Patola, a 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
- Seed contains a fixed oil of glycerides of palmitic, stearic, and myristic
- Fruit is considered demulcent, diuretic, nutritive.
- Seeds considered purgative and emetic.
- Studies suggest antioxidant, antimicrobial, anticancer, cardioprotective, gastroprotective, antidiabetic, hypolipidemic, hepatoprotective properties.
utilized and preparation
· 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, eaten 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 excessive meibomian secretion.
• Juice of leaves also used externally for sores and various
• 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 leaves used for conjunctivitis
• 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. (4)
• Constituents: Study isolated seven oleanane-type triterpene saponins, acutosides A-G.(5)
• Antioxidants : An antioxidant-guided assay yielded eight compounds. Results showed consumption of sponge gourds can supply some antioxidant constituents to the human body. (6)
• 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. (7)
• Antimicrobial / Fruit: A fruit extract of Luffa acutangula was found to have more potent antibacterial and antifungal activity than leaf extract. Staph aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa species showed higher sensitivity to the leaf and fruit extracts. (10)
• Hepatoprotective / CCl4 and Rifampicin Induced Toxicity : Study evaluated a hydroalcoholic extract for hepatoprotective activity against carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) and rifampicin- induced hepatotoxicity in rats. Results showed significant hepatoprotection. Results suggest the contribution of endogenous antioxidants and inhibition of lipid peroxidation of membrane to its hepatoprotective property. (11)
• Antidiabetic / Antihyperlipidemic: Study evaluating methanolic and aqueous fruit extracts of L. acutangula fruits showed antihyperlipidemic and antidiabetic activity, with the methanol extract superior to the water extract. (12)
• Cardioprotective / Nephroprotective / Doxorubicin Induced Toxicity: Study evaluated the protective effect of a hydroalcoholic extract of L. acutangula o doxorubicin induced cardio- and nephrotoxicity in mice. The protective activity was attributed to its antioxidant property with resulting membrane stabilization. (13)
• Anticancer / Apoptosis / Leaf Extracts: Study evaluated leaf extracts of Luffa acutangula and Lippia nodiflora for in vitro anticancer effect against human lung cancer cell line (NCI-H460). Results showed high antiproliferative activity against the cell line tested. (14)
• Gastroprotective / Anti-Ulcer: Study evaluated various extracts of L. acutangula for gastroprotective effect on type 2 diabetic rats. A methanolic extract produced significantly increase mucosal glycoprotein and antioxidant enzyme levels in gastric mucosa of diabetic rats. The ulcer healing effect was better than glibenclamide and the water extract. (15)
• Attenuation of Oxidative Damage in Human Erythrocyte: Study evaluated the ability of L. acutangula to attenuate t-BPH induced oxidative damage in human erythrocyte. A methanolic extract exhibited higher antioxidant activity compared to other extracts. Results showed the aqueous fraction of fruit possess a beneficial role in mitigating t-BPH induced oxidative stress in erythrocyte. (16)
• Apoptosis Inducing Activity in Leukemia Cells: Study showed partially purified methanolic extract, F-3, dose dependently induced apoptosis in leukemia cell line HL-60, probably mediated by an intrinsic pathway. (17)
• Gastroprotective / Anti-Ulcer: Study on L. acutangula Roxb. var. amara ethanolic seed extract showed potent antioxidant activity by DPPH assay, significant anti-inflammatory activity (diclofenac as standard) and significant analgesic activity. (18)
• Antiproliferative / Antiangiogenic / Fruit Extracts: Study evaluated L. acutangula fruit for its potential as anti-cancer agent. Results showed significant antiproliferative activity on human lung adenocarcinoma epithelial cell line (A-549). (19)
• Antioxygenic Activity on Peroxidation Models: Ridge gourd pulp and peel powders and various fractions were evaluated for antioxygenic activity. Peel powder and its extracts showed slightly higher antioxygenic activity than gourd pulp powder and its extracts, probably because of higher phenolic and flavonoid contents. (20)
• Anthelmintic: Study showed moderate anthelmintic activity against adult earthworm Pheretima posthuma. Anthelmintic activity increased with concentration. (22)
• In Vitro Cytotoxicity / Human Neuronal Glioblastoma and Human Lung Adenocarcinoma Cell Lines: In vitro studies evaluated the cytotoxic potential of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of L. acutangula against human neuronal glioblastoma cells and human lung cancer cells. Results showed significant concentration dependent decrease of cell viability in both MTT and SRB assay. In brine shrimp lethality bioassay, the aqueous extract showed more potent cytotoxicity than the ethanolic extract. (23)
• Antioxidant: Study evaluated the antioxidant activity of various extracts of Luffa acutangula fruit and its derived fractions. Phytochemical screening yielded phenolic and flavonoid compounds in all fractions except the n-hexane fraction. The highest antioxidant activity was shown by the n-hexane fraction. and the highest total phenolics/flavonoids contents were seen with the ethyl acetate extract. Results suggest the fruit as a potential rich source of natural antioxidant for use in food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. (24)
Common market vegetable.
Seeds and sponges in the cybermarket.