Nutraceutical applications of gourd family vegetables: Benincasa hispida, Lagenaria siceraria and Momordica charantia
The use of food and food products as medicine has been in practice over centuries in many civilizations. The extracts from the family Cucurbitaceae have been used in the preparation of medicines for a variety of diseases in Ayurveda and ancient Chinese medicine. The article focuses on medicinal properties of extracts derived from different vegetative parts of three Cucurbitaceae species viz. ash gourd (Benincasa hispida), bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) and bitter gourd (Momordica charantia). The competency of extracts derived from these plants using different extraction solutions and techniques were tested against various diseases. These plants were found to possess antioxidant activity, analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity, central nervous system activity, antihyperglycemic and antidiabetics, anti-hyperlipidemic activity, antimicrobial activity and anthelmintic activity, cytotoxic and anticancer activity, immunomodulatory effect, cardioprotective effects, hepatoprotective activity, bronchospasm protective activity, antidiarrheal activity, and diuretic activity.
- Medicinal properties;
- Ash gourd;
- Bottle gourd;
- Bitter gourd
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