.
Neuroprotective: Study showed protective effect of the methanolic extract of AC bulb on ischemic and reperfusion-induced cerebral injury with reduced infarct size and attenuated impairment of short-term memory and motor coordination.

Vasorelaxant / Hypotensive: Study showed the onion peel extract showed hypotensive and vasorelaxant effects which could be due to the extract quercetin content, antioxidant activity and inhibition of vascular smooth musch cell Ca++ influx.

Antispasmodic: Study showed onion peel extract inhibits ileum contractions without involving ß-adrenoreceptor, opioid receptor, nitric oxide production and potassium channels activation. Resuts suggests that the quercetin in the onion peel extract induces spasmolytic effect via calcium channels.

Antiplatelet activity: In its raw form, onion is recognized to have antiplatelet activity from its pyruvate content. Study showed the effects of heating. Heating for 46 mins completely suppresses in vitro antiaggregatory activity, For benefits, it is better for onions to be eaten raw or only moderately cooked. Extensive heating could result in pro-aggregatory effects.

Hemolytic Anemia: Study confirmed onion poisoning in dogs causes hemolytic anemia.

Antioxidant: Study showed A cepa had high superoxide-dismutase (SOD) activities in leaves and high peroxidase (P-ase) activity in all investigated organs.

Anti-Allergy: Study showed a herbal fraction (ALC-O) from A cepa bulb inhibited histamine release and attenuated intracellular calcium levels Compound 48/80-induced rat peritoneal mast cells. The results show a promising anti-allergic profile that could be attributed to potential antihistaminic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities.

Androgenic Activity: Study showed freshly prepared onion juice significantly affected the sperm number, percentage of viability and motility.

Hypoglycemic Activity: Study showed crude Allium cepa produced hypoglycemic effects, and can be used as a dietary supplement inthe management of type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Hair Growth / Alopecia Areata: Study was done testing the effectiveness of topical crude onion juice in the treatment of patchy alopecia areata in comparison to tap water. Results showed the use of crude onion juice gave significantly higher results re hair re-growth than tap water. Results suggest it might be an effective topical therapy for patchy alopecia areata.

Nephroprotective / Cadmium-Induced Renal Dysfunction: Study showed exposure to heavy metal Cd causes renal dysfunction and oral administration of onion could prevent cadmium's adverse effects on renal functions.

• Antimicrobial / Crude Juices: Study evaluated the antimicrobial activity of crude juices of Allium ascalonicum, Allium cepa, and Allium sativum.Results showed strong antibiotic properties, and the complete absence of development of resistance from juices of Allium species merit consideration.

• Natural Corrosion Inhibitor: One major problem with industrial chill wastewater system is corrosion. Study evaluated the potential of using Allium cepa (onion) as a natural corrosion inhibitor. There was a reduction in weight loss for iron, nickel and copper, 92%, 88%, and 46%, respectively. Results demonstrate A. cepa as an effective corrosion inhibitor, primarily for iron.

• Anti-Cancer / Anti-MDR (Multidrug Resistance) Action: Study evaluated crude onion extracts and onion compounds (quercetin and propyl disulfide) in MDR human erythroleukemic and K562 parental cell line. There was a significant increase of apoptosis in the K562 cells while the cells experienced an increase in necrosis. The OE capacity to overcome MDR phenotype suggests anti-MDR action.

• Antiproliferative / Effect on Adipocytes Via Fatty Acid Synthase Inhibition: Study showed an ethyl acetate extract of onion had potent inhibitory effects on animal fatty acid synthase and could induce apoptosis in FAS over-expressing human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells. Since obesity is closely related to breast cancer, results suggest onion might be useful in preventing obesity-related malignancy.

• Renal Protective on Cd-induced Renal Dysfunction: Study on Wistar rats showed cadmium-induced renal dysfunction. Allium cepa prevented renal dysfunction, possibly as a results of its antioxidant properties with reduction of activity of ROS.

• Anti-Ulcer: Study showed the protective role of raw Nigelia sativa, garlic, and onion against ethanol-induced gastric ulcers and gastric acid secretion. Raw or boiled Nigella sativa, garlic or onion sginificantly inhibited histamine stimulated acid secretion. Raw Nigella sativa and garlic showed a decrease in ulcer index. Boiling reduced the potency of garlic and onion.

Cultivated market produce.

Source: stuartxchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1)Antifertility Activity of Ethanolic Extract of Allium cepa Linn in Rats / Vishnu N Thakare et al / International Journal of PharmTech Research / ISSN : 0974-4304 • Vol.1,No.1,pp 73-78, Jan – March 2009

(2)Hypouricemic and antioxidant activities of Allium cepa Lilliaceae and quercetin in normal and hyperuricemic rats. / Saudi Med J. 2008 Nov;29(11):1573-9.

(3)Neuroprotective effect of methanolic extracts of Allium cepa on ischemia and reperfusion-induced cerebral injury / doi:10.1016/j.fitote.2007.06.013 / Fitoterapia Vol 79, Issue 2, February 2008, Pages 86-96

(4) Vasorelaxant and Hypotensive Effects of AC Peel Hydroalcoholic Extract in Rat / ISSN 1028-8880 / Pakistan Journal of Biol Sciences 11 (12):1569-1575, 2008

(5)Antispasmodic Activity of Onion (Allium cepa L.) Peel Extract on Rat Ileum / Mohammad Kazem Gharib Naseri et al / Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research (2008), 7 (2): 155-159

(6) Effect of Heating on Onion (Allium cepa L.) Antiplatelet Activity and Pungency Sensory Perception / M M Sance et al / Food Science and Technology International, Vol. 13, No. 6, 447-453 (2007) / DOI: 10.1177/1082013207088108

(7)An experimental study of hemolysis induced by onion (Allium cepa) poisoning in dogs / Tang X et al / J Vet Pharmacol Ther. 2008 Apr;31(2):143-9

(8)Study on antioxidant enzymes in Allium cepa L. and Allium fistulosum L / D Stajner et al / Phytotherapy Research • Volume 12 Issue S1, Pages S15 - S17

(9)Evaluation of androgenic activity of allium cepa on spermatogenesis in the rat / A Khaki et al / Folia Morphol. • Vol. 68, No. 1, pp. 45–51 /

(10)Preliminary Study of the Clinical Hypoglycemic Effects of Allium cepa (Red Onion) in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetic Patients / Imad M Taj Eldin, Elhadi M Ahmed and Abd Elwahab H M / doi: 10.4137/EHI.S5540.

(11)Studies on chemical constituents of the seeds of Allium cepa / Yuan L, Ji TF, Wang AG, Yang JB, Su YL. / Zhong Yao Cai. 2008 Feb;31(2):222-3.

(12)Onion juice (Allium cepa L.), a new topical treatment for alopecia areata. / Sharquie KE, Al-Obaidi HK / J Dermatol. 2002 Jun;29(6):343-6.

(13)Antimicrobial activity of crude juices of Allium ascalonicum, Allium cepa and Allium sativum./ Dankert J, Tromp TF, de Vries H, Klasen HJ. / Zentralbl Bakteriol Orig A. 1979 Oct;245(1-2):229-39.

(14)Sorting Allium names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / A Work in Progress / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.

(15)A Study of Using Allium Cepa (Onion) as Natural Corrosion Inhibitor in Industrial Chill Wastewater System /
Sulaiman S., Nor-Anuar A., Abd-Razak A.S. and Chelliapan S. / Research Journal of Chemical Sciences, Vol. 2(5), 10-16, May (2012)

(16)Toxicity mechanisms of onion (Allium cepa) extracts and compounds in multidrug resistant erythroleukemic cell line / Ana P. S. Votto, Beatriz S. Domingues, Michele M. de Souza, Flavio M. R. da Silva Júnior, Sergiane S. Caldas, Daza M. V. B. Filgueira, Rosilene M. Clementin, Ednei G. Primel4, Adriana L. Vallochi, Eliana B. Furlong and Gilma S. Trindade* / doi: 10.4067/S0716-97602010000400007 / Biol Res 43: 429-437, 2010

(17)Inhibitory Effects of Onion (Allium cepa L.) Extract on Proliferation of Cancer Cells and Adipocytes via Inhibiting Fatty Acid Synthase / Yi Wang, Wei-Xi Tian, Xiao-Feng Ma* / Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, Vol 13, 2012 / DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7314/APJCP.2012.13.11.5573

(18)Onion (Allium cepa) extract prevents cadmium induced renal dysfunction / S. F. Ige, E. O. Salawu, S. B. Olaleye, O. A. Adeeyo, J. Badmus, and A. A. Adeleke / Indian J Nephrol. 2009 October; 19(4): 140–144.
doi: 10.4103/0971-4065.59334

(19)Sorting Allium names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / A Work in Progress / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.

(20)Comparative effect of garlic (Allium sativum), onion (Allium cepa), and black seed (Nigella sativa) on gastric acid secretion and gastric ulcer / Amir N, Al Dhaheri A, Al Jaberi N, Al Marzouqi F, Bastaki SMA/
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/RRMC.S23032

Scientific names     

Sinapsis integrifolia West     
Sinapsis juncea L.     
Sinapsis brassicata Blanco
Sinapsis sinensis Blanco     
Brassica juncea Hook f. & Thoms.     
Brassica juncea (L.) Czern     
Brassica orientalis Blanco    

Common names
Mustasa (Tag.)
Mustard (Engl.)
Jie cai (Chin.)
Other vernacular names

ASSAMESE: Jatilai.
BENGALI: Sarsapa.
CHINESE: Gai cai, Tian jie cai.
DUTCH: Junceamosterd, Sareptamosterd.
CZECH: Brukev sítinovitá, Hořčice černá sitinovitá.
FINNISH: Mustasinappi.
FRENCH: Moutarde brune, Moutarde jonciforme, Chou des Indes.
GERMAN: Brauner Senf, Indischer Senf.
HEBREW: Kruv samrani .
HINDI: Sarson.
HUNGARIAN: Indiai mustár.
ITALIAN: Senape indiana, Senape bruna.
JAPANESE: Karashina, Seiyou karashina.
KANNADA: Saasive, Sarshspa.
KHMER: Khat naa.
LAOTIAN: Kaad khièw.
MALAY: Biji sawi , Sawi, Sawi pahit.
MALAYALAM: Sarshapam.
MARATHI: Mohari.
NEPALESE: Asal raaii, Laahaa.
POLISH: Kapusta sitowata.
PORTUGUESE: Mostarda indiana.
RUSSIAN: Gorchítsa, Gorchítsa sareptskaia.
SANSKRIT: Rajika, Sarshapa.
SPANISH: Mostaza.
TAMIL: Kadugu, Katuku.
TELUGU: Sarsapamu, Sasuvulu.
THAI: Phakkat khiao, Phakkat khieo, Phakkat khieo pli.
TURKISH: Yaprak hardal.

Mustasa is an erect, branched, smooth annual, 0.4 to 1 meter high. Leaves are oblong-obovate to oblong-lanceolate, 5 to 15 centimeters long, or in some cultivated forms much larger, thin, irregularly toothed or subentire, the lower ones sometimes lobed or pinnatifid. Flowers are yellow, 6 to 8 millimeters long. Pod is ascending, linear-lanceolate, 1.5 to 3 centimeters long, and somewhat contracted between the seeds. Beak is seedless.


- Widely distributed in the settled areas, in towns and houses, planted and spontaneous.
- Introduced from Asia.
- Now, pantropic; also occurring in some temperate regions.


• Seed contains an oily substance, "the essential oil of mustard, the active principle.
• Yields a crystallizable substance, sinnigrin, analogous to sinalbin.

• Pure mustard oil is pale yellow, faintly smelling of mustard with a shard and pungent taste.
• Counterirritant, emmenagogue, rubefacient.
• Considered analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, diuretic, emetic, galatagogue, stimulant.

Parts utilized

· Seeds, leaves, oil.



- Leaves eaten as green leafy vegetable, fresh or pickled in brine.
- Excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B.


- Plaster applied to skin is a powerful irritant, rubefacient, and vesicant.
- Applied to unbroken skin, it acts as a counterirritant, producing a sensation of warmth followed by burning pain. Leaves applied externally for pleurodynia and pleuritis, neuralgia, lumbago.
- As a plaster, mustard soothes the pain in gastralgia, colic, neuralgia, lumbago. Also, applied over the epigastrium for hiccupping and vomiting. A plaster over the nape of the neck applied to relieve cerebral congestion.
- Hot-foot bath of mustard (seeds or leaves) for headaches, common cold, and fevers.
- Leaves applied to the forehead for headaches.
- Hip-bath of mustard used as emmenagogue.
- Poultice of mustard leaves or seeds used for neuralgic and rheumatic complaints.
- Pure fresh oil taken from seeds used as stimulant and external counterirritant; applied externally for sore throats, internal congestion, and chronic muscular rheumatism.
- Oil used as embrocation applied to skin in eruptions and ulcers.
- Seeds used as poultice in gout and inflammation.
- Combined oil of mustard and camphor used for muscle pains,
- As an emetic, 4-5 tsp in a cup of warm water.
- Taken internally as condiment, causes a sense of warmth in the stomach, stimulates gastric juice, sharpens the appetite and assists in digestion. In large doses, becomes a gastric irritant, and causes vomiting; as such, used as an emetic in narcotic poisoning.
- In Bangladesh, oil is rubbed on the throat and chest for treatment of common colds with mucus.
- In Java, used as antisyphilitic emmenagogue.
- In China, leaves in soup for bladder, inflammation and hemorrhage.
- In India, leaves used for diabetes. Plant used as anthelmintic, and in treament of alopecia, epilepsy, snakebites, hiccups, and toothache.


• Juncin / Antifungal Protein / Anti-Tumor: Study isolated juncin from the seeds of Japanese takana (Brassica Juncea var. integrifolia). The protein exhibited antifungal activity against Fusarium oxysporum, Helminthosporium maydis and Mycosphaerella arachidicola. It inhibited the proliferation of hepatoma and breast cancer cells. (2)

• Anti-Diabetes Benefit: Study showed feeding of a fructose diet containing 10% Brassica juncea seeds significantly reduced fasting serum glucose, insulin and cholesterol levels. Results suggest that B juncea can play a role in the management of pre-diabetic state of insulin resistance. (3)

• Hypoglycemic / Antihyperglycemic Effect: Study showed the B juncea diet showed significant antihyperglycemic effect in alloxan but not in STZ rats. (4)

• Anti-Diabetic Oxidative Stress: Study of four fractions from mustard leaf (B juncea) showed the ethanolic fraction showed the strongest concentration-dependent inhibitory effect on the formation of advanced glycation products and free radical-mediated protein damage in an in vitro system suggesting a potential protective role against diabetes and/or its complications. (5)

• Wound Healing: Study evaluated leaf extracts for wound healing activity in excision wound model in albino rats. An aqueous extract showed 94.94% maximum percentage of healing compared to control. (7)

• Phytoremediation / Copper Contaminated Soil: Study evaluated the efficacy of copper removal from the soil by Brassica juncea and Bidens alba. The copper removal efficiency of B. juncea (L.) Czern was 11 tmes greater than Bidens alba DC var radiata. (8)

• Phytoremediation / Municipal Solid Waste: Study showed highly promising potential for removal of Pb, Zn, Ni, and Cu by phytoextraction through Brassica juncea. B. juncea is a potential species for phytoremediation of MSW through management and regulation of leaching of toxic elements into soil and ground waters. The plant growth also stimulates the microbial community, degrading contaminants in the soil or making them available to rhizosphere. (9)

• Anti-Hyperglycemic / Antinociceptive: Study of a methanol extract of leaves showed significant and dose-dependent antinociceptive actiity in acetic-acid induced gastric pain writhing model in mice. In oral glucose tolerace tests, the extract also demonstrated significant and dose-dependent glucose lowering activity. (10)
• Anthelmintic: Comparative study evaluated the anthelmintic activity of seeds of B. juncea and flowers of B. oleracea against Pheritima posthuma, using Albendazole as standard. Re sults confirmed the anthelmintic activity of both plants, with Brassica juncea showing more efficient activity. (11)


Market produce.

Source: stuartxchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1)Brassica Juncea / Brown Mustard: Plants For A Future /

(2)Isolation and Characterization of Juncin, an Antifungal Protein from Seeds of Japanese Takana (Brassica juncea Var. integrifolia) / Xiujuan Ye and Tzi Bun Ng / J. Agric. Food Chem., 2009, 57 (10), pp 4366–4371
DOI: 10.1021/jf8035337

(3)Brassica juncea (Rai) significantly prevented the development of insulin resistance in rats fed fructose-enriched diet / S P Yadav et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology • Volume 93, Issue 1, July 2004, Pages 113-116 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2004.03.034

(4)Hypoglycemic and antihyperglycemic effect of Brassica juncea diet and their effect on hepatic glycogen content and the key enzymes of carbohydrate metabolism / Jagdish Kumari Grover et al / Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry • Volume 241, Numbers 1-2 / December, 2002 / DOI 10.1023/A:1020814709118

(5)Protective Effects of Mustard Leaf (Brassica juncea) against Diabetic Oxidative Stress / Yokozawa T et al / Nutri Sci Vitaminol • VOL.49;NO.2;PAGE.87-93(2003)

(6)Sorting Brassica names / Authorised by Prof. Snow Barlow / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.

(7)Comparison of different extracts leaf of Brassica juncea Linn on wound healing activity / Rajat Malan, Anu Walia, Vipin Saini, Sumeet Gupta* / European Journal of Experimental Biology, 2011, 1 (2):33-40

(8)Phytoremediation of Copper Contaminated Soil by Brassica juncea (L.) Czern and Bidens alba (L.) DC. var. radiata / Naiyanan Ariyakanon* and Banchagan Winaipanich / J. Sci. Res. Chula. Univ., Vol. 31, No. 1 (2006) 49

(9)PHYTOREMEDIATION POTENTIAL OF BRASSICA JUNCEA FOR MUNICIPAL SOLIDWASTE - A CASE STUDY / Srinivas Namuduri, Suresh Kolli Kumar, Nrusimhatharra Srksbl, V. Balaram and T. Shivaji Rao / Fourth International Symposium on Recent Advances in Environmental Health Research

(10)A Study on Antinociceptive and Anti-hyperglycemic Activity of Methanol Extract of Brassica Juncea (L.) Czern. Leaves in Mice / Mohammed Rahmatullah, Taslima Ferdousi Shefa, Labiba Hasan, Md. Tozammal Hossain, Salman Ahmed, Abdullah Al Mamun, Md. Rasadul Islam, Shahnaz Rahman, Majeedul H. Chowdhury / Advances in Natural and Applied Sciences, 4(3): 221-225, 2010

(11)In-vitro comparative study of anthelmintic activity of Brassica juncea and Brassica oleracea / Lavanya, Bhaduri; S., Ramya Krishna P.; Nagarjuna, S.; Reddy, Y. Padmanabha / Journal of Pharmacy Research; Sept 2011, Vol. 4 Issue 9, p 2907.

Scientific names     
Raphanus sativus Linn.     
Common names
Labanos (Tag.)
Rabanos (C. Bis., Span.)
Lai-fu-tzu Ts-ao (Chin.)
Radish (Engl.)

Labanos is a coarse, annual crop plant. Roots are fleshy, pungent and variable in size and form. Leaves are roughly hairy, the lower ones lyrate. Flowers are variable, about 1.5 centimeters long, usually white or lilac, with purple veins, sepals erect, lateral ones saccate at the base. Pod is inhehiscent, lanceolate, cylindrical, and 2 to 2.6 centimeters in length, and terminates in a long beak. Seeds are separated by pith.

- Widely cultivated in the Philippines at all altitudes.

Parts utilized
  • Whole plant.
  • When seeds are ripe, harvest the whole plant, sun-dry, remove the seeds and dry again. Crush on use. Roots can also be sun-dried for use.


· Considered anthelmintic, antifungal, antibacterial, antiscorbutic, diuretic, laxative, tonic, carminative, corrective, stomachic, cholagogue, lithotriptic, emmenagogue.
· The juice of the fresh root is considered powerfully antiscorbutic.
· Roots considered carminative and corrective.
· Flowers considered becnic and cholagogue.
· Seeds considered diuretic, laxative, stimulant, and lithotriptic.
· In Iranian traditional medicine, seeds are considered diuretic carminative, antifever, antitussive and gastric tonic. Study yielded ten isothiocyanates, seven aliphatic hydrocarbons and some volatile substances.


• Phytochemical study yielded triterpenes, alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, saponin and coumarins.
Study for volatile constituents yielded 10 isothicyanates, seven aliphatic hydrocarbons and some other volatile substances.
• Root yields raphanol, rettichol, volatile oil, methylmercaptan, vitamins B1, sinapin and oxydase.
• Seeds yield fatty oil (30%), ash (3.5%), volatile oil, sulphuric acid, erucic acid and C8H15NS2.


Edibility / Nutrition

Leaves, flowers, roots, and seeds are edible.
A popular, common, and inexpensive vegetable, eaten raw or cooked.
Young leaves are also eaten raw or cooked.
Excellent source of iron and good source of calcium; also a source of vitamin B.

· For diarrhea: boil the fresh leaves to concentrated decoction and drink.
· Juice of leaves increases the flow of urine and promotes bowel movements.
· Juice of fresh leaves also used as laxative; also for dropsy and general anasarca.
· Root considered stimulant; also used for piles and stomach pains.
· Juice used to expel wind from the bowels.
· Juice of fresh roots considered antiscorbutic.
· Roots are crushed and applied locally as dressing or poultice for burns, scalds, ecchymoses, or fetid or smelly feet.
· Decoction of root used for fevers.
· Decoction of roots used to bring out the rash in eruptive fevers.
· Coughs: Decoction of flowers; or, boil 6 to 15 gms seed preparation to decoction and drink.
· Seeds promote the flow of urine, bowel movements, and menstruation.
· Seeds used for cancer of the stomach.
· For patients with edema, bloated belly (ascites), pale yellowish face, and oliguria: used dried root preparation with citrus rind preparation (5:1 proportion). Boil to a concentrated decoction and drink.

· Repellent


• Histaminergic / Spasmolytic: Pharmacological basis for the gut stimulatory activity of Raphanus sativus leaves: A study on the crude extracxt of RS leaves showed the presence of a histaminergic component plus a weak spasmolytic factor supporting its traditional use for constipation.

Toxicity Report: Severe Toxic Hepatitis Provoked by Squeezed Black Radish (Raphanus Sativus) Juice - Case Report: Cited in phytotherapy literature as a plant with hepatoprotective properties, this reports a severe toxic hepatitis from use of black radish extract to dissolve bile duct stone.

Hepatoprotective: (1) Studies on Raphanus sativus as Hepatoprotective Agents (Thesis): Results showed the ethanolic extract of RS contain hepatoprotective constituents. (2) Study of crude powder of Raphanus sativus leaves reduced the risk of liver damage by paracetamol.

Antiurolithiatic Activity / Diuretic: Study of aqueous extract of the bark of RS on rats showed a significant decrease in the weight of stones. Study also showed an increase in 24 hour urine volume compared to control.

• Water Phenol Decontamination: Decontamination of Water Polluted with Phenol Using Raphanus sativus Root: Plant materials have been used in decontamination of water polluted with phenolic compounds. The study used RS roots (root juice and pieces). Results showed good phenol removal from aqueous solutions with cut R sativus root and juice.

Antioxidant / Lipid Peroxidation Inhibition: Study of methanol extract of RS showed inhibition of lipid peroxidation in vivo and in vitro, providing protection by strengthening antioxidants like glutathione and catalase. Results suggest inclusion of the plant in every day diet may be beneficial.

Phytochemicals / Toxicity Studyt / Hepatoprotective Activity: Study of showed carbon tetrachloride induced hepatotoxicity was reduced by the plant as showed by inhibition of increased liver enzyme activities and bilirubin concentration together with histopath changes. Toxicity study showed no adverse effect on livers. Phytochemical studies yielded triterpenes, alklaoids, flavanoids, tannins, saponins and coumarins.

Phytochemicals / Gastroprotective: Study of the freshly squeezed radish juice for its anti-gastric ulcer activity in experimental models showed it possessed gastroprotective potential related to mucus secretion stimulation and an increase in nonproteinsulfhydryl (NP-SH) concentration, probably due to prostaglandin-inducing abilities mediated through antioxidant activity. Phytochemicals study yielded flavonoids, anthocyanins and sufurated constituents.

Antioxidant / Choleretic: Study of extract from radish sprouts in rats showed antioxidant properties and significantly induced bile flow.

Anti-Diabetic: Study showed that the sprouts of Japanese radish has the potential to alleviate hyperglycemia and may serve i the primary prevention of diabetes mellitus.


Commercial cultivation; ubiquitous in market places. 

Source: stuartxchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

1)Pharmacological basis for the gut stimulatory activity of Raphanus sativus leaves / Anwarul Hassan Gilani and M Nabeel Ghayur / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 95, Issues 2-3, December 2004, Pages 169-172 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2004.06.038

(2)Severe Toxic Hepatitis Provoked by Squeezed Black Radish (Raphanus Sativus) Juice - Case Report

(3)Studies on Raphanus sativus as Hepatoprotective Agents / Rukhsana Anwar B. Pharma., r. Ph. / Thesis submitted to the University of Punjab

(4)Antiurolithiatic activity of Raphanus sativus aqueous extract on rats / R Vargas et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 68, Issues 1-3, 15 December 1999, Pages 335-338 / doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(99)00105-1

(5)  Decontamination of Water Polluted with Phenol Using Raphanus sativus Root / Farzaneh Naghibi et al / Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research (2003) 29-32

(6)Inhibitory Response of Raphanus sativus on Lipid Peroxidation in Albino Rats / P. Chaturvedi / Oxford Journals Medicine Evidence-based Compl. and Alt. MedicineVolume 5, Number 1Pp. 55-59 / eCAM 2008 5(1):55-59; doi:10.1093/ecam/nel077

(7)  Protective Effect of Raphanus sativus Against Carbon Tetrachloride Induced Hepatotoxicity in Wistar Albino Rats / H.H.SH. Mohammed, Afaf. I. Abelgasim et al / Jurn of Pharm and Toxicology 3 (4):272-278, 2008

(8)Gastroprotective Effect of Radish (RS) on Experimental Models / Algasoumi, Saleh et al / Farmacia, Vol 56 (2), 2008

(9)Volatile Constituents of Raphanus sativus L. var. niger Seeds / Journal of Essential Oil Research: JEOR, Jul/Aug 2005 by Afsharypuor, Suleiman, Balam, Maryam Hoseiny

(10)Antioxidant and Choleretic Properties of Raphanus sativus L. Sprout (Kaiware Daikon) Extract / Jessica Barillari, Rinaldo Cervellati et al / J. Agric. Food Chem., 2006, 54 (26), pp 9773–9778 / DOI: 10.1021/jf061838u

(11)Studies of Raphanus sativus as Hepato Protective Agent / Rukhsana Anwar and Mubasher Ahmad / Journal of Medical Sciences, 2006 | Vol 6 | Issue: 4 | Page No.: 662-665 / DOI: 10.3923/jms.2006.662.665

(12)Volatile Constituents of Raphanus sativus L. var. niger Seeds / Journal of Essential Oil Research: JEOR, Jul/Aug 2005 by Afsharypuor, Suleiman, Balam, Maryam Hoseiny

(13)Effect of Japanese radish (Raphanus sativus) sprout (Kaiware-daikon) on carbohydrate and lipid metabolisms in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats / Hironobu Taniguchi et al / Phytotherapy Research, Volume 20 Issue 4, Pages 274 - 278

Scientific names    

Cucurbita maxima Duchesne     
Curcubita sulcata Blanco     
Sun gua (Chin.)      

Common names

Calabaza (Sp.)
Kabasi (Sul.)
Kabasi (Sul.)
Kalabasa (Tag., Ceb.)
Kalabasang-bilog (Tag.)  
Kalabasang-pula (Tag.)
Karabasa (Ilk.)
Kumbasa (Bon.)  
Giant pumpkin (Engl.)
Squash (Engl.)
Sweet-fleshed squash (Engl.)
Fan nan gua (Chin.)
Other vernacular names

AFRIKAANS : Pampoen.
ARABIC : Qar'islambuli, Qar'malti, Qar'maghrabi, Karr estmboly (Egypt).
CHINESE: Bei gua, jiao si gua, yang gua DANISH : Centnergræskar.
DUTCH : Pompoen, Ronde pompoen, Reuzenpompoen, Reuzenkalebas.
ESTONIAN : Suureviljaline kõrvits. FINNISH : Jättiläiskurpitsa.
FRENCH : Potiron, Giraumon, Courge-giraumon, Courge d'hiver, Grosse courge, Courge-potiron.
GERMAN : Risen-Kürbis, Risenkürbis, Riesenkuerbis.
HEBREW : Delaat gedola.
HINDI : Kadduu, Sitaphal.
HUNGARIAN : Sütö tök.
ITALIAN : Zucca, Zucca gigante, Giramonte.
JAPANESE : Kuri kabocha, Seiyou kabocha, Seiyou kabocha. NEPALESE : Kadu, Kashi phal, Pharsi, Sitaa phal.
NORWEGIAN : Kjempegraskar.
POLISH : Dynia duza, Dynia olbrzymia.
PORTUGUESE : Abóbora-menina, Abóbora-moranga.
RUSSIAN : Tykva gigantskaia.
SPANISH : Calabaza amarilla, Calabaza de cidra, Calabaza gigante, Calabaza tamalayota, Calabaza tonanera, Calabaza redonda, Quinoa, Quinua, Zapallo (Argentina).
SWEDISH : Jättepumpa, Pumpa.
URDU : Halva kaddu, Mitha kaddu.
YORUBA : Apala.

Kalabasa is a coarse, prostrate or climbing, annual, herbaceous vine, reaching a length of 4 meters or more. Leaves are hispid, rounded, 15 to 30 centimeters in diameter, heart-shaped at the base, shallowly 5-lobed, with finely toothed margins, and often mottled on the upper surface. Flowers are bell-shaped, erect, yellow and about 12 centimeters long, the corolla limb is about as wide, and 5-toothed. Fruit is large, variable in shape, fleshy, with a yellow pulp. Seeds are ovoid or oblong, compressed, and about 1.3 centimeters long.


- Widely cultivated throughout the Philippines as a vegetable produce.
- Occasionally found as an escape.
- Planted in all warm countries.


• Phytochemical screening yielded carbohydrates, steroids, proteins and amino acids.
• Fruit contains fat, 10%; pentosan, 5.2 %; protein, 14.2%; and ash, 9/3%.
• Seeds contain fixed oil, 20-25%; a proteid, edestin. The seed's active principle is a pepo-resin found in the cotyledons.
• Curcurbitin, a constituent in pumpkin seeds has shown anti-parasitic activity in the test tube.
• Seed extract yielded carbohydrates, saponins, and flavonoids.


• Considered anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, diuretic, tonic, vermifuge.
• Considered antidiabetic, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic.

Parts used
Fruits, seeds, stalk.


Nutritional / Edibility

- Widely used as a vegetable in the Philippines, baked, boiled, or stewed.
- Young shoots and flowers used as green vegetable.
- A vegetable which is an excellent source of vitamin B. The shoots and flowers contain calcium, phosphorus and iron. The fruit contains calcium and vitamin A.
- Seeds are a good source of protein, zinc, and other vitamins.
- In India, fruit is largely used in curries.
- Fruit makes an excellent substitute for pumpkin in pies.


• In India, fruit pulp is often used as poultice for carbuncles, boils and ulcers.
• Dried pulp, in the form of confection, used as remedy for hemoptysis and hemorrhages from the pulmonary tract.
• For venomous insect bites, the fruit stalk in contact with the ripe gourd is cut, dried, and made into a paste and applied to venomous insect bites, especially centipedes.
• The fresh seeds, pulped or in emulsion, are used as antihelminthic. Seeds are eaten fresh to expel worms from the stomach. For tapeworms, seeds are given with sugar at bedtime, followed with a dose of castor oil in the morning.
• Seed oil used as nervine tonic.
• In Brazil, pumpkin seeds are used for stomach pain, as antiinflammatory, antipyretic and anthelminthic.
• In China, pumpkin seeds have been used for acute schistosomiasis.
• In Thailand, seeds used for kidney stones.


• Seed contains an oil. Used for lighting.
• Fruit can provide a face-mask for dry skins.


• Antimicrobial / Anti-inflammatory / Neuro Effects : Extracts of leaves, fruits and flowers of C. maxima were subjected to pharmacologic and microbiological studies. Results showed complete inhibition of B. subtilis and partial inhibition of E. coli. Fruits and leaves showed neuro effects: decrease motor activity, ataxia, temporary palpebral ptosis among others. Ethyl acetate extracts of flowers showed decreased respiratory rate, analgesia, diarrhea and exophthalmos.

• Toxicity evaluation of Cucurbita maxima seed extract in mice: Hydroalcoholic extract of CM seeds had a considerable safety margin and devoid of acute toxicity.

• Antigenotoxicity / Spinasterol: Study on antigenotoxic constituents of squash flowers showed isolate SQFwB2D (spinasterol) from the chloroform extract to possess the most antigenotoxicity, decreasing the mutagenicity of tetracycline by 64.7%.

• Pumpkin Seed Oil / BPH: Pumpkin seed oil has been approved by the Germany's Commission E since 1985 for the treatment of BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia).

• Antiparasitic: Study showed that pumpkin seed can produce an antihelminthic effect. There was alteration in helminthic motility and a protheolithic effect. Egg destruction was noted in the gravid proglottids.

• Antibacterial: Study of ethanol seed extract showed a spectrum of inhibition on Staph aureus, B. subtilis, P. mirabilis, K. pneumonia and E coli.

• Hypoglycemic: Study evaluated the hypoglycemic activity of fruit juice and hydro-alcoholic extract of C. maxima in STZ-induced diabetic rats. Both caused significant decrease in hyperglycemia, with the extract showing more hypoglycemic effect than the fruit juice.

• Immunomodulator: Cm seeds were tested for immunomodulatory effects using a dexamethasone-induced immunosuppression model in rabbits. Results showed Cucurbita maxima possesses potential to act as an immunomodulator.

• Antidiabetic / Aerial Parts: Study of antidiabetic activity of methanol extract of aerial parts in Wistar albino rats against STZ-induced diabetes showed fasting blood glucose reduction in a treatment-duration dependent manner.

• Anticancer / Aerial Parts: Study evaluated the antitumor activity of a methanol extract of C. maxima Duschesne aerial parts on Erlich Ascites Carcinoma model in mice. Results revealed significant anticancer activity attributed to its cytotoxicity and antioxidant properties.

• Sterols / Antimicrobial Activity: Study of flowers afforded a 4:1 mixture of spinasterol and 24-ethyl-5a-cholesta-7,22,25-trien-3ß-ol. Results showed slight activity against fungi A. niger and C. albicans and bacteria B. subtilis and P. aeruginosa.

• Anthelmintic / Schistosomiasis: Study of a decoction prepared from C. maxima var. alyaga seeds showed a killing effect on S. japonicum somulae in vitro, with a dose-effect relationship in the mean percentage somula death.

• Hepatoprotective: Study showed the hepatoprotective activity of methanol extracts of C maxima and Legenaria siceraria seeds against paracetamol-induced hepatotoxicity.

• Anthelmintic Activity / Comparative Study: Study compared the in-vitro anthelmintic activity of Asparagus racemosus and C. maxima against Indian model. Both ethanolic and aqueous extracts of both plants showed significant anthelminthic activity, with the EE of A. racemosus showing better activity.

Commercial vegetable cultivation.
Pumpkin seed oil in the cybermarket.

Source: stuartxchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1)Cucurbita maxima - Duchesne. ex Lam. / Winter Squash / Plants For A Future

(2)Microbiological and pharamcological studies on extracts of Cucurbita maxima / VILLASENOR I. M.; BARTOLOME A. L. O et al / PTR. Phytotherapy research / 1995, vol. 9, no5, pp. 376-378 / INIST-CNRS, Cote INIST : 21695, 35400005373809.0130

(3)Toxicity evaluation of Cucurbita maxima seed extract in mice / Summary Pharmaceutical Biology / 2006, Vol. 44, No. 4, Pages 301-303

(4)Antigenotoxic spinasterol from Cucurbita maxima flowers / Irene Villaseñor et al / Mutation Research/Environmental Mutagenesis and Related Subjects, Vol 360, Issue 2, 10 June 1996, Pages 89-93 / doi:10.1016/0165-1161(95)00071-2

(5)  Preclinical studies of cucurbita maxima (pumpkin seeds) a traditional intestinal antiparasitic in rural urban areas / Díaz Obregón D, Lloja Lozano L, Carbajal Zúñiga V. / Revista de gastroenterología del Perú / 2004 Oct-Dec; vol 24 (issue 4) : pp 323-7

(6)Cucurbita maxima Duchesne ex Lam. / Catalogue of Life, China

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

(8)Effect of Hydro-Alcoholic Extract of Cucurbita Maxima, Fruit Juice and Glibenclamide on Blood Glucose in Diabetic Rats / Lal, V.K., P.P. Gupta, Awanish Pandey and P. Tripathi / American Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology 6 (3): 84-87, 2011

(9)Comparative Effect of Cucurbita Maxima Seed with Immunomodulators on Biochemical Parameters in Rabbits / V. Ranganathan and S. Selvasubramanian / Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science 02 (06); 2012: 191-193

(10)Antidiabetic Activity of Cucurbita maxima Aerial Parts / P. Saha, A. Bala, B. Kar, S. Naskar, U.K. Mazumder, P.K. Haldar and M. Gupta / Research Journal of Medicinal Plant, 2011, Vol 5, No: 5, pp 577-586 /
DOI: 10.3923/rjmp.2011.577.586

(11)Anticancer activity of methanol extract of Cucurbita maxima against Ehrlich as- cites carcinoma / Prerona Saha, U. K. Mazumder, P. K. Haldar, Sagar Naskar, Sriparna Kundu, Asis Bala, Biswakanth Kar / Int. J. Res. Pharm. Sci., 2(1), 2011, 52-59

(12)Sterols from Cucurbita maxima / Consolacion Y. Ragasa and Kathleen Lim / Philippine Journal of Science
134 (2): 83-87, December 2005


(14)Hepatoprotective Effect of Methanolic Extract of C. maxima and L. siceraria Seeds / Jain Nidhi and A K Pathak / Intern Journ of Pharmaceutical, Chemical, and Biological Sciences, 2012, 2(2). 151-154

(15)Phytochemical Screening and In Vitro Comparative Study of Anthelmintic Activity of Asparagus racemosus and Cucurbita maxima / G. V. N. Kiranmayi, K. Ravishankar, P. Priyabandhavi / Journal of Pharmacy Research, Vol 5, No 3 (2012)

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

Scientific names      

Cucumis acutangulus  Linn.     
Curcubita acutangula (L.) Blume     
Luffa acutangula (L.)     
Luffa foertida    
Luffa acutangula (L.) Roxb.    

Common names
Patola (Tag.)
Patula-baibing (Sul.)
Saykua (Bis.)

Bath sponge (Engl.)
Angled luffa  (Engl.)

Ridge gourd (Engl.)
Ridged luffa (Engl.)
Chinese okra (Engl.)
Sponge gourd (Engl.)
Towel gourd (Engl.)
Guang dong si gua (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

BENGALI: Jinghey
CHINESE: Kak kuey, Leng jiao si gua, Si gua, Yue si gua
DANISH: Kantagurk
FRENCH: Courge anguleuse de Chine, Papangay, Papengaye
HINDI: Hireballi, Jhinga torooee, Jhingil torai, Kali, Torai, Turai
INDONESIA: Hoyong, Ketola, Ketola sagi, Oyong.
JAPANESE: Shokuyou hechima
KHMER: Ronôông Chrung
PORTUGESE: Bucha de purga, Lufa riscada
SINHALESE: Dara veta kola, vata kolu, veta kola, Wetakolu
SPANISH: Calabaza de Aristas
TAMIL: Peerkan kai, Pekan aki
THAI: Buap, Buap liam, Manoi liam

The vegetable is a coarse, annual, herbaceous vine. Leaves are subrounded-ovate, 10 to 20 centimeters long, shallowly five-lobed, and heart-shaped at the base. Female flowers are pedicelled, occurring singly in the axils of the leaves. Male flowers are yellow, 2 centimeters long, borne in axillary racemes. Calyx lobes are lanceolate and pointed. Fruit is oblong-oblanceolate, 20 to 25 centimeters long, about 5 centimeters in diameter, green, and characterized by 10 prominent, longitudinal sharp angles. Seeds are numerous and close-packed.


- Cultivated for its edible fruit, but not established.
- In cultivation in the Old World Tropics.


- Fruit contains a bitter principle, luffeine.
Seed contains a fixed oil of glycerides of palmitic, stearic, and myristic acids.


Fruit is considered demulcent, diuretic, nutritive.
Seeds considered purgative and emetic.

Parts utiliezed and preparation

Leaves, fruit.



Edible; cooked or fried, used in soups and sauces.
• Occasionally, stem tops with young leaves and flower buds used as leafy vegetable.
• Young fruits of cultivars, earten raw or pickled.
• Unripe fruit is a good source of calcium, iron and phosphorus.
Fruit considered a fair source of vitamin B.


• Decoction of leaves for amenorrhea.
• Poultice of leaves for hemorrhoids.
• Juice of fresh leaves for granular conjunctivitis in children. Also used to prevent the lids from adhering at night from ecessive meibomian secretion.
• Juice of leaves also used externally for sores and various animal bites.
• Pulp of fruit used internally, like calocynth, to cause vomiting and purging.
• Powdered dried fruit made into snuff for use by those afflicted with jaundice.
• Seed oil used for dermatitis.
• In Russia, roots is used as a purge.
• In Iran and Iraq infused seeds used as purgative and emetic.
• In India, roots is used for dropsy and as laxative; leaf and fruit juice used to treat jaundice.
• In Java, leaf decoction used for uremia and amenorrhea.
• In Bangladesh, pounded leaves used for hemorrhoids, splenitis, leprosy. Juice of leaces used for conjunctivitis in children.
• In West Africa, leaf extract of ridged gourd applied to sores caused by guinea worms; leaf sap used as eyewash in conjunctivitis; fruits and seeds used in herbal preparations for treatment of venereal diseases.
In Mauritius, seeds eaten to expel intestinal worms; leaf juice applied to eczema.
• Seed used as insecticidal.


Sponge/Brush: Fibrous nature of the mature fruit, devoid of pulp, dries into a matrix of stiff vascular bundles and used as a bath brush or sponge.
Pesticide: In China, has been used as a pesticide.
• Fibers sometimes used for making hats.


Trypsin Inhibitors: Study isolated two trypsin inhibitors, LA-1 and LA-2, both consisting of 28-29 amino acid residues, respectively. Both strongly inhibit trypsin by forming enzyme-inhibitor complexes.
Study isolated seven oleanane-type triterpene saponins, acutosides A-G.
• Antioxidants :
An antioxidant-guided assay yielded eight compounds. Results showed consumption of sponge gourds can supply some antioxidant constituents to the human body.
• Antimicrobial / Water Disinfectant :
Study showed the some antimicrobial potential of seeds and fruits of Lc as a disinfectant of drinking water. However, the disinfection performance was less that would be required to be considered reliable.


Common market vegetable.
Seeds and sponges in the cybermarkets.

Source: stuartxchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1)Allozymic, Morphological, and Phenological Diversity in Cultivated Luffa acutangula (Cucurbitaceae) from China, Laos, and Nepal, and Allozyme Divergence between L. acutangula and L. aegyptiaca
Economic Botany 59(2):154-165. 2005 /doi: 10.1663/0013-0001(2005)059[0154:AMAPDI]2.0.CO;2

(2)Study of Nutritive Value and Medicinal Uses of Cultivated Luffa acutangula

(3)Luffa acutangula (L.) Roxb. / M O Soladoye and A A Adebisi / Protabase Record Display

(4)Trypsin inhibitors from ridged gourd (Luffa acutangula Linn.) seeds: Purification, properties, and amino acid sequences / Umesh Haldar et al / Journal of Protein Chemistry • Volume 15, Number 2 / February, 1996 •
DOI 10.1007/BF01887398

(5)Studies on the constituents of Luffa acutangula Roxb. I. Structures of acutosides A--G, oleanane-type triterpene saponins isolated from the herb / Nagao T, Tanaka R, Iwase Y, Hanazono H, Okabe H / Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 1991 Mar;39(3):599-606

(6)Antioxidant Constituents in the Fruits of Luffa cylindrica (L.) Roem / Qizhen Du et al / J. Agric. Food Chem., 2006, 54 (12), pp 4186–4190 / DOI: 10.1021/jf0604790

(7)Disinfection of waterborne coliform bacteria using Luffa cylindrica fruit and seed extracts / Ameer Shaheed et al / Environmental Technology, Volume 30, Issue 13 December 2009 , pages 1435 - 1440 / DOI: 10.1080/09593330903193485

(8)Sorting Luffa names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher, / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE
Other scientific names    

Benincasa hispida (Thunb.) Cogn.     
Benincasa cerifera Savi       
Curcubita hispida Thunb.     
Curcubita pepo-aspera Blanco       
Dong gua (Chin.)     

Common names

Kandol (Bis.)
Kondol (Iv., Tag.)
Kundal (Sul.)
Rodal (Bik.)
Tabugok (Sub.)
Tambulok (Tagb/)
Tibiayon (Bis.)
Petha (India)
White gourd melon (Engl.)
Tung-kua P'i (Chin.)
Ash gourd (Engl.)
Wax gourd (Engl.)
Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Bai dong gua, yin dong gua
DANISH: Voksagurk
DUTCH: Waskalebas
FRENCH: Courge à la cire, Courge cireuse, Pastèque de Chine.
GERMAN: Wachskürbis, Prügelkürbis.
HINDI: Petha
ITALIAN: Zucca della cera
NEPALESE: Kubiindo, Pethaa
THAI: Faeng, Fak, Mafak khom, Mafak mon, Mafak mon khom.
TURKISH: Mom kagai.
VIETNAMESE: Bi dao, bi bee.

Kondol is a rather coarse, wide-spreading, softly hairy, annual vine with branched tendrils reaching a length of 4 to 8 meters. Leaves are rounded or kidney-shaped, 10 to 25 centimeters diameter, 5- to 7-lobed, heart-shaped at the base. Peduncles are hairy, those of the males being 5 to 15 centimeters long and of the females much shorter. Flowers are large and yellow, with a densely hairy bell-shaped calyx tube. Petals are 5 and spreading, 3 to 5 centimeters long. Fruit is ellipsoid or ovoid, 25 to 40 centimeters long, with few to many fragile hairs, green, and densely covered with a white and waxy bloom. The seeds are many, oblong, and compressed.


- Cultivated for the edible fruit.
- Occasionally wild.
- Introduced to the Philippines.
- Also occurs in India to Japan, Malaya and Polynesia in general cultivation.


- Amino acids, mucins, mineral salts, vitamins B and C, fixed oil, 44%; starch, 32%; an alkaline, cucurbitine; an acid resin; the proteids, myosin and vitellin; and sugar, 4%.
- Phytochemical studies indicate two triterpenes, alunsenol and mutiflorenol, with mast cell stabilizing effects in rats.
- Major constituents of the fruit are triterpenoids, flavonoids, glycosides, saccharides, carotenes, vitamins, ß-sitosterin, and uronic acid.


• Considered astringent, anthelmintic, aphrodisiac, demulcent, diuretic, febrifuge, styptic, tonic.
• Seed is anthelmintic, antiinflammatory.
• Fruit is nutritive, tonic, diuretic, alterative, and styptic.

Parts utilized

Whole fruit with seeds and skin.


• Edible: Flowers, fruit, leaves, seed.
• Unripe fruit is boiled and eaten as vegetable.
• Ripe fruit is peeled and candied; used in pickles, curries and preserves.
• The fried seeds eaten as a delicacy.
• Young leaves and flower buds steamed and consumed as vegetable.
• Pulp is a source of vitamins B and C.


• In the Philippines fresh fruit is made into a syrup and used for disorders of the respiratory tract.
• Fresh fruit also used for hemoptysis and other hemorrhages of the internal organs.
• Fresh juice used as vehicle for administering pearl-ash for first-stage phthisis. Also used, with or without liquorice, for insanity, epilepsy, and other nervous disorders.
• Used as antidote for various vegetable poisons, mercurial and alcoholic poisoning.
• Juice of cortical portion used with powdered saffron and red rice bran for diabetes.
• Preserve used for piles and dyspepsia as anti bilious food.
• Seeds applied to simple skin eruptions.
• Seeds, deprived of the outer covering, used as vermifuge against tapeworm and lumbrici. Also, used as diuretic.
• Seeds, incinerated, taken internally for gonorrhea.
• Fruit rind is diuretic; ashes applied to painful wounds.
• In Indo-China, leaves and seeds used as purgative.
• Decoction of seed used for vaginal discharges and coughs.
• Fresh juice used as antidote for vegetable poisons.
• In China, popular for its dermatologic and cosmetic applications - for facial blemishes; moisturizing and skin softening use; anti-wrinkle and anti-aging skin properties; preventing sun damage.
• In Japan, kondol is a component of most traditional dermatologic formulations because of its skin regenerative.
• Tincture or liniments made through percolation with propylene glycol or hydro-alcoholic solution.
• In Korea, used for diabetes and kidney problems
• In Ayurveda, used for coughs, epilepsy, asthma, peptic ulcers. It is also the main ingredient in "Kusumanda Lehyam", used as tonic and for various conditions like epilepsy, constipation, hemorrhoids, dyspepsia, syphilis and diabetes.
• In India, used for treatment of peptic ulcer: Juice is squeezed out of grated gourd, equal amounts of water is added, taken daily on an empty stomach, with no food intake for 2 to 3 hours.
• Fruit juice used for insanity, epilepsy.


• Anti-Ulcer: Extracts of Benincasa hispida prevent development of experimental ulcers: Used in Ayurveda for peptic ulcers, the study showed extracts of BH may be a natural drug with anti-ulcer activity.

Anti-angiogenic Effect: Study showed the seed extract of Bh decreased bFGF-induced endothelial cell proliferation and tube formation in a dose-dependent manner. It showed no cytotoxicity and showed potent inhibitory effect on bFGF-induced angiogenesis in vivo. Seed extract of BH supports its anti-angiogenic property through inhibition of endothelial cell proliferation.
Gastroprotective / Anti-Ulcer / Antioxidant: (1) Study results were comparable with the omeprazole treated group. Study suggest BH possess significant antiulcer and well as antioxidant property. (2) Study showed decrease in ulcer index in animals treated with fruit extract of Bh. BH has been shown to contain active principles – terpenes, flavonoid C, glycosides and sterols which have antioxidant effects, probably helping inhibit gastric mucosal damage by scavenging free radicals and repressing production of superoxide dismutase.

Bronchodilator Effect: The ME of BH showed excellent protection against histamine-induced bronchospasm probably through an antihistamine activity (H1 receptor-antagonism).

Opioid Withdrawal Benefit: Study showed the juice of Bh showed significant activity against symptoms of morphine withdrawal. Results suggest a potential for Bh in preventing the development of morphine addiction and suppression of opioid withdrawal in animals.

Antinociceptive / Antipyretic: Study results indicate that the ethanolic extract of Benincasa hispida possesses potent antinociceptive and antipyretic effects and pharmacologically justifies its folkloric use for fever and pain conditions.

Antidiarrheal: Study showed the methanolic extract of fruit of Bh showed significant inhibitory activity against castor oil-induced diarrhea and inhibited PGE2 induced enteric pooling in rats. Results establish its efficacy as an antidiarrheal agent.

Antioxidant / Alzheimer's disease: Results revealed chronic treatment of Bh pulp extract markedly decreased lipid peroxidation level, significantly increased superoxide dismutase, CAT and reduced glutathione level in different parts of the brain. Study showed the antioxidant property of Bh may be beneficial in the management of colchicene-induced rat model of Alzheimer's disease.

Anorectic / Potential Anti-Obesity Benefit : Study investigated the anorectic effect of the methanol extract of Bh in Swiss albino mice. Results reveal, for a the first time, a possible anorectic activity of Bh, probably through CNS mediation, with no effect on gastric emptying. Further studies are suggested for its antiobesity potential.

Diabetes : Study investigated the hypoglycemic effects of Bh in STZ-induced diabetic rats. Results showed a possibility of therapeutic or preventive use of wax gourd in diabetes mellitus.

Renoprotective: Study results showed Benincasa cerifera treatment prevented renal damage induced by ischemia/reperfusion injury in hyperlipidemic rats through decreasing of lipid peroxidation and increased antioxidant enzyme activities.

Antifungal: Study of a methanol extract of fruit showed no inhibition on bacterial strains tested but showed significant inhibition against Candida albicans.

Anti-Inflammatory: Study of a methanolic and petroleum ether extracts of fruit of Bh produced dose-dependent and significant inhibition of carrageenan-induced paw edema, histamine induced paw edema and cotton pellet-induced granuloma in a rat model.

Anti-Urolithiatic: Study evaluated the ameliorating effect of an ethanol extract of seeds in hyperoxaluria and renal cell injury. Results showed an anti-urolithiatic effect with reduction in stone forming constituents in the urine and decreased kidney retention that reduced the solubility product of crystallizing salts.

Hepatoprotective: Study evaluated the protective role of an aqueous extract of pulps on diclofenac sodium-induced hepatotoxicity model in adult albino rats. Results showed restoration of biochemical changes produce by diclofenac to normal. The significant hepatoprotective effect was through the modulation of antioxidant-mediated mechanism.

Anthelmintic: Study of anthelmintic activity using Pheretima posthuma as test worm showed an extract of fresh leaves with significant activity compared with standard Piperazine citrate group.
Bioactive Proteins / Cytotoxicity: Study isolated three bioactive proteins from the fruits, seeds and roots. The highest was 0.54% from the root which on cytotoxicity testing showed inhibition of proliferation of HeLa cell and K-562 cells.


Cultivated for edible fruit.
Occasionally, wild.

Source: stuartxchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1)Benincasa hispida / Wax Gourd / Plants For A Future

(2)Extracts of Benincasa hispida prevent development of experimental ulcers / J K Grover et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol 78, Issues 2-3, December 2001, Pages 159-164 / doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(01)00334-8

(3)Anti-angiogenic effect of the seed extract of Benincasa hispida Cogniaux: / Lee Keyong-Ho et al / Journal of ethnopharmacology • 2005, vol. 97, no3, pp. 509-513

(4)Gastroprotective effect of Benincasa hispida fruit extract / Manish A Rachchh, Sunita M Jain / RESEARCH ARTICLE, 2008 | Volume : 40 | Issue : 6 | Page : 271-275


(6)Preliminary study of fresh juice of Benincasa hispida on morphine addiction in mice / J K Grover et al / Fitoterapia • Vol 71, Issue 6, December 2000, Pages 707-709 / doi:10.1016/S0367-326X(00)00227-6


(8)Antidiarrheal Evaluation of Benincasa hispida (Thunb.) Cogn. Fruit Extracts / VRUSHABENDRA SWAMY BHYRAPUR MATHAD et al / IRANIAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACOLOGY & THERAPEUTICS, 4:24-27, 2005

(9)EFFECT OF EXTRACT OF BENINCASA HISPIDA ON OXIDATIVE STRESS IN RATS WITH INDOMETHACIN INDUCED GASTRIC ULCERS / Beena Shetty et al / I1n7d8ianS hJe ttPyh y seito l aPlharmacol 2008; 52 (2) : 178–182

(10)The antioxidative role of Benincasa hispida on colchicine induced experimental rat model of Alzheimer’s disease / Chandan Roy et al / Biogenic Amines Vol 21 Issue 1-2, 2007

(11)Possible anorectic effect of methanol extract of Benincasa hispida (Thunb). Cogn, fruit / Kumar A, Vimalavathini R / Indian Journal of Pharmacology, Vol. 36, No. 6, November-December, 2004, pp. 348-350

(12)Effects of Benincasa hispida Intake on Blood Glucose and Lipid Level in Streptozotocin Induced Diabetic Rats / Lim S J. Jeong J G et al / Korean J Nutr. 2003 May;36(4):335-343.

(13)Benincasa cerifera Ameliorates Renal Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury in Hyperlipidemic Rat / Y S Bhalodia, N J Patel et al / (Pharmacognosy Research) RESEARCH ARTICLE, 2009 | Volume : 1 | Issue : 6 | Page : 406-409

(14)Benincasa hispida / Catalogue of Life, China

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

(16)Ash Gourd -- Medicinal Properties and Benefits / Home Remedies Guide

(17)ANTIMICROBIAL STUDIES ON METHANOL EXTRACT OF BENINCASA HISPIDA COGN., FRUIT / D. Natarajan, R.J. Lavarasan, S. Chandra babu, M.A.C. Sahib Thambi Refai, and L.H.Thameemul Ansari / Anc Sci Life. 2003 Jan-Mar; 22(3): 98–100.

(18)ANTI-INFLAMMATORY ACTIVITY OF BENINCASA HISPIDA FRUIT / MA RACHCHH , PN YADAV, RH GOKANI AND SM JAIN / International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences, Vol 2, No 3, July-Sept 2011

(19)Anti-Urolithiatic Activity of Ethanolic Extract of Seeds of Benincasa Hispida (Thumb) / Patel RK, Patel SB, Shah JG / Pharmacologyonline 3: 586-591 (2011) Patel et al.


(21)In-vitro Anthelmintic Activity of B. hispida Leaves / CHIRANJIB BHATTACHARJEE, DEBJIT B, PANKAJ TIWARI, K.K. TRIPATHI AND A.S.DUTTA / International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences V1(2 )/ 2010

(22)Bioactive Proteins from Benincasa hispida (Thunb.) Cogn / CHURIYAH, LATIFAH KOSIM DARUSMAN / HAYATI Journal of Biosciences, December 2009, p 161-164

Scientific names   
Phaseolus lunatus L.      
Phaseolus inamoenus Blanco      
Phaseolus ilocanus Blanco      
Phaseolus tunkinensis Lour.      
Phaseolus vexillatus Blanco      
Phaseolus vulgaris Blanco      

Common names

Bulai-patani (Tag.)
Buni (Bag.)
Buriñgi (Tag.)
Butiñgi (Tag.)
Gulipatan (Ibn.)
Haba (Span.)
Other vernacular names

BURMESE : Htawbat pe, Kal beir kan, Kawl be, Pe bra, Pe byu gyi, Pe gya, Santagu pe, Tim sin, Tunoran.
CHINESE: Xue dou.
CZECH : Fazol barmský, Fazol měsíční .
DANISH : Limabønne, Månebønne, Sukkerbønne.
DUTCH : Indische maanboon, Lima-boon.
FRENCH : Fève créole, Haricot de Lima, Haricot lima à gros grains, Haricot de Madagascar, Haricot du Cap, Pois de 7 ans, Pois de Java, Pois du Cap, Pois souche.
GERMAN : Indische Mondbohne, Limabohne, Mondbohne.
ITALIAN : Fagiolo del Capo, Fagiolo detto di Lima, Fagiolo di Lima.
JAPANESE: Rai mame, Aoi mame.
MALAY : Kacang China, Kacang Jawa, Kacang kara, Kacang s'ringing, Kekara (Indonesia), Koro legi (Indonesia), Kratok (Indonesia).
PORTUGUESE : Feijão-de-Lima, Feijão-fava.
RUSSIAN: Fasol' lima, Fasol' limskaia, Fasol' lunoobraznaia, Fasol' lunovidnaia lima, Limskaia fasol'.
SLOVAKIAN : Fazuľa mesiacovitá .
SPANISH : Alubia de Lima, Chilipuca, Chilipuco, Frijol de Lima, Frijol de luna, Frijol lima, Frijol manteca,, Frijol mantequilla, Fríjol reina, Frijol viterra, Garrofó, Haba pallar, Judía de Lima, Judía de manteca, Judía, Layo) Palato, Pallar (Peru), Poroto manteca, Torta.
THAI: Thua rachamat.

Patani is a climbing, slender, annual, smooth, sparingly hairy, herbaceous vine reaching a length of 4 or more meters. Leaves are thin, compound with three leaflets which are ovate, 6 to 12 centimeters long, rounded at the base and pointed at the tip. Flowers are greenish or pale yellow, about 10 to 13 millimeters long, on axillary and solitary racemes 8 to 20 centimeters long. Pods are oblong and slightly curved, 6 to 12 centimeters long, about 2 centimeters wide, containing 1 to 4 large, variously colored, white, greenish or purplish seeds.


- Thoroughly naturalized.
- A wild variety is common in thickets at low and medium altitudes, ascending to 2,000 meters.
- Extensively cultivated for its edible seeds.
- Introduced from tropical America.
- Now pantropic.


• The seeds of the wild lima variety, especially the dark purple beans, yield phaseolunatin, C10H17O6N, a cyanogenetic glucoside, in dangerous amounts; very minimal in the cultivated variety.
• The leaves and stems also contain phaseolunatin, but not in the roots.

• Study of hydrocyanic acid content of patani varieties grown in Philippines showed: Wild variety, 0.060-0.240; semiwild, 0.049-0.055; cultivated variety, 0.030; green beans, wild variety, 0.030; and green beans, cultivated, 0.011 percent HCN.
• High in carbohydrate and protein, fair in iron, and deficient in calcium.
• In isolates, protein content was found to be 71%.
• Contains a number of anti-nutrients. Raw lima beans contain cyanide, trypsin-inhibitor, lectin, phytin and tannin. Autoclaving removes all of the antinutrients except tannin. Soaking removes trypsin inhibitors and lectin.
• Contains linamarin, a cyanogenic glucoside; safe when cooked.


• The seeds of the wild lima variety may be poisonous.


Edibility / Nutritional
• Edible: Leaves, seeds, seedpods.
• Usually eaten as a green bean or before it becomes dry and hard.
• The cultivated patani is a popular vegetable; the white variety considered the best. The colored variety should be boiled in several changes of water.

Toxicity concerns

• A form of patani with dark-colored seeds is common in thickets in parts of the Philippines. Seeds are edible, but sometimes may be poisonous, and deaths have been reported.
• A wild lima bean or dark-colored variety may be poisonous with dangerous amounts of phaseolunatin. The cultivated bean is free or contains very small quantities of this glucoside.


Hypolipidemic: In dietary-induced hypercholesterolemic rats, there was a significant reduction of serum lipids in rats fed the lima beans Legume Diet and Saponin diet which was attributed to the saponin in the legume.The resuts suggest the consumption of lima beans can be recommended to lower cholesterol and promote cardiovascular health. (1)

Lunatusin / Antimicrobial / Antimicrobial / Antiproliferative: Lunatusin, an anti-fungal peptide was purified from the seeds of Chinese lima bean. It exhibited anti-fungal and antibacterial activities, anti-proliferative activity in a breast cancer line among other effects. (3)

Estrogen-like Activity: Study suggested molecular mechanisms and different pathways in the estrogen-like activities of the ethanol extracts of Adzuki bean and Lima bean. (4)

Trypsin Inhibitors / Reverse Transcriptase Inhibition: Study showed the trypsin inhibitor from P lunatus was able to inhibit HIV-1 reverse-transcriptase. (5)

Lectin: Lectin-related polypeptides are a class of defense proteins found in the seeds of Phaseolus species. Such proteins and their genes have been characterized in lima bean. (7)

Toxicity: Raw lima beans in a feeding broiler starter diet trial hindered growth in chicks and produced serious histopathological changes in the liver, kidneys, pancreas, spleen and lungs. (8)

Hypoglycemic / Hypolipidemic / Hepato-Nephroprotective: Study evaluated the effect of heat-treated lima beans on serum glucose and some biochemical parameters in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Results showed heat-treated lima beans has a significant hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects in diabetic rats. In addition, study showed protection of liver and kidney functions. (10)

Hypoglycemic / Alpha-Amylase Inhibiting Activity: The common white bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) produces an alpha-amylase inhibitor. A specific proprietary product, Phase 2 Carb Controller, has the potential to induce weight loss and reduce sugar spikes in blood sugar caused by carbohydrates through it alpha-amylase inhibiting activity. (11)

Weight Loss / Alpha-Amylase Inhibiting Activity / CHO Blockers: The mechanism of weight loss from taking bean extract was attributed to alpha-amylase inhibiting activity. In vitro study of the extract has shown inhibition of alpha-amylase, promoting weight loss by interfering with digestion of complex carbohydrates to simple absorbable sugars, with potential reduction of carbohydrate-derived calories. (12)

Lima Bean Protein Hydolysates / Antihypertensive / ACE-1 Inhibitory Activity: Lima bean protein hydrolysates prepared with Alcalase or pepsin-pancreatin are a potential ingredient in the production of physiologically functional foods with antihypertensive activity. In the study, pepsin-pancreatin hydrolysates exhibited the highest ACE inhibitory activity. (13)

Wild and cultivated.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1)The Effects of Heat Treated Lima Beans (Phaseolus lunatus) on Plasma Lipids in Hypercholesterolemic Rats / H A Oboh and C O Omofoma / Pakistan Journal of Nutrition 7 (5): 636-639, 2008 / ISSN 1680-5194

(2)Functional Properties of Flours and Protein Isolates from Phaseolus lunatus and Canavalia ensiformis Seeds

(3)Lunatusin, a trypsin-stable antimicrobial peptide from lima beans (Phaseolus lunatus L.) / Jack Ho Wong and Tzi Bun Ng / Peptides / Volume 26, Issue 11, November 2005, Pages 2086-2092 / doi:10.1016/j.peptides.2005.03.004

(4)Effects of ethanol extracts from adzuki bean (Phaseolus angularis Wight.) and lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus L.) on estrogen and progesterone receptor phenotypes of MCF-7/BOS cells / Zhao Qing-Wei et al / PTR. Phytotherapy research • 2007, vol. 21, no7, pp. 648-652

(5)Examination of Lectins, Polysaccharopeptide, Polysaccharide, Alkaloid, Coumarin and Trypsin Inhibitors for Inhibitory Activity Against Human Immunodeficiency Virus Reverse Transcriptase and Glycohydrolases / H X Wang and T B Ng / Planta Med 2001; 67: 669-672 / DOI: 10.1055/s-2001-1735

(6)Lima bean • Allergens within Food of Plant Origin / ImmunoCAP Allergens

(7)Lectin and lectin-related proteins in lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus L.) seeds: biochemical and evolutionary studies / Sparvoli F et al / Plant Mol Biol. 2001 Mar;45(5):587-97

(8)Toxicity of raw limabeans [Phaseolus Lunatus L.) and limabean fractions for growing chicks / A D Ologhobo et al / British Poultry Science, Volume 34, Issue 3 July 1993 , pages 505 - 522 / DOI: 10.1080/00071669308417606


(10)BIOCHEMICAL EVALUATION OF LIMA BEANS (Phaseolus lunatus) IN ALLOXAN INDUCED DIABETIC RATS / Ojo Rotimi Johnson, Segilola Lanre Isaac, Ogundele Olalekan Michael, Akintayo Christopher Oloruntoba and Seriki Samuel / ARPN Journal of Agricultural and Biological Science, VOL. 8, NO. 4, APRIL 2013

(11)A proprietary alpha-amylase inhibitor from white bean (Phaseolus vulgaris): A review of clinical studies on weight loss and glycemic control / Marilyn L Barrett and Jay K Udani / Nutrition Journal 2011, 10:24 doi:10.1186/1475-2891-10-24

(12)Enhanced Weight Loss From a Dietary Supplement Containing Standardized Phaseolus vulgaris Extract in Overweight Men and Women / Xiangming Wu MD, Xiaofeng Xu MS, Jianguo Shen MD, Nicholas V. Perricone, Harry G. Preuss, MD / The Journal of Applied Research • Vol.10, No. 2, 2010.

(13)Lima Bean (Phaseolus lunatus) Protein Hydrolysates with ACE-I Inhibitory Activity / Luis Chel-Guerrero, Mario Domínguez-Magaña, Alma Martínez-Ayala, Gloria Dávila-Ortiz, David Betancur-Ancona / Food and Nutrition Sciences, 2012, 3, 511-521 511 / doi:10.4236/fns.2012.34072

Scientific names    

Dolichos lablab Linn.     
Dolichos purpureus L.     
Glycine lucida Blanco     
Lablab cultratus DC.     
Lablab purpureus (L.) Sweet     
Lablab vulgaris Savi     

Common names

Baglau (C. Bis.)
Batau (Bik., Bis.)
Bataw (Tag., Bik., P. Bis.)
Bulay (C.Bis.)
Itab (If., Bon,)
Parda (ilk.)
Parda-atap (ilk.)
Sibachi, sibatsi(Tag.)
Banner bean (Engl.)
Hyacinth bean (Engl.)
Lablab bean (Engl.)
Poor man's bean (Engl.)
Pien-tou (Chin.)
Other vernacular names

AMBARIC: Amora-Guaya.
ARABIC: Lablâb, Lablab, Lubiah.
ASSAMESE: Urahi, Urchi, Uri, Urshi.
BENGALI: Rajashimbi.
CHINESE: Bian dou, Huo lian bian dou, Peng pi dou, Teng dou, Yan li dou, Que dou
DANISH: Hjelmbønne, Hjelmboenne.
DUTCH: Komak.
FINNISH: Hyasinttipapu.
FRENCH: Dolique D´egypte, Pois Nourrice.
GERMAN: ågyptische Fasel, Faselbohne, Gemeine Lablab, Helmbohne.
ITALIAN: Dolico Egiziano, Fagiolo D´egitto, Fagiolo Del Cairo, Fagiolo Egiziano.
JAPANESE: Fiji Mame, Fuji Mame, Ingen.
MALAY: Kacang Kara, Kara Kara, Kekara, Kerara (Java), Komak (Indonesia).
NEPALESE: Raaj Simii, Simii.
PORTUGUESE: Dólico Do Egipto, Feijão Cutelinho.
RUSSIAN: Lobija.
SINHALESE: Ho-Dhambala, Hodhambala, Kiri-Dambala, Kos-Ata-Dambala, Ratu-Peti-Dambala.
SPANISH: Carmelita, Frijol Caballero.
TAMIL: Avarai, Minni, Motchai, Motchai (Mochai), Tatta-Payaru.
TELUGU: Adavichikkudu, Tellachikkudu.
THAI: Thua Nang, Thua Paep.
TURKISH: Lablab.

Bataw is a smooth, twining, climbing or trailing vine, 4 to 6 meters long, often with smooth, usually purplish stems. Leaves are long stalked, 3-foliate with inequilateral leaflets. Leaflets are entire, ovate, and 7 to 15 centimeters long. Flowers are few to many, white to pink-purple in color, about 2 centimeters long, on erect, long peduncled racemes 15 to 25 centimeters long. Pods are oblong, flattened, purple-margined, flat, and elongated with a prominent beak, about 7 to 12 centimeters long and 2 centimeters wide, containing 3 to 5 seeds.

- Commonly cultivated throughout the settled areas in the Philippines.
- In some regions, naturalized.
- Now pantropic in cultivation. Constituents
- Young pods are fairly good source of calcium and iron.
- Seeds yield protein, 23%; fat, 1.8%: ash, 3.5%; hydrocyanic acid, emulsin, allantoinase, and vitamin C1.


- Considered tonic, febrifuge, stomachic, antispasmodic.
- Boiled ripe seeds considered carminative.
- Seeds considered aphrodisiac, anthelmintic, antispasmodic, astringent, febrifuge and stomachic.
- Flowers considered emmenagogue.


Propagation by seeds. Cultivated for market produce. Pods are harvested about 4 months after planting.

Parts used

Leaves, bean, roots.


Edibility / Nutritional

- Tender pods, seeds and young leaves used as vegetable.
- Young leaves and pods are good sources of calcium, iron, vitamin C, and other minerals.


- Infusion of leaves used for gonorrhea.
- Poultice of leaves for snake bites.
- Leaves used for menorrhagia and leucorrhea.
- Juice of the leaves mixed with lime, applied to tumors and abscesses.
- Salted juice from the pods used for ear inflammation and sore throat.
- Used as stomachic and antiseptic; given for abdominal pains, diarrhea, and vomiting.
- The Malays make of poultice of the leaves mixed with rice-flowers and tumeric used for eczema.
- In Indo-China, Infusion of leaves for colic; flowers used as emmenagogue.
- Flowers prescribed for menorrhagia and leucorrhea.
- Seeds are considered aphrodisiac; also used to stop nose bleeds.
- In China, boiled ripe seeds used as tonic and carminative.
- Seeds used as febrifuge, stomachic, and antispasmodic.


Stem Cell Preservation Factor: Stem cell preservation factor FRIL (Flt3 receptor-interacting lectin), a plant lectin extracted from Dolichos lablab was found to preserve hematopoietic stems cells in vitro for a month.(1)

Hypocholesterolemic: Diet supplemented with D. lablab seeds showed a hypocholesterolemic effect. (2)

Cholecystokinin Secretion: A peptide derived from dolicholin, a phaseolin-like protein from D lablab potently stimulated cholecystokinin secretion from enteroendocrine STC-1 cells and suppressed food intake. (3)

Antimicrobial / Antifungal: n-Hexane and chloroform extracts of Dolichos lablab exhibited significant antimicrobial and antifungal activity against B subtilis, S aureus, P aeruginosa, E coli and C albicans. (4)

Antidiabetic / Seeds: Study evaluated the antidiabetic activity of a methanolic extract of D. lablab seeds in STZ-Nicotimamide induced diabetic model. Results showed dose-dependent reduction of blood glucose, total cholesterol, and triglycerides. (7)

Anti-Inflammatory / Antioxidant / Cytotoxicity: Study evaluated the in vitro anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and cytotoxic properties of methanol extracts of two Bangladesh bean pods, Lablab purpureus L. sweet 'white' and 'purple'. Results showed L. purpureus sweet 'white' and L. purpureus sweet 'purple' have significant anti-inflammatory activity as well as a potential source of natural antioxidants. L. purpureus sweet 'white' had concentration dependent potential cytotoxicity. (8)


Cultivated for market produce.

Source: stuartxchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Legume lectin FRIL preserves neural progenitor cells in suspension culture in vitro / Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Lab, Beijing Institute of Transfusion Medicine, Beijing 100850, China.

(2)Hypocholesterolemic effect of diet supplemented with Indian bean (Dolichos lablab L. var lignosus) seeds / Vadde Ramakrishna et al /Journal: Nutrition & Food Science / 2007 Volume: 37 Issue: 6 Page: 452 - 456 / ISSN: 0034-6659 / DOI: 10.1108/00346650710838117

(3)Peptides derived from dolicholin, a phaseolin-like protein in country beans (Dolichos lablab), potently stimulate cholecystokinin secretion from enteroendocrine STC-1 cells / Journal of agricultural and food chemistry (J Agric Food Chem) / 2007-Oct; vol 55 (issue 22) : pp 8980-6

(4)Antimicrobial Investigation of Different Extracts of Dolichos lablab beans / Akash P Dahake et al / Research Journ of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry • Vol 1, Issue 2, Sept-Oct, 2009

(5)Effect of Different Processing Methods, on Nutrient Composition, Antinutrional Factors, and in vitro Protein Digestibility of Dolichos Lablab Bean / Lablab purpuresus (L) Sweet / Magdi A. Osman / Pakistan Journal of Nutrition 6 (4): 299-303, 2007

(6)Lablab purpureus (L.) Sweet (accepted name) / Chinese names / Catalogue of Life, China

(7)Anti diabetic activity of Dolichos lablab (seeds) in Streptozotocin- Nicotinamide induced diabetic rats. / Krishnaveni kante and Challa Srinivas Reddy / Hygeia.J.D.Med.vol.5 (1), April 2013
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY, ANTIOXIDANT AND CYTOTOXICITY POTENTIAL OF METHANOLIC EXTRACT OF TWO BANGLADESHI BEAN LABLAB PURPUREUS (L.) SWEET WHITE AND PURPLE / Mohammad Abdul Motalib Momin, Md. Razibul Habib*, Md. Rakibul Hasan, Jannatun Nayeem, Nizam Uddin, Md. Sohel Rana / IJPSR, 2012; Vol. 3(3): 776-781