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.
- Introduced to the Philippines.
- Also occurs in India to Japan, Malaya and Polynesia in general cultivation.
- Major constituents of B. hispida fruits are volatile oils, flavonoids, glycosides, saccharides, proteins, carotenes, vitamins, minerals, ß-sitostrin and uronic acid. (45)
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.
- Fruits yielded three new triterpenoids (3α,29-O-di-trans-cinnamoyl-D:C-friedooleana-7,9(11)-diene , oleanolic acid 28-O-β-d-xylopyranosyl-[β-d-xylopyranosyl-(1→4)]-(1→3)-α-l-rhamnopyranosyl-(1→2)-α-l-arabinopyranoside, and oleanolic acid 28-O-β-d-glucopyranosyl-(1→3)-β-d-xylopyranosyl-[β-d-xylopyranosyl-(1→4)]-(1→3)-α-l-rhamnopyranosyl-(1→2)-α-l-arabinopyranoside), together with 12 known compounds (multiflorenol, isomultiflorenyl acetate, stigmasterol, stigmasterol3-O-β-d-glucopyranoside, α-spinasterol, α-spinasterol 3-O-β-d-glucopyranoside, β-sitosterol, daucosterol, arbutin, nicotinic acid, (+)-pinonesinol, and ethyl β-d-glucopyranoside). (27)
- Phytochemical analysis of seeds revealed dietary fiber of 58.43%; crude fat and crude protein were 20.7o and 11.63%, respectively. Seed oil consisted mainly of linoleic acid, accounting for 67.37% of the total fatty acids, along with palmitic, oleic, and stearic acids at 17.11, 10.21 and 4.83%, respectively. (45)
- Phytochemical screening of various extracts of fruit yielded the presence of carbohydrates, phenols, alkaloids, cardiac glycosides, amino acids, reducing sugar, sterols, phytosterols, coumarin, anthocyanin and betacyanin, flavonoids, tannins, terpenoids, and saponins. (47)
- Phytochemical screening of various extracts (methanol-M, chloroform-C, water-W) of fruit rind yielded alkaloids (M), glycosides (CW), flavonoids (CMW), carbohydrates (MW), phenolic compounds (CMW), steroidal compounds (MW), and resin (C). (see study below) (52)
- Study of nutritional composition (%) of winter melon seed oil yielded crude protein 16.57 ± 0.05, crude fat 34.12 ± 0.40, crude fiber 21.53 ± 0.03, and ash 2.7 ± 0.01.On GC analysis, the most abundant fatty acid was linoleic acid (80.07%), palmitic, oleic, stearic, and linoleliadic acids were 11.71%, 4.10%, 3.74%, and 0.37%, respectively. (57)
- Nutrient values per 100 g of edible portion: (Proximate) water 96.10 g, energy 13 kcal or 54 kJ, protein 0.40 g, total lipid (fat) 0.20 g, ash 0.30 g, carbohydrate, by difference 3.00 g, total dietary fiber 2. g; (Minerals) calcium 19 mg, iron 0.40 mg, magnesium 10 mg, phosphorus 19 mg, potassium 6 mg, sodium 111 mg, zinc 0.61 mg, copper 0.023 mg, manganese 0.058 mg, selenium 0.2 µg; (Vitamins) vitamin C 13 mg, thiamin 0.040 mg, riboflavin 0.110 mg, niacin 0.400 mg, pantothenic acid 0.133 mg, vitamin B6 0.035 mg, total folate 5 µg; (Lipids) total saturated free fatty acids 0.016 g, total monosaturated FA 0.037 g, total polyunsaturated FA 0.087 g, cholesterol 0; (Amino Acids) tryptophan 0.002 g, lysine 0.009 g, methionine 0.003 g. (59)
• Considered astringent, anthelmintic,
aphrodisiac, demulcent, diuretic, febrifuge, styptic, tonic.
• Seed is anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory.
• Fruit is nutritive, tonic, diuretic, alterative, and styptic.
• Studies have suggested
antiangiogenic, antiulcer, antioxidant,
Whole fruit with seeds and
Edibility / Nutritional
• Edible: Flowers, fruit, leaves, seed.
• Unripe fruit is boiled and eaten as vegetable or included in a variety of dishes.
• 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.
• Fruit used as laxative, diuretic, tonic, aphrodisiac, cardiotonic; used for urinary calculi, epilepsy, schizophrenia, jaundice, dyspepsia, fever, and menstrual disorders. (45)
• 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 Ayurveda,
kushmanda controls and manages vata, pitta, and blood disorders. In Sri Lanka, used as an antidote for vegetable poisons and for treatment of asthma, insanity, hiccough, cholera, diabetes, cough and helminthiasis. In Korea, used for diabetes. (47 )
• 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. (2)
• 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: Study results were comparable with
the omeprazole treated group. Study suggest BH possess significant antiulcer
and well as antioxidant property. (4)
• Anti-Ulcer / Fruit: 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). (5)
• 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. (6)
• 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
• 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
• 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. (10)
• 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. (11)
• Hypoglycemic Effects: 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. (12)
• 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. (13 )
• Antifungal: Study of a methanol extract of fruit showed no inhibition on bacterial strains tested but showed significant inhibition against Candida albicans. (17)
• 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. (18)
• Anti-Urolithiatic / Seeds: 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. (19)
• Hepatoprotective / Diclofenac Induced Toxicity: 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. (20)
• Anthelmintic / Leaves: 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. (21)
• 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. (22)
• Hispidalin / Cationic Bioactive Peptide / Antimicrobial / Antioxidant / Seeds: Study yielded a bioactive peptide, Hispidalin, from the seeds of Benincasa hispida. The peptide showed broad and potent inhibitory effects against human bacterial and fungal pathogens. It also exhibited DPPH free radical scavenging activity and lipid peroxidation inhibition. (23)
• Anti-Convulsant / Fruit: Study evaluated a methanol extract of fruit in various convulsive models in mice. Results showed potential anticonvulsant activity with significant inhibition of hind limb extension induced by MES and increased latency of convulsion induced by pentylenetetrazole and strychnine. (24) Study showed MEBH possesses good anticonvulsant activity at dose level of 300 mg/kg. (36) Study evaluated the anticonvulsant activity of juice and aqueous extract of Bh fruit in albino rats in an MES model. Results showed significant protection (p<0.05) against shock induced convulsions. (55)
• Anxiolytic / Analgesic / Nootropic: Study investigated the neuropharmacological activity of various extracts of B. hispida. Results showed decreased locomotor activity and exploratory behavior. There was significant prolongation of haloperidol induced catalepsy in mice and increased analgesic activity in hot plate method. Results showed potential anxiolytic, analgesic and nootropic activity. (25)
• Hypoglycemic / Analgesic / Nootropic: Study evaluated an aqueous extract of stem of B. hispida for hypoglycemic effect in alloxan-induced diabetic rabbits. The results showed significant dose-dependent reduction in blood glucose levels. (26)
• Memory and Learning Effects / Seeds: Study evaluated the nootropic potential of aqueous and methanol extracts of B. hispida on various behavioral models. Results showed dose-dependent reduction in transfer latency by elevated plus maze, water maze and object recognition task. Results conclude the methanolic extract of B. hispida can be a useful restorative agent in the treatment of dementia. (28)
• Effect on Testosterone Induced Prostatic Hypertrophy: Study evaluated effects of extracts of seed oil on hyperplasia of the prostate induced by subcutaneous administration of testosterone in rats. Results showed inhibition of testosterone-induced hyperplasia in rats, and suggests studies to evaluate its effect in human benign prostatic hyperplasia. (29)
• Hepatoprotective / Nimesulide Induced Toxicity: Study evaluated the protective role of an aqueous extract of pulps on nimesulide-induced hepatotoxicity model in adult albino rats. Results showed significant hepatoprotection through modulation of antioxidant-mediated mechanisms. (30)
• Anthelmintic / Roots: Study evaluated the anthelmintic of various extracts of root. Results showed significant anthelmintic activity against Pheretima posthuma compared to standard Piperazine citrate. (31)
• Anticompulsive Effect: Study of methanolic extract exhibited significant anti-compulsive effect in marble-burying behavior test in mice, which was attributed to enhanced serotonergic function. (32)
• Protective Effect on Colchicene Induced Alzheimer's Disease: Study of water extract of Benincasa hispida pulp showed a protective effect on colchicene induced experimental rat model of Alzheimer's disease. (33)
• Acute Toxicity Study: Study evaluated the acute toxicity of B. hispida fresh juice in female Swiss mice. Maximum dose of 5000 mg/kg was administered orally in juice form. No abnormalities were observed in the test animals. BH fruit juice was nontoxic up to 5000 mg/kg dose. (35)
• Antibacterial against Periodontal Pathogens / Fruit: Study evaluated crude aqueous extracts of fruit pulp and seeds for antibacterial activity against strains of A. actinomycetemcomitans (ATCC 43718), P. gingivalis (ATCC 33277), F. nucleatum (ATCC 25586), P. intermedia (ATCC 25611). Results showed B. hispida fruit has antibacterial activity against tested periodontal pathogens. (37)
• Antioxidant and Phenolic Extraction / Fruit: Study evaluated various solvents of fruit for antioxidant activities. The efficiencies of solvents for antioxidant extraction were: methanol > ethyl acetate > hexane. The phenolic content ranged between 3 mg/l to 12 mg/l. Methanol showed to be the most effective solvent for extraction. (38)
• Antibacterial / Seed Oil / B. hispida and Nigella sativa: Fixed oil of seeds of B. hispida and N. sativa showed activity against various resistant gram positive and gram negative bacteria. When used in 1:1 combination, results showed good activity against all the tested pathogens i.e., M. luteus, C. coli, S. aureus, P. multocida, P. aeruginosa and B. subtilis. (39)
• Acute and Subacute Toxicity Study: Acute toxicity study inn rodents showed a 50% aqueous ethanolic extract of B. hispida to be well tolerated up to 2000 mg/kg, without mortality or behavior changes. In subacute toxicity study at dose levels of 200 and 400 mg/kg, no significant alterations in hematological or biochemical parameters were noted. Histopathological study revealed normal liver and kidney architecture. (40)
• Hair Growth Promoting Activity / Androgen Induced Alopecia: Study evaluated the hair growth promoting activity of B. hispida on androgen induced alopecia in animal models. Study concludes the fruit promote hair growth activity. (41)
• Anxiolytic / Fruit Extracts: Study evaluated the anxiolytic effects of an alcoholic extract of B. hispida using elevated plus maze and light-dark transition test and spontaneous motor activity. Results support the potential anxiolytic activity of B. hispida. (42)
• Anti-Diabetic / Fruit and Peels: Study evaluated various extracts of peels for hypoglycemic activity in alloxan induced diabetic rats. Results showed the petroleum ether extract produced better hypoglycemic action compared to the other extracts. (43) Study evaluated extract of fruit for antidiabetic activity in streptozotocin induced diabetes in rats. Results showed both high and low dose extract had significant (p<0.01) decrease in blood glucose levels. Also, both extracts showed significant (p<0.01) decrease in serum triglycerides, VLDL, with an insignificant increase in HDL. (56)
• Anti-Hypochlorhydia / Antioxidant / Fruit: Study evaluated the effective solvent extract of fruit of B. hispida for management of hypochlorhydia in a model of male albino rats induced by oral administration of ranitidine. Results showed co-administration of an aqueous extract of BH resulted in significant correction of ranitidine-induced hypochlorhydia in rat. There was increased levels of vitamin C, pepsin, and chloride concentration in the gastric juice as well as antioxidant status (p<0.05). (44)
• Antioxidant / Antimicrobial / Seeds: In hydrogen peroxide-scavenging model, an acetone extract showed 80.1% scavenging while a H2O2 and chloroform extract showed 79% scavenging compared with ascorbic acid at 94.5%. Antimicrobial screening showed activity against test organisms A. aureus and E. coli. Antimicrobial and antioxidant activities may be due to presence of alkaloids, phenolic compounds, and flavonoid constituents. (48)
• Antiulcer / Antioxidant / Seeds: Study evaluated the free radical scavenging and antiulcer potential of B. hispida powdered seeds extracted with ethanol. Results showed concentration dependent DPPH radical scavenging activity. The ME extract inhibited gastric ulceration by decreasing gastric volume, free and total acidity. The high dose (300 mg/kg) showed reduction in the parameters comparable to standard drug ranitidine. The antiulcer activity may be due to free radical scavenging mechanism. (49)
Management of Dyspepsia / Pilot Study / Fruit Juice: A prospective pilot study evaluated the effectiveness of fruit juice of Ash Gourd on twenty dyspeptic patients. Results showed statistically significant improvements in several parameters, including pain (p<0.001), retrosternal burning (p<0.001), nausea (p<0.001), belching (p<0.001) and bowel habits (p<0.05). (50)
• Diuretic / Fruit Rind: Study evaluated the diuretic effect of Benincasa hispida fruit rind extract in guinea-pigs. Results showed a significant increase (p<0.001) in urinary volume together with a significant increase in sodium and chloride excretion and a decease (p<0.001) in potassium excretion. (51)
• Free Radical Scavenging Potential / Peels: Study evaluated the free radical scavenging potential of aqueous and methanolic extracts of dried ripe peels of B. hispida by DPPH assay. Extracts showed significant dose dependent radical scavenging potential with highest activity found with ME at 87.87% and aqueous activity at 85.6%, both at 100 µg/ml. (see constituents above) (52)
• Antihistamic Activity in Induced Bronchoconstriction / Flower: Study of aqueous and essential oil extracts of Benincasa hispida flower showed antihistaminic activity in histamine aerosol induced bronchoconstriction in guinea pig model. (53)
• Extraction of Riboflavin / Roots: Study investigated the presence of the bioactive compound riboflavin in the pulp of roots of B. hispida using three solvents i.e. pure water, methanol, and ethanol. The methanol (40%) extracted more compared to the other solvents. Roots yielded no riboflavin. (55)
• Antinociceptive / Anti-Inflammatory / Fruit Peel: Study evaluated a methanolic fruit peel extract of B. hispida on chemical, thermal-induced pain and egg albumin-induced inflammation and PTZ-induced convulsion in rodents. Results showed statistically (p<0.02-0.001) inhibitions. Study showed increased latencies of both clonic and tonic convulsions and delayed in mortalities. The reduction in both neurogenic and non-neurogenic pains may be attributed to active constituents such as tannins, saponins, steroid, and flavonoids. (58)
• Antidiabetic / α-Amylase & α-Glucosidase Inhibition / Antioxidant / Fruit and Seeds: Study evaluated the in vitro antidiabetic and antioxidant activities of fruits and seeds of B. hispida by measuring α-amylase and α-glucosidase inhibitory activities compared with standard drug acarbose which causes suppression of postprandial hyperglycemia. Results showed the seed extract has more α-amylase and α-glucosidase enzyme inhibitory actions than the fruit extract. The activity may be due to the presence of flavonoids. (60)
• Antidepressant-Like Activity / Fruits: Study evaluated the anti-depressant potential of Bh fruits in Swiss albino mice. A methanolic extract showed significant anti-depressant like activity in mice by inhibiting MAO-A and via interaction with dopaminergic, α1-adrenergic, serotoninergic, and GABAergic systems. (61)
• Nephroprotective / Paracetamol Induced Toxicity / Fruit: Study investigated the nephroprotective activity of a hydroalcoholic extract of Bh whole fruit in paracetamol-induced nephrotoxicity in rats. Results showed the whole fruit possesses nephroprotective activity against paracetamol induced kidney damage. Histopathological study also confirmed restoration of degenerative changes caused by paracetamol. (62)
- Cultivated for edible fruit.
-- Occasionally, wild.